Dog Bite Cases In Georgia

Georgia injury lawyers see numerous dog bite cases every year. More than 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year. Nearly one out of every six bites are serious enough to require medical attention. Georgia’s “Dog Bite Statute,” provides, in part: “A person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and who, by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured.”
Absent a local leash law, a dog owner is not under a duty to confine it or otherwise protect others from it until the owner becomes aware of the dogs vicious or dangerous propensities. This doctrine has given rise to the popular, but not legally accurate, maxim that the “first bite is free”. Under current Georgia law, in order for an injured person to recover in a dog bite case, they must show not only that the dog had vicious propensities, but that the owner knew or should have known of those propensities, and that the injured person had no such knowledge. Obviously one way to show that the owner knew or should have known of a dog’s vicious propensities is to demonstrate that the owner was aware of prior actual dangerous conduct on the part of the dog. For domestic animals such as dogs, vicious propensities may also be proven by showing that the animal was required to be on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government and that the animal was not on a leash at the time of the injury. Under such circumstances, proof that a valid “leash-law” was in effect and that the animal’s owner was not in compliance with that law at the time of the occurrence is all that is necessary to prove liability for damages.

If you are in Georgia and you have suffered injuries resulting due to being bitten or attacked by a dog or another animal, it is important to know your rights. The Georgia injury lawyers at Finch McCranie, LLP has represented victims of serious dog bite injuries for many years and our firm’s experienced lawyers can assist you in determining your rights, as well as assist with the insurance claims and requests for compensation. Call us today at (800) 228-9159 for a free consultation.

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