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How To File A Dog Bite Claim In Georgia

By Butler Prather LLP on July 8, 2020

Dogs are usually thought of as a person’s best friend. While dogs are arguably the most popular pet in the United States, the reality is that a dog bite can lead to severe injuries for a victim. The last thing that anybody expects is that they will sustain an injury caused by a dog bite. However, these incidents are not uncommon, and they can occur in public areas or at private residences. If you or somebody you care about has been injured by a dog bite, you need to know the steps to take to file a dog bite claim in Georgia.

Georgia dog bite

Is Georgia a “strict liability” dog bite state?

There are some states across the country that are considered “strict liability” dog bite states. In these areas, a dog’s owner can be held liable for any bite injuries that occur, regardless of whether or not the dog has ever been anybody before or was known to be aggressive. In those states, a dog’s owner does not necessarily have to be negligent in order for a claim to be successful.

However, anybody injured by a dog bite in Georgia will need to show the following in order to successfully recover compensation for their injuries:

  • That the animal was vicious or dangerous
  • That the owner was careless or negligent with animal or let it roam at liberty
  • That the injured person did not provoke the animal

The laws in Georgia also include injuries that are caused by other animals that a person may have in their possession. These laws also cover injuries other than those caused by a bite. For example, if a dog jumps on somebody, knocks them down, and causes an injury, then the injured person may be able to recover compensation (O.C.G.A. 51-2-7).

Most common dog bite injuries

There are various types of injuries that can occur when a dog bites a person. It is not uncommon for an injury victim to sustain the following:

  • Severe soft tissue damage including lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Severed veins, arteries, muscles, ligaments, or tendons
  • Finger amputations

Dog bite injuries can also cause significant scarring and disfigurement for victims that can reduce their quality of life and enhance pain and suffering damages. Dog bite victims often require extensive medical care and reconstructive procedures in order to make a full recovery.

Recovering compensation for a dog bite injury in Georgia can be difficult

Because Georgia is not a “strict liability” dog bite state, proving the negligence of the dog owner can be difficult. For example, suppose a person is walking down a public sidewalk and a person walking towards them has a dog that is not on a leash. If the dog comes up to the person walking and bites them, then the victim may argue they are entitled to compensation because the dog was not on its leash as legally required. However, under Georgia law, a dog not being on a leash is not enough to prove that the dog was “vicious” for purposes of recovering compensation.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to a dog bite, you need to speak to a skilled attorney about your case as soon as possible. An attorney will understand all else laws regarding dog bite cases in Georgia, work to evaluate your case, and determine whether or not you have a viable claim moving forward.

Speak with our Atlanta personal injury attorneys today at (404) 321-1700.

Posted in: Personal Injury

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