A dog bite or an attack can be devastating. Ranging from children to adults, dog bites/attacks can result in serious injury, permanent scarring, disfigurement, or even death. Consequently, a dog bite can raise multiple theories of liability.
For a dog owner to be held liable for a dog bite or attack, the injured party must prove the dog owner knew the dog had a vicious propensity or was not properly restrained in violation of a local leash law. O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7.
Vicious propensity is proven by demonstrating the dog’s history of aggressiveness and that the owner was on notice of such aggressiveness. Steagald v. Eason, 300 Ga. 717, 797 S.E.2d 838 (2017). Evidence that the dog has engaged in aggressive behavior in the past, such as snapping at people, can demonstrate a dog’s viciousness. Steagald v. Eason, 300 Ga. 717, 797 S.E.2d 838 (2017).