Dog Bites Can Leave You Seriously Injured; Hire The Firm That Bites Back

The team at Morrison & Hughes is the best at what they do; helping you receive every benefit and recovery you deserve under the law.

Practice Area: Dog Bites

The guidelines for liability and damages when a person is bitten by a dog are extremely nuanced and complicated, with Georgia being one of the most complex states for navigating a dog bite case. In any serious dog bite situation, it's important to contact an attorney early to make sure you take all the correct steps to protect yourself and your potential recoveries. Don't settle for any less than the most experienced personal injury lawyers in the state of Georgia to help you with your dog bite injury case. 

Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyer 

Dog owners have a legal responsibility to prevent their pets from injuring others. If you or a family member has been attacked by an animal, please contact us to schedule your free legal consultation. Our attorneys have over 75 years of combined trial experience, with specific expertise in handling dog bites. Call us today at 404-800-LAWS (5297) to discuss your rights and the potential value of your case.

Common Animal Injury Claims

  • Puncture Wounds
  • Broken Bones
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Severe pain

What Should You Do If You Get Bitten by a Dog?

  • In an Emergency, Call 911. Keep in mind that this call will be recorded. 
  • Get the full name and phone number of each dog owner. If they will let you take a picture of their drivers’ licenses, that is an easy way to get what you need.
  • Seek Medical Attention Immediately. If you need emergency care, that’s your top priority. If your injury is serious enough to require medical attention, get it quickly. If you have health insurance, notify the hospital and ask them to bill it. Also, be honest and thorough when completing medical intake forms – keep in mind that you are creating the medical evidence that a jury may some day see. Keep records from doctor's office or hospital visits, along with copies of bills, to give to your lawyer.
  • Ask whether the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, or if has other conditions or illnesses you should be aware of. Keep in mind that dog bites can transmit rabies, MRSA, tetanus, and other illnesses.
  • Get Insurance Information. If the owners have liability insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or renter’s insurance, get the name of the insurer, as well if the policy number if possible.
  • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. The people present at the time you were injured can vouch for your version of events, and help you prove your case. You and the dog's owner may later disagree about liability.
  • Take pictures. If you can, get a picture of the dog, your injuries, and anything in the area that supports your version of what happened. For example, an open gate or a hole in the fence that the dog came through can demonstrate that a dog was not properly enclosed. A picture of the dog may prove that it did not have a leash on.
  • Write a Letter to Your Attorney (even if you don’t have one yet). This allows you to document your injuries as best you can in a way that is not discoverable. Writing down the details of what happened while it’s fresh in your memory may give your (future) attorney the key information needed to prove your case.
  • Talk to Your Employer: If you were injured by an animal on the job, even if no one was at fault, you have a workers’ compensation claim. You should immediately report it to a supervisor, preferably in writing, listing each part of your body that was injured. You may also have short-term disability or long-term disability insurance of your own through your job. Finally, your employer can keep records of time that you miss from work due to your injuries, which will support your eventual lost wage claim.

What To Do If You are Bitten by a Dog?

Dog safety begins with the dog owner. Insurance companies are aware that people are sometimes irresponsible, negligent, or even cruel with their pets, creating dangerous animals. Thus, several common types of insurance cover animal attacks, including most Homeowner’s Insurance and Renter’s Insurance policies, along with some General Liability policies. This means that a claim can be filed without fear that the homeowner will face serious financially harm, or escape responsibility by declaring bankruptcy, because insurance is available to cover your damages. As experienced dog bite attorneys, Morrison & Hughes will:

  • Know where to find out about applicable insurance, and how to file those claims
  • Help figure out if the dog received rabies vaccinations, which impacts your medical care
  • Know how to get veterinary records for the dangerous animal
  • Determine the size of the animal and whether the breed has vicious characteristics.
  • Determine whether the animal has bitten or attacked other people.
  • Send open records requests to animal control
  • Know how to get any 911 call recordings
  • Know how to get police, fire department, or animal control body camera footage related to the attack.

If you or a loved one were bit by a dog, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the dog owner or owner’s insurance. Document everything including any medical visits, time missed from work, and insurance company conversations. Where possible, get all communications in writing.

How Much is My Dog Bite Case Worth?

Getting bitten by a dog is often traumatic, and serious injuries require an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney. If you were bitten by a dog, requiring medical attention, you are likely entitled to financial compensation under Georgia law. However, the amount you can receive will depend on the extent of your injuries, the medical bills that you incur, lost wages, and the other circumstances of your case. Our attorneys work to gather proof of your injuries, then negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, and file a lawsuit when necessary. Claims against owners for dog bites can lead to compensation in the form of money damages, including economic damages, non-economic damages, and maybe even punitive damages.

Damages Available After a Fatal Dog Bite Injury

Fatal attacks are tragic, and the entire family experiences a loss. The spouse and minor children of a victim are entitled to substantial damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. On top of burial and funeral costs, this compensation includes loss of companionship, and income that the victim would have earned during their life, and sometimes punitive damages.

Does Every Dog Get One Bite?

You may have heard that every dog gets one bite, and it’s true that some states have a “one-bite” law. In those states, dog owners are not automatically liable for harm caused by a dog, unless that dog has attacked or bitten someone in the past. How could the owner know the dog is dangerous, one might argue, unless that dog has been aggressive in the past?

Georgia’s law, however, is a little bit different. We could call it a “modified” one-bite rule. In Georgia, city laws called “ordinances” come into play. Most cities and localities have “leash laws”. The law presumes that a dog owner is responsible for any injury caused by the dog if: (1) there is a city ordinance requiring the animal to be on a leash or at heel; and (2) the dog is off leash when the bite occurs. Across Atlanta, in almost all public areas, dogs are required to be on leash. (Except for dog parks, of course). Therefore, in most places in Georgia, the owner of an off-leash animal is liable for injuries caused by that animal, because they allowed the animal to roam free, negligently failing to control the animal.

There is no separate requirement to prove that the dog is “viscous” or “dangerous” or that the dog had behaved aggressively before. As long as there was a leash law, and the owner ignored it by having the dog off leash, the statute imposes liability on the owner for any resulting injuries.

Are there Exceptions to These Rules?

Yes, and an experienced attorney can walk you through them. For example, the law makes an exception when the person claiming injury first provoked the animal. Likewise, dogs do not have to be on-leash in every location, such as in a private home or enclosed yard. In those situations, there must be proof of some greater negligence by the dog owner, or proof that the owner knew about past vicious behavior by the animal. Likewise, different rules apply to dogs than might apply to other domesticated animals, police K-9s, and farm animals. Additionally, if a dog has been classified as dangerous through a specific legal process, the owner may be required to purchase and maintain additional insurance. Courts may require such dog owners to take additional precautions, and the owner can face criminal penalties for non-compliance. 

Should I Call Animal Control Related to an Animal Attack?

Calling your county Animal Control Service after an animal attack, is important for several reasons. First, it gets a neutral government agency involved to document the bite and to issue any citations to the animal owner for misconduct. Second, if the animal’s owner is not present, or they are unwilling to provide you with their name and phone number, Animal Control can help you track down the dog’s owner and obtain the information which you will need for any insurance claim. Finally, Animal control can help get the dangerous animal off the street, preventing other people from getting injured.

To find your local animal control phone number, just Google your county and “Animal Control.” For your convenience, major metro Atlanta animal control numbers are provided below, along with numbers for other large Georgia counties:


Call Our Atlanta Dog Bite Injury Law Firm Today

Searching online for a “dog bite attorney near me” brings up a slew of results, including amateur attorneys claiming to be experts without much real experience with personal injury claims. By comparison, the Morrison & Hughes team has a history of multi-million-dollar results and has handled some of the biggest injury claims in Georgia.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, or attacked by someone else’s animal, contact Morrison & Hughes today for a free consultation.

Consultations Are Always Free

You can learn a lot from a simple conversation. Talk with one of the experts at Morrison & Hughes to get a feel for how we work and get insight into your situation. We will always honor your time and give you the no-nonsense answers you need. 

We Can Come To You

Many of our clients have had their lives upended by injury or circumstances that make travel difficult. We work hard to accommodate your needs - often coming to you when you can't come to us. 

We FIGHT HARD for YOU

Ask our past clients or read our reviews and you'll see that we treat our clients like family. We don't call ourselves 'The Big Guns' for nothing- choosing to work with Morrison & Hughes is choosing to fight for what you deserve. 

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I had a major accident, so I needed an attorney that could handle a big case. My sister and I looked on the internet, and we chose Morrison & Hughes because they had such a good reputation. It was the right choice and I'm so glad that I didn't choose a TV lawyer! The lawyers at MH are friendly and easy to talk to. They understood how to handle my case from the beginning, even though it had a lot of complicated issues. I'm going to be recovering from my injuries for a long time, so I needed a lawyer who could go the distance

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To anyone reading this review I would like to say Jonathan Smith and Morrison & Hughes really helped me out when I needed it. I was going through a rough time with my injury and they were very helpful very informational and very concerning to my situation and after working with them and Jonathan Smith if I ever had another personal injury case or anything that they would represent they would be my first and only phone call. Thank you Jonathan Smith and Morrison & Hughes.

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I got into a work accident back in May 2019 and was preferred to Morrison and Hughes for my workers comp case to a lawyer here by the name of Mr.Paul Jenkins. Was by far the best lawyer I could've got for this type of case I mean he was amazing from day 1 with making sure all my concerns with appts anything doctor related he made sure he got it done. Now we have approached the end and he got me more than a fair settlement in my case and I could not be happier with his services. I recommend anybody who come across this firm with a worker's compensation case Paul Jenkins is your MAN. This is an amazing law firm all the way around and should be your choice if you are in need of a lawyer for the various reason they take care of.

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