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Animal & Dog Bites

Animal & Dog Bites
More than 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs on an annual basis and approximately one out of every six bites is serious enough to require medical attention. Owners of dogs, regardless of the breed of dog, can be held responsible when bites or attacks occur. If you live in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, and have suffered injuries after being bitten or attacked by a dog or another animal, it is important to know your legal rights.

Your right to recover for a dog bite in Georgia will be dependent upon either the dog’s history and/or the leash laws applicable in the county or city where the dog attack occurred. Information related to the dog’s history very often must be gathered in order for a person injured by a dog bite to have any chance to recover damages. In addition, variations in the leash laws for dogs can have a significant impact on your recovery.

Since injuries from dog bites are frequently covered by homeowner’s insurance coverage, insurance investigators are often at work immediately after a dog attack occurs. The insurance company is protecting the person it insures, the dog owner, from potential responsibility from the dog bite. This includes gathering witness statements, photographing the scene, arranging for counsel for claims as well as any other action that will help the dog owner avoid responsibility.

Although the approach or tactics of insurance companies vary, many insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with an injured person. Their purpose is to avoid responsibility for future medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop. This is a trap which an injured person needs to avoid. When a person is injured by a dog bite, it generally takes months to completely assess the person's injuries. At that point, the person may need reconstructive surgery or other treatment. The injuries may leave the person permanently disabled even after corrective surgery. Therefore, the true value of a claim can only be assessed after a firm prognosis has been established by a physician. The State of Georgia provides in most, but not all cases, a two-year period of time in which to file a lawsuit on a claim. Accordingly, there is no need to rush to a settlement with an insurance company. You will only regret the settlement later when your injuries have become progressively worse.

There are other significant issues that develop for persons injured by a dog bite. For instance, if your health insurance company pays for your medical bills they will very often seek to obtain reimbursement from your settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company. There are significant limitations on their right to obtain such reimbursement. Likewise, if you were on the job when injured, the worker's compensation insurance company will try to obtain reimbursement of their payments for medical expenses and lost wages. Again, there are significant limitations on their right to receive reimbursement. These are important issues that you need to understand prior to agreeing to any settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company.

Determining the appropriate value of a claim for personal injury due to a dog bite is complicated. It involves evaluating the nature and extent of the injury, the economic losses that are recoverable, and the liability issues related to the dog attack. The location where a trial would take place and any prior injuries suffered by the claimant are issues that are also factored into any evaluation of a personal injury claim. Since insurance companies have vast experience in evaluating personal injury claims and will seek to obtain the lowest settlement possible, it is important to have a person with considerable experience dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. Generally, it is best to retain an Atlanta dog bite lawyer who regularly handles personal injury claims and will be prepared to institute litigation on your behalf if the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim for a fair value.

If you wish to discuss your claim with an Atlanta dog bite lawyer without any charge or obligation, click here to contact us online.

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I was in a head-on collision last year that put me in a wheelchair with a fractured femur. I needed an attorney and my cousin recommended this firm because he had used Briant Mildenhall for his accident. I was glad I called Briant because he always did what he said he would do and kept me informed. We settled with the insurance company and I'm happy with the result. If someone I know needs an attorney, I will tell them to call Briant because he will get the job done. Michael G.
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After a head–on collision I had extremely serious injuries to my back and neck, and some internal injuries. I was airlifted to the hospital and started a huge amount of medical expenses accumulating. I hired a lawyer recommended by a friend but I was not satisfied. My cousin told me about this firm so I talked to Briant Mildenhall about handling the case. I was at ease from the get–go. Briant kept me informed all the way through, was always reassuring and did everything he said he would do. He helped us get the money we needed to get the treatment we needed. Briant was fantastic! Ronda W. (Car Accident)
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I was in a car accident that was complicated from the start. I looked on the internet and called a few different lawyers but they turned me down after they heard my story. When I called this firm Lyn Dodson asked me to talk to her in person. I met with Lyn and Rob Katz and after hearing my story they were confident I had a case. They vigorously pursued my case and over time we built a trusting relationship. Lyn even took time to help me with the traffic issues and other aspects of the case. They were always on my side and talked to me about the advantages and disadvantages of my options... Robert W. (Car Accident)
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I would recommend the law firm of Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC. Lyn Dodson was my attorney after my auto accident. I had confidence in her legal abilities and experience. She did a very good job for me. She was always there to answer the many questions I asked. The firm is very professional. Lyn always gave you her undivided attention. The firm, especially Lyn, worked with you like a long time friend. Joe B. (Auto Accident)
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I have nothing but good and positive things to say about Rob. One of the unique things about my case was that I was involved in a bicycle accident with another biker. He took an unorthodox case between two bicycle riders and he could see the logic and liability in it. I was very happy with the result. Rodney H. (Bicycle Accident)
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We just loved him to death. He acted like he cared about us, not just our case. He kept us posted on everything. He even called us on Sundays to update us. My case involved a rear-end collision where I had herniated disks and I had had a prior back injury. Complicated as it was, we were very happy with the outcome. Kathy H. (Car accident)
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Throughout the course of my case, Mr. Katz kept me informed about its status, returned my telephone calls and was very attentive to my needs and concerns. Simply put, he cared not just about my case, but about me. Joseph B.
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I was, and still am, extremely satisfied with Rob's work and with the outcome of my case. Rob strives to be there for his clients, and I was no exception...I would happily recommend Rob to anyone who is seeking legal assistance after suffering a severe injury. Joey E.
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