Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized due to dog bites, and a small number of those patients end up in the mortuary. Even if the victim flees into the street to get away from the dog, a dog bite can result in a pedestrian accident.
Generally, dog bites occur more frequently in small children because they are not able to recognize when they are provoking a dog. Depending on the dog’s owner and the reason the victim was on your property, the repercussions of a dog bite can vary.
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The average dog bite claim might easily reach tens of thousands of dollars once you account for the pain and suffering compensation. A dog bite claim is thus unquestionably a valid justification for looking for a knowledgeable Atlanta dog bite attorney.
Georgia’s dog bite law is in effect if the dog is yours. The “modified one bite rule” is in effect in Georgia. Owners of dogs may be held accountable for dog bites if:
- Even though the dog had never bitten anyone before, the owner understood the animal was aggressive. The dog might have been vicious if it had a history of growling, snarling, or charging at people.
- The dog was left alone and unrestrained in public by its owner.
Georgia’s dog bite laws fall in the middle of two extremes: strict liability jurisdictions, in which the dog’s owner is always responsible, and “one bite rule” states, in which the owner is exempt if the dog has never bitten anybody before.
There are basically two ways to fight Georgia’s dog bite law:
- Provocation: The owner is probably not responsible if the victim provoked the dog.
- Trespassing: Even in the absence of a “Beware of Dog” sign, owners are typically not liable to trespassers. However, unless the property owner has grounds to suspect that the trespasser intends to harm them immediately, they cannot “sic” their dog on a trespasser.
Additional defenses may be available for your case, depending on the details.
Dog bites at a residential property are probably covered by the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. However, some laws specifically state that particular dog breeds, such as pit bulls, and Rottweilers, are not allowed to bite.