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Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Biting Hand

Dog owners hold the responsibility to keep others safe from their pets. When a dog bite occurs in the state of Georgia, the dog owner is held liable for any damages and is considered negligent according to a modified version of the one bite rule. For example, if the dog attack was completely unprovoked or the dog was not on a leash, dog bite victims can seek a settlement for their injuries. Once you’ve suffered a dog bite injury, you can begin collecting information about your case so that you have evidence to support your claim. An Atlanta dog bite lawyer will represent your case using the proof you provide and any evidence they find. To get more information about how to initiate a dog bite settlement claim, speak to Atlanta dog bite lawyers today. Contact Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. for a free consultation today to learn more. 

Can I sue for a dog bite in Georgia? 

Dog bite victims can potentially receive compensation from the dog owner, but the best approach isn’t to sue. Rather, Atlanta dog bite lawyers will help you negotiate a settlement using the evidence from your dog bite case. Most dog bite cases are settled outside of court, which means that the dog’s owner should eventually agree to a settlement offer. Only if the dog owner decides not to settle would your dog bite attorney advise you to file a lawsuit. 

How much can I seek in compensation for a dog bite? 

The compensation you can receive is entirely based on the severity of your dog bite injuries. In general, a dog bite injury can cause you to experience economic and non-economic damages, which can include the following:

Medical Bills

In most cases, you will have to get medical treatment before you file a dog bite injury claim. Not only should you seek medical attention to help you recover from your wounds, but also because you will need the bills for your dog bite case. Your doctor will treat your injuries and any possible infections caused by the dog bite. All of your medical bills resulting from the dog bite injury will be included in your personal injury claim. This can include medication, imaging scans, blood tests, physical therapy, surgery, medical devices, and more. An experienced dog bite lawyer will also calculate how much you expect to continue paying in medical bills in the future. 

Lost Income

Your dog bite accident may have resulted in you requiring time off from work, causing you to lose wages. When you are unable to work because of serious injuries, your dog bite lawyer will also include this in your settlement to compensate you for the lost income. Lost wages include any past, present, and future income. 

Pain And Suffering

Pain and suffering are among the non-economic damages that your personal injury lawyer can calculate based on how badly you were injured. You may be struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, shame, and other negative emotions. Because dog bites are incredibly traumatizing, the fear of dogs after the incident is not uncommon. PTSD caused by a dog bite is one of the non-economic damages a victim can suffer.  

How much is a fine for a dog bite in Georgia? 

Angry Dog

In Georgia, negligent owners responsible for dog attacks must also pay a fine and might also go to jail. Atlanta dog owners must pay a fine of up to $5,000 and could be penalized with up to a year in prison the first time their dog bites a victim. The dog is then considered vicious even if it had no previous history of attacking anyone. 

Common Dog Bite Injuries 

After a dog attack, you likely will have several injuries because of the dog bites. Dog bites are rated on a scale from one to five. Here are some of the types of dog attack wounds a victim might experience: 

Puncture Wounds

Dog bites will sometimes cause deep puncture wounds if the dog clamped onto a body part. Dog bites that cause puncture wounds are considered to be level three or four on the dog bite severity scale. Puncture wounds cause severe bleeding, muscle tissue injuries, and other complications.  

Eye Injuries

Dogs can attack the eye region, resulting in periocular or eye injuries. Eye injuries cause damage to the bony orbit, globe, rectus muscles, lacrimal gland, levator muscle, canaliculi, and facial nerve. Because of the dog bite attack, you can be temporarily or permanently blinded in one or both eyes. 

Nerve Damage

Dog bite attacks are also known to cause damage to the nerves. For example, neurapraxia is a form of nerve damage that happens when trauma forces nerves to stretch incorrectly. Symptoms of neuropraxia are numbness, stinging, burning, and other uncomfortable sensations. Nerve damage often causes partial to full disability and can require surgery and physical therapy. 

Face Injuries

When a dog attacks your face, you could experience swelling to the face, mouth, tongue, and airway. Dog bites can crush the mandible bones and sinus airways. These attacks can also create other fractures in the facial bones. 

Head And Neck Injuries

Dog bites to the neck region are dangerous because of the veins in the throat. The force of a dog bite has the ability to crush the airway, the esophagus, blood vessels, and nerves. It is also possible to get knocked over after a dog attack, potentially resulting in a concussion if you hit your head on the ground. 

Broken Or Fractured Bones

The force of a dog bite can be between 230 to 250 psi and more. A dog can fracture and crush bones in the arms, legs, hands, feet, ankles, wrists, and face. If you are pushed to the ground, you could also break or fracture bones. Surgery, casts, and physical therapy will be required for broken or fractured bones.  


A dog’s bite can cause substantial scarring, sometimes resulting in disfigurement. Dog bite scars can be permanent and often have a psychological impact on the victim. Permanent scars can cause a poor body image, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Scar tissue can also be painful and uncomfortable if it is extremely severe, limiting sensation in the affected area. Surgical procedures are often required to reduce or remove heavy scarring. 

Tissue And Muscle Damage

Dog bites often penetrate deep into the muscle tissue. This can cause muscular sarcoidosis, which results in limited mobility, joint issues, and inflammation. When the dog bite is extremely severe, it can cause nerve and tendon damage. Arms, legs, wrists, and ankles can lose function, resulting in temporary or permanent disability. 

Bacterial Infection

Most dog bites require antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections from spreading. The pet owner may not have given their dog a rabies shot, which means you will have to get tested for rabies. Your doctor will perform a lab test to identify any infectious diseases you received from the dog. Other infections you can get from the dog include sepsis and tetanus. About 50% of dog bites result in streptococcus, staphylococcus, capnocytophaga, and Pasteurella bacterial infections. Antibiotics like amoxicillin-clavulanate can help with the infection. You might also need intravenous therapy to help you recover from an infectious dog bite.  

How Do Dog Bite Attorneys Help?

Your Atlanta dog bite attorney will prove how you are owed compensation by filing a claim. They determine who can be held liable for the dog bite, which typically is the dog owner or the person who is responsible for making sure the dog stays under control. They will also gather evidence to prove your dog bite claim to make sure you receive full compensation for your damages. The dog bite lawyer will review your dog bite injuries to better understand how severe your wounds are and will accurately calculate a fair settlement amount. Once how much you are owed is established, your attorney will seek a settlement by negotiating the amount with the dog owner. Your attorney must do this within the two-year limit from the date of the dog attack according to Georgia’s statute of limitations. The attorney will update you on the progress of the personal injury claim and request any additional information if necessary. They may call on eyewitnesses and investigate your claim to find more proof. 

Ask An Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer All Of Your Questions

If you have additional questions, direct them to an experienced dog bite law firm that can provide knowledgeable answers. Your dedicated attorney will work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees. Instead, once you receive a settlement, your attorney gets a percentage of your compensation. If you were bitten by a dog and need help proving your claim, call us now. Contact Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. for a free consultation and to learn more about how much you may be owed in compensation.