Understanding Dog Bite Laws in Georgia
Many dog bite victims are not only left with painful physical injuries, but trauma that lasts long after the wounds have healed. Severe injuries, and even catastrophic ones, may result from a dangerous dog attack. So, know your rights and the dog bite laws in Georgia after you’ve been victim of an animal attack.
If you have been bitten by a dangerous dog, contact Ross Moore Law today.
Dog bite laws vary from state to state, making it incredibly important that your dog bite lawyer is local – and experienced in handling cases like yours. Attorney Ross Moore and our Atlanta personal injury lawyers will fight to hold the dog’s owner accountable and to maximize the compensation you receive. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!
What is the One Bite Rule?
Some states observe the “One Bite Law” which states that a dog’s owner is liable for damages if they knew (or reasonably should have known) about the dog’s aggressive nature. Keep in mind that a dog is not considered vicious unless it has bitten another person in the past.
Put simply, the law holds owners accountable only if they knew that their dog was potentially dangerous and failed to take the necessary precautions.
Dog Bite Laws in Georgia: What You Need to Know
Dog bite laws in Georgia follows a modified version of the One Bite Rule, only holding a dog’s owner responsible if they knew their dog was dangerous and did not do anything to prevent an attack. We we layout how Georgia laws address dob bite and liability of the owner:
Strict Liability Laws
Georgia is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that dog owners are held liable for any injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether or not they had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
One Bite Rule Exception
As stated previously, there is an exception to Georgia’s strict liability laws known as the “one bite rule“. Under this rule, if a dog has never bitten anyone before and the owner had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous, they may not be held liable for injuries caused in the first bite incident.
In addition to strict liability laws, Georgia also has negligence laws in place for dog bite incidents. This means that if an individual can prove that a dog owner was negligent in controlling or restraining their dog, they may be held liable for any injuries caused by the dog.
If you were injured by a dog, your Atlanta dog bite lawyer will fight for the compensation you deserve. Here at Ross Moore Law, to prove that the dog owner is liable, we will gather evidence to show their negligence.
What Can Damages Victims Recover After a Dog Bite Injury
After suffering a dog bite, you may be eligible for several types of damages, including the following:
- Economic: These damages are intended to compensate for financial losses, like medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury-related costs.
- Non-economic: Intangible damages like these are more difficult to quantify, including pain and suffering, anxiety, depression, and more.
- Punitive: These damages are not awarded often, but are intended to deter the at-fault party from acting in a grossly negligent or intentionally harmful way again in the future,
For Dog Owners: What Happens If a Dog Bites Someone on Your Property?
In some instances, a dog that does not belong to you may bite someone while on your property. Stray dogs or those belonging to neighbors may enter your property, potentially injuring someone else. If an incident occurs, you may be held liable as the property owner. The dog bite victim may file a premises liability claim because you failed to protect them.
The status of the person on your property is key. Here’s what you need to know:
Status #1 Invitee
If you invite someone onto your property, it is your responsibility to let them know about any potential risks. Even if the dog is not yours, you may be required to pay damages for any injuries that result.
Status #2: Licensee
A licensee is someone who enters your property with your permission, such as a landscaper or a handyman doing work outside. You are liable for any losses if you fail to warn the licensee of danger or fail to fix a dangerous situation.
Status #3: Trespasser
In most cases, property owners are not liable if a trespasser is bitten by a dog while on the property illegally or without permission.
For Dog Owners: How to Prevent Dog Attacks
Start training and socializing your dog at an early age, to help them become well-adjusted and well-behaved. Teach your dog basic obedience commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” and reinforce these commands with positive reinforcement techniques.
OBSERVE YOUR DOG’S EMOTIONS
Educate yourself on the body language and behavior of dogs so that you can recognize when your dog is feeling anxious, stressed, or aggressive, and take steps to prevent a bite.
USE A LEASH
Keep your dog on a leash in public places, and supervise them closely when they are around unfamiliar people or animals.
Spay or neuter your dog, as this can reduce aggressive behavior.
Provide your dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, to help them release pent-up energy and stay calm and well-behaved.
KEEP THEM HEALTHY
Keep your dog up to date on their vaccinations and regular check-ups to ensure they are healthy and free of diseases that could make them more aggressive.
KEEP THEM COMFORTABLE
Be a responsible dog owner, do not leave your dog alone for long periods of time, and ensure they have access to food, water, and a comfortable place to rest.
BE MINDFUL OF NEW GUEST
Always supervise children and other family members when they are interacting with your dog, and teach them how to safely approach and interact with dogs.
KEEP IMPORTANT DOCUMENTATION READY
In case of an emergency, always keep contact information of a veterinarian, animal control and a dog bite attorney, so you are prepared for any situation.
I’ve Been Bite by a Dog, What Can I Do Next?
If you have been injured in a dog attack, contact Ross Moore Law today! Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys are equipped to fight for you, gathering the evidence needed to strengthen your dog bite case. We’ll even handle all communication with the insurance company, so you can focus on your recovery!
Visit us or message us today to schedule your free consultation!
Conveniently located in Atlanta, GA, Ross Moore Law is proud to serve clients throughout Georgia – in Athens, Marietta, Peach Tree, Alpharetta, Macon and beyond! Our team also serves clients in Tennessee.
In addition to dog bite claims, our law firm handles a wide range of personal injury cases, including:
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