Going to the park to enjoy the scenery or take a stroll is typically an enjoyable experience. There are people milling about, children playing and perhaps even a few artists strumming a tune on their guitars. But what happens when an unfortunate turn of events happens and you experience a park dog attack? In Atlanta, GA, there are rules and guidelines that you should know about in order for you to receive the best care and compensation after an accident like this happens to you. Many times, the financial fall out or the physical repercussions of a dog attack can be devastating. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A are here for you and more than willing to help you with your case. Before getting started, here are some basics that you need to know.
What should be my first steps after a dog attack?
- Get away from danger – Many times, the dog or animal that is doing the attacking will move or run away quickly, whether that be instinctual or because they understand that their action was wrong. If this is not the case, your first move should be to escape the dangerous situation. Run away or try to find something to shield yourself from the attack.
- Tend to the wound – When you’ve reached safety or after the animal has run away, it’s imperative to clean your wounds thoroughly with an antiseptic solution and an antibiotic ointment. It’s also a good idea to dress the wound with a bandage in order to avoid other potentially harmful germs or debris to make their way into the open wound and cause infection.
- Seek medical attention – Whether you’ve experienced a serious wound or not, it is a good idea to seek professional medical attention. Even superficial marks on the skin can be harmful, as dog bites can lead to a bacterial infection called tetanus. Additionally, if the dog’s medical history is unknown, a rabies shot might be in order. If the wound is more serious, medical attention will be necessary for potential stitches or sutures. Be sure to follow all directions from your professional thoroughly.
- Determine the dog’s information, health history and ownership if possible – We understand that sometimes it’s hard to determine these details about the dog who attacked you. Sometimes, it’s a stray or the animal runs away quickly and you can’t identify it. Other times, the owner might not be cooperative or might not have seen the attack. If possible, though, try to determine as much information as you can about the dog so you can report that information to medical authorities and to your lawyer. Pay careful mind to the animal’s size, what type of animal it is, and its coloring. Try to remember if the dog was on a leash or if the owner was in the direct vicinity.
- Write down every other detail about the attack – Did someone witness what happened? If so, write their name and contact information down. Take pictures of the scene. Try to remember exactly what was happening at the moment of attack and what you were doing.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible – If the animal attack you experienced has caused any type of harm or a serious bite, reach out to an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to learn about potential compensation for your losses. It’s important to have someone on your side to fight for your rights.
What should I know about Atlanta personal injury cases like mine?
First, you should always know that you are not alone! In its last published research, the Center for Disease Control estimated that over 4.7 million people per year suffer animal attacks. Almost 800,000 of those required medical care. While animals have a special place in our hearts, occasionally they are unpredictable or feel as if they are being threatened, which leads to a potential attack.
Second, you should know what to expect. There are a number of factors that are considered when dealing with dog attack cases. Your Atlanta personal injury attorney specializes in helping people just like you to understand what to expect and how cases like yours are handled. While the details of your specific case will depend on your situation, here are some examples of how you could qualify for compensation:
- Leash laws are broken or unmet – Each county has specific leash laws in relation to dogs being in a public space. Many times, all dogs in a public space are required to be on a leash and in direct proximity of the owner. The owner of the dog who attacked you is responsible for having met these requirements.
- The history of the dog shows past aggression – We can help you find out if the dog has a history of aggression or has attacked another animal or person in the past. If so, the owner will likely be held responsible for the actions of the animal.
- You have significant wounds, disfigurement, or psychological trauma – It’s important to document all wounds, whether physical or psychological in a personal injury case like this. Many times, after the physical effects are gone, emotional ones continue to rear their head.
- You have incurred medical bills or lost time from work – If a dog attack has caused you to gain significant medical bills or has resulted in lost time from work, it is important to document these facts with your attorney. All facets of your case are important in gaining the compensation you deserve.
Why is it important to seek an Atlanta personal injury attorney?
As we mentioned, it is imperative that you contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you have suffered an animal attack. Compensation can be gained depending on a variety of factors associated with your case and on specific laws associated with your area. The pain and suffering that happens as a result of these incidents can be crippling, and it is even more frustrating to have to deal with unsuitable settlement terms and uncooperative insurance companies on your own. Our skilled attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. would be happy to help you navigate this unfortunate circumstance, protect your rights, and get you the compensation that you need and deserve.