It is common to assume that another person’s dog is as friendly as your own. In fact, under Georgia law, dogs are considered harmless. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. One of the most common injuries to children involve animal attacks or dog bites. If you or your loved one was injured by a dog, you’ll have to take legal action to receive compensation, which can cover medical bills, emotional suffering and more. While there are legal statutes in Georgia that cover injuries caused by dog bites, there are also many regulations and limitations surrounding these types of personal injury cases. It is beneficial to have a dog bite injury lawyer by your side to help you navigate your legal steps.
In general, if you’re planning to file a claim against a dog owner because their dog bit you, you can expect the following qualifications for a chance at a successful case:
Prove the dog was vicious or dangerous.
Again, dogs are viewed as harmless under Georgia law. Therefore, victims of a dog attack must prove the dog was not harmless and was instead displayed vicious or dangerous propensities.
Prove dog owner knew the dog was dangerous.
It will also be important to prove that the owner of the dog had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression. If the owner did know of any past instances of the dog’s aggression, it can be deemed to fall under the “one bite rule” in Georgia, which excuses the dog owner from liability of an isolated incident.
Prove dog owner was negligent in restraining dog.
Many dog bite injury cases involve proving negligence. In this situation, it is negligence to restrain an aggressive dog or allowing the dog to roam unleashed. Georgia law tends to favor dog owners when it comes to dog bite cases, so it is important to have strong evidence of negligence as well as adequate knowledge of the leash ordinances that exist in each county. If you can prove the dog that attacked you was off a leash in a county where leashes are required, it can make your case much easier.
Prove the dog was not provoked.
If you can’t prove that you or your child did not provoke the dog before the attack, there is a strong possibility that Georgia court rulings will side in favor of the dog owner. To hold the owner responsible, you must prove there was no act of provocation. It varies from case to case as to what is considered “provocation,” so an experienced lawyer can be essential in this step.
Let a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Help
Dog bite injury cases can be complex and challenging to fight, especially in a state where dogs are viewed as harmless until proven otherwise. Dr. Darrell T. Farr is a skilled personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases, especially those that involve children. To schedule your consultation and determine if you have grounds for a dog attack injury claim, please call our Woodstock office today.