According to the CDC, approximately 4.7 million dog bite attacks occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those attacks result in medical care. The U.S. population is approximately 325.7 million people as of 2017. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 70 people in America, and more troubling than that, dogs are attacking children at an increasingly high rate.
Most dog bites occur in or around the home or at public parks such as nature parks or dog parks. Why do dogs bite? With the rare exception, dogs bite because the are afraid. Most common situations which result in dog bites are:
- Dogs bite as a reaction to a stressful situation.
- They may be scared or threatened.
- To protect themselves, their puppies, or their owners.
- They’re not feeling well or if they’re startled.
- They may nip or bite during play (which is why rough play should be avoided to ensure you don’t overly excite your animal).
If you are the victim of a dog bite attack, your health and safety are always your most important concern. Get medical attention immediately, and by all means, if they suggest that you be taken to the hospital for treatment, go. If possible, obtain as much information about the dog, its owner and any witnesses. If you are able to call police, do so and make sure that you obtain a copy of the police report, or if that is not available, the name of the officer and police department that responds to the incident, and any identify information that will allow you or your attorney to obtain a cop of the police report in the future. This is important, because the basic facts of the case should be reduced to writing, witnesses and contact information for these witnesses should be memorialized, and a record of the attack should be made by the proper authorities so there is not doubt about what happened and when. In addition, if animal control is called, you, or someone on your behalf should seek similar information from animal control, obtain the court date scheduled by them, and calendar when the citation hearing is scheduled for.
Dog bite attacks often result in serious injuries and the damages related to these cases can add up quickly. If the dog bite is serious, you should contact an experienced law firm that can represent you during the initial process and all the way through trial, if the case winds up being tried to verdict. Another reason to seek legal representation early in this process is that these types of cases are often covered by homeowners insurance (or commercial insurance if the dog attack happened on a business premises) and there are many deadlines and requirements that must be followed in order to ensure compliance with the insurance contracts in place. Some of these duties are not apparent.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling dog bite cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of negligence for over 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties in Georgia. He has also represented many clients who live in nearby cities such as Alpharetta, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you or a family member has been seriously injured as a result of a dog bite or other act of negligence on the part of someone else and would like to discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.