Each state has different statutes regarding bringing a lawsuit for dog
bite injuries. In the state of Georgia, the law typically falls in favor
of dog owners instead of victims of attacks. This is due to the requirement
of proof that more than a single ground for liability exists. In many
other U.S. states, only a single ground of proof of liability is needed
to bring a suit for damages. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however,
that the animal in question must have attacked another person prior. There
are a variety of methods of proving multiple grounds of liability.
Georgia statute provides two basic methods of proving dog bite liability:
- The first is to prove that the dog’s owner had previous knowledge
of the animal’s dangerous temperament. This could come in the form
of a previous attack or animal control report. This also requires that
the animal be carelessly managed in a way that led to the injury-causing incident.
- The second liability proof method is by using local ordinance leash laws.
If your local county or city requires the use of leashes on dogs outside
their homes, but a dog not on a leash in a public locale attacked you
– you may have grounds for a claim. Under this method, the owner
is not required to have had previous knowledge of viciousness in the animal.
In both situations, the dog’s owner would have exhibited a certain
amount of carelessness, which led to another’s injury. The exception
to either of these liability provisions is that if an animal were teased,
abused, or otherwise provoked the owner cannot be held liable.
Possible reimbursements that may be required by at-fault parties can include
medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. In the event that
an animal has previous attacks on its record, more extensive punitive
damages may be required.
Jones & Swanson’s Attorneys Andrew Jones and Chase Swanson have
represented numerous victims of dog bite accidents, from young children
to adults. We have the knowledge and experienced needed to know whether
you have a claim, as well as whether it should be settled or tried. For
more information about a possible Georgia dog attack legal claim, call
our office today for a free consultation at 770-427-5498.