Although they can be great companions, dogs also have the potential to be extraordinarily dangerous if proper care is not taken. Were you bitten by a dog in Spalding County, Fayette County, or elsewhere in northern Georgia? It is crucial that you have an understanding of how our state handles dog bite liability. A Tyrone dog bite attorney provides a comprehensive guide to the dog bite injury laws in Georgia.
Georgia is a So-Called “One Bite” State
Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7), dog bite liability claims are subject to a “one-bite” rule. Unlike in some other states, a dog owner in Georgia is not always strictly liable for a dog bite. Instead, a dog owner is liable only if they know or should have known that their animal was dangerous. It is sometimes referred to simply as the ‘one-bite rule’ because a prior biting incident is definitive proof that a dog is dangerous.
Three Things that You Need to Prove to Establish Liability in a Dog Bite Case
When pursuing a dog bite case, it is essential to establish liability to hold the dog owner accountable for the damages caused. To successfully prove liability, you need to present evidence to prove:
- Dangerous Dog: You must establish that the dog in question has a history of dangerous behavior or a propensity to bite. Evidence may include previous bite incidents or otherwise aggressive tendencies. A prior bite is not technically required to prove a dog is dangerous.
- Careless Management: The dog owner’s negligence in handling or controlling their pet is another critical factor in determining liability. Examples of careless management include allowing the dog to roam off-leash in a public area, inadequate fencing, or failure to heed local leash laws.
- No Provocation: Lastly, it is crucial to prove that the victim did not provoke the dog in any way. Instances of provocation might include teasing, hitting, or cornering the dog, which could give the owner a defense against liability.
Recovering Financial Compensation for a Dog Bite in Georgia
The large majority of dog bite injury claims in Georgia are handled by insurance companies, usually homeowners’ insurance carriers. Unfortunately, insurers are focused on resolving their liability for the minimum amount possible. They try to pay less. Our Georgia dog bite injury lawyers go above and beyond to help victims maximize their recovery. You may be entitled to recover financial compensation for:
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills;
- Physical and mental rehabilitation;
- Lost wages or loss of future earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Disability; and
- Wrongful death.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top Georgia Dog Bite Injury Attorney
At the Jewkes Law Firm, LLC, our Tyrone dog bite lawyers are committed to raising the bar. We go above and beyond to help dog bite victims get justice and the maximum compensation. Hurt by a dangerous dog? We are more than ready to help. Contact our law firm today to set up your no-cost, no-obligation initial appointment. With law offices in Tyrone and Griffin, we represent injured victims in Spalding County, Fayette County, and throughout the entire Atlanta metro area.