If you've ever been attacked or bitten by a dog, it was most likely when you least expected it. You may have been walking in your yard or neighborhood when a normally friendly dog attacked. Perhaps you went to pet "man's best friend" in a local park when it lunged. Whether you expect to be attacked or not, the injuries associated with animal attacks can change a person's life.
United States emergency care centers treat approximately 1,000 dog bites every day. You may find it surprising that your chances of being bitten by a dog are one in 50. Not so surprising is the fact that rottweilers and pit bulls can be held accountable for over 70 percent of all fatal attacks since 2005. According to historical data, there are certain dog breeds more likely to attack than others. These breeds include the obvious rottweilers and pits, as well as huskies, wolf hybrids, bullmastiffs, German shepherds, chows, and Dobermans.
Although certain breeds of dogs have a higher propensity for attacking, any K-9 is capable of inflicting serious injury. You should never attempt to pet a dog without letting it become familiar with your scent first. This can be done by allowing it to sniff the back of your hand. One should also be weary of dogs that are tethered or tied up, as this could be a sign of vicious propensities. In the event that a dog attacks you, do not run. It is natural for dogs to chase things that are running. Simply remain immobile with your arms to your sides if a dog advances. In the event that a K-9 knocks you over, roll into a ball and stay still. These safety tips are in addition to the obvious ones, such as not interrupting a K-9 that is eating, sleeping, or near its puppies. Children should be taught dog etiquette at a young age as well, as a majority of dog bite victims are young kids.
In the event of an animal attack in Georgia, the first step is to seek medical attention immediately. Injuries may seem insignificant at first, but can lead to more serious conditions later on. Victims should also request the name and address of the animal's owner. This information can be used to file a report with animal control offices or law enforcement officials. Witnesses' contact information should be gathered and photographs of the attack site should be taken. Victims should also take pictures of the injuries immediately after the accident, as well as in the days following as the wounds heal. Whether you plan to file a
personal injury claim against the animal's owner or not, these steps should be taken to protect your legal rights.
Georgia Dog Bite Laws
Every state has different laws in regards to the regulation of dogs. In addition to the common leash laws in many states, a vast amount of cities in the United States have approved laws for specific dangerous breeds. While Georgia's dog bite statute is not as lax as some states', it could be improved. It is currently difficult to make a Georgia dog bite personal injury claim because victims must prove grounds for liability. OCGA 51-2-7, Georgia's dog bite statute, details two methods that a dog owner can be proven guilty of negligence. Victims must prove that the animal in question was dangerous, that the owner had prior knowledge of this vicious propensity, and that they did not manage the animal appropriately in regards to that viciousness. Local ordinances often require that animals be on a leash while in public and be enclosed in a fence, pen, or structure that keeps the K-9 on the owner's property.
The dog bite laws for counties and cities throughout the state of Georgia can be confusing and misleading. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced dog bit attorney as soon as possible after an animal attack to understand your local laws. Attorney Andrew Jones has represented personal injury victims for over 18 years and understands the laws regarding animal owners' liability in the event of an attack. Proving liability in a metro-Atlanta dog bite claim may seem simple, but it is often a complex process. If you or someone you know is injured by an animal, you may have legal rights to
compensation for your injuries and suffering. Our
Marietta injury lawyers understand what it takes to represent your claim and want to help. Contact our office by phone at (770) 427-5498 or
online today for more information and
affordable personal injury representation.