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Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney
Mr. Wotorson was named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the United States, an extremely elite group of attorneys in the country. Contact an Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney – If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to a dog bite or dog attack, our attorneys can help.
For example, Georgia has a “one bite” rule that states that the owner of a dog is liable for damages inflicted by his/her dog if the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s propensity to bite. O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7. The owner is expected to know of the dog’s propensity to bite people if the doghas bitten someone before. Hamilton v. Walker, 235 Ga. App. 635, 510 S.E. 2d 120 (1998). Once adog has bitten someone, the dog owner must register the dog with the Georgia Dangerous Dog Control Office as a “dangerous dog.” O.C.G.A. § 4-8-25.
Once a dog is designated as a dangerous dog, the dog’s owner essentially becomes the insurer of the dog. If the court finds that anyone is liable for the dog bite, the dog owner will be held solely liable for any injuries caused by a dangerous dog. O.C.G.A. § 4-8-30. For example, if the mailman leaves open a backyard gate that confines a dog registered as a dangerous dog, and the dog escapes and bites someone, the owner will be 100% liable for the dog bite, notwithstanding that the mailman contributed to the dog running loose.
If a stray bites you, you have little legal recourse because you must file your claim against a dog’s owner or keeper. Your municipality is not responsible for the dog, even if you have called the animal warden several times to pick up the stray.
In all dog bite cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the incident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog bite, call our dog bite lawyers. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
There are many good reasons to hire a lawyer to handle a dog bite claim. Generally, an insurance adjuster will offer a victim 10% to 20% of what he would offer if the victim had an attorney. The insurer itself will end up keeping the other 80% to 90%. Since a lawyer works on a contingency basis and takes only 33%, a victim who has an attorney therefore will receive 66% — far more than the 10% to 20% that he could get for himself.
Getting a lawyer is not the same thing as suing. A good attorney knows how to present a case to an insurance company so that the claim gets resolved without it going to court. At least 98% of bodily injury cases settle out of court, without a trial. Therefore a person who retains an attorney is not making matters worse, but actually is probably ensuring that the claim will be handled more quickly and efficiently.
A victim who is disfigured may have a very, very substantial claim for loss of future earning capacity, based on sociological and psychological research. Proving an earning capacity loss is considered to be a specialize topic even among lawyers, and is completely beyond the ability of an accident victim. Since this can be the largest portion of the loss over the years, it is essential that an experienced attorney handle this for the victim.
Retaining a lawyer early in the process enables the insurance company to make a better estimate of the amount of compensation that the victim must receive. Experienced attorneys can offer guides and key evidence to the insurance adjuster; the victims themselves do not know what information to give, or even where to locate it. If a proper evaluation is done soon after the accident, the claim is that much easier to settle. An inexperienced person runs the clear risk of passing along the wrong information and insufficient evidence, thus making the process longer, error-prone and more difficult.
Contact THE WOTORSON FIRM, LLP in Atlanta TODAY for a free consultation.