As a lawyer in Atlanta who has handled many cases involving dog attacks resulting in severe and permanent injuries in Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County, as recently reported, the following scenario is typical:
A Gwinnett resident on a walk after dinner attacked by two dogs and needing immediate surgery. A quick investigation turns up the fact that this attack is not isolated and, in fact, the client is one of three people seriously injured after being attacked by the dogs, who had gotten loose from a home in Lawrenceville. After the attack, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare captured the dogs and cited their owners. The dogs were euthanized and tested negative for rabies.
The victim of the dog attack was walking home from a local park, minding his own business when the loose pack of dogs jumped on him and began ripping into his arms, legs and other body parts. The attack was witnessed by others who stopped and began trying to pull the vicious dogs off the helpless victim. Other neighbors tried, in vain, to help the elderly man as he was being attacked by a number of pit bulls at the same time.
The elderly man suffered extensive wounds and is rushed to the Gwinnett Medical Center emergency room to treat three large holes in his leg. Despite emergency treatment to address the wounds caused by this negligent pit bull attack, doctors fear that the elderly man may have lost his leg if surgery had not been performed immediately, and then the fear of losing his leg from a subsequent infection caused by the attack.
As is typical in these types of attacks (i.e., an innocent person out for a walk in the neighborhood, usually very young or very old, usually not suspecting anything when more than one pit bulls sneak up on them and viciously attack them with a clear intent to kill), both of the victim’s arms are slashed all the way up with bandages and his body is covered with slashing wounds from the dogs’ teeth. Surgery is a must, in may instances to not only to close the wounds but to save the victim’s life. Due to the severe nature of the injuries. a lengthy hospital stay is often required to fully recover.
Once the dog bite victim is stabilized, out of immediate danger of dying, and released from the hospital, the doctors must re-evaluate the extent of the injuries to determine if they may need to perform skin grafts or plastic surgery to manage the wounds on a more permanent basis. Often though, parts of the victims’ face, arms, legs and torso are so damaged that plastic surgery cannot be performed until many months after the initial attack wounds heal, if ever.
This is the a new case. But the facts are similar to other cases involving Gwinnett dog bite cases that I have handled over the years. What is noteworthy to me is: the dogs involved in the attacks are almost always pit bulls, the dogs are almost always roaming on the streets of a Gwinnett county neighborhood, the victim is almost always very young or very old, the dogs have almost always escaped after being barricaded in a yard or tied up in a pen, and the owners of the dogs almost never with the dogs when the attack occurs.
There are many laws and legal theories that allow for substantial recoveries for the victims of these types of attacks that occur without provocation or warning. Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dog attack 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 Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County, which is a frequent venue for serious dog bite cases. If you have been injured in a dog bite case and would like to discuss your situation in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.