A K-9 unit was relieved of duty in San Diego after the dog bit its handler. This case illustrates that even a well-trained dog may attack and injure its owner, trainer or even innocent bystanders. So it is not surprising how many people are bitten by dogs each year.

The Georgia Department of Health reports that there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites throughout the United States in any given year. The numbers in most Georgia counties reach into the thousands. Nationally, around 800,000 dog bites reported annually require medical attention. In some cases, victims need hundreds of thousands of dollars in reconstructive surgery to recover. If you are seriously injured by a dog, it may be in your best interests to contact a personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation for pain and suffering along with medical bills and lost wages.

Georgia’s laws governing responsible dog ownership are extensive. Dogs considered to be vicious or dangerous in any way must be registered and restrained at all times following strict guidelines. A dog may inflict minor injury on a person or other pet one time. The second time, the dog is euthanized by the state with the owner paying the fees. In addition, owners may be fined up to $5,000 — it is a felony to fail to restrain a vicious dog attack — and receive jail time. However, if you are the victim of a vicious dog attack, getting medical attention for your injuries is paramount.

If you are bitten by a dog in Georgia, it’s important to gather all the relevant evidence and to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out if you are entitled to sue the owner for compensation.