Liability in Dog Bite Cases Under Georgia Law

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you know that it can be a truly horrendous experience. However, who is liable for the costs accrued because of the bite? Perhaps you feel as if you have a claim against the dog’s owner and want to make sure.
Along with the pain, a dog bite can result in a lot of medical bills, all of which can end up being quite costly. If you have been injured, then you may be able to get help. It might be that you are not liable for the damages, but that the owner of the dog should be paying.

Georgia Dog Bite Law

In Georgia, the applicable law in a dog bite case is based on a theory of negligence. In other words, in order for the owner to be liable, they had to have done something reckless. This means that they knew the dog was vicious and they acted without reasonable care as pertains to the dog, which led to the bite. As an example, consider a dog that is known to be vicious and then imagine the owner let them loose without a fence or leash.
There are basically three elements to proving that liability belongs to the dog’s owner after a bite:

  • The dog was vicious or dangerous.
  • The owner acted recklessly and that recklessness led to the dog bite.
  • The person who was bit did nothing to provoke the bite.

The legal issues surrounding dog bites may be complex. If you can prove all of these elements, then there is a good chance that you can win in a dog bite claim. However, it is important to realize that all three have to be met. If the first two are true, but you kicked the dog before he bit, then you are not likely going to be able to recover.

Leash Ordinances

Georgia law requires that dogs deemed dangerous or vicious be physically restrained. This restraint may include keeping the dog on a leash. Additionally, local ordinances may require any dog out in public to be on a leash. If a dog is not on a leash and it bites someone, then that may serve as proof that the owner was negligent.

Statute of Limitations

Even if you have a good claim, if you wait too long to file it, you could lose your right. Under Georgia law, there is a two year statute of limitations in cases of this nature. What this means is that if you do not file a claim within two years of the date that you were bitten, you will lose your right to file the claim at all.

Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Dog Bite?

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite you need to speak with an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.

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