May 2, 2024

What Damages Can I Recover in a Georgia Dog Bite Lawsuit?

You go to pet your neighbor’s new dog, only for that furball to greet you by chomping down on your hand. You end up with stitches and maybe a few lost paychecks if you have to take time off work to recover — and that’s if you’re lucky. Full-grown dogs can maim and even kill people in just seconds.

If you’ve suffered a dog attack, learn what compensation may be available with the help of a Georgia dog bite attorney.

Economic Damages in Animal Attack Claims

Economic damages are damages with a clear value attached. They include your dog attack-related medical bills, such as ambulance transportation, surgery, emergency care, and physical therapy. You can sue for both your current medical damages and any future care you might need.

Lost wages also count as economic damages. If you have to skip work because of your injuries, you can sue for lost earnings. If the attack left you so disabled that you can’t do your job anymore, your settlement might include money for the loss of earning potential.

Do you need therapy after a dog attack? These attacks can be very traumatic, so many dog bite victims do. If you’re seeing a therapist for accident-related anxiety or depression, your Georgia dog bite attorney will count that as part of your economic damages.

You may also want to sue for property damage if the dog destroyed your clothing or other belongings.

Non-Economic Damages in Canine Attack Cases

Non-economic damages are harder to calculate because they have no specific dollar value. If a dog bite left you in serious pain, for instance, how much is that worth? What if you’ve developed anxiety so severe that you fear leaving the house?

It’s possible to recover non-economic damages with a good canine attack lawyer. Your animal bite legal counsel will first tally up your economic damages, then multiply that amount by a factor of 1.5 to 5. They’ll then present that amount to the dog owner’s insurance company.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the insurer will agree to the first demand, and they often don’t. Even if the insurance company says no to your demand, it’s not the end of the road. A skilled dog injury compensation attorney will negotiate with the insurer to arrive at a fair amount.

Punitive Damages in Dog Bite Lawsuits

Sometimes, a judge may order the dog owner to pay punitive damages. These damages punish the owner for extreme negligence or malicious behavior.

The following situations might be eligible for punitive damages:

  • The owner knew their animal was dangerous, yet allowed it to run around the neighborhood freely.
  • An owner’s dog has bitten someone before, and they failed to secure the dog in a closed room before having guests over.
  • The owner ordered their dog to attack someone for coming onto their property.

Is It Worth Hiring a Pet Attack Injury Lawyer?

Dog bite cases can be complicated and stressful, especially if you know the dog owner personally. You’ll also have to deal with the owner’s insurance company. The insurance company or judge may reduce your settlement if you say the wrong thing. If you don’t keep good treatment records, the insurance company might not give you any money at all.

A dog bite attorney can help you avoid pitfalls like these, so hiring an attorney is often well worth it.

Our Law Firm Bites Back

If someone’s dog attacked you and you want compensation, The Foster Firm is here to help. We have more than 25 years of experience helping clients in Atlanta, Austell, Villa Rica, Lithia Springs, and nearby cities. Call (404) 975-4630 for a free consultation with a Georgia dog bite attorney now.