Georgia Dog Bite Attorney
Every year, millions of Americans are bitten by dogs. Dog bite claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law, where the injured party has the legal right to seek compensation for injuries caused by another party’s actions or negligence arising out of the owning or keeping a dog, or other vicious animal. Southside’s Georgia dog bite attorneys can help you.
If you are bitten by a dog
It is important to first seek any necessary medical treatment.
Determine pertinent information about the dog, including the breed, its owner, and any witnesses to the attack.
Report the incident to local police or animal control authorities so that a report may be made and appropriate rabies testing performed on the dog.
Georgia Dog Bite Laws Explained
Dog bite laws vary by place and circumstance and are subject to a limitation on the time you have to file a legal claim. Our Georgia dog bite attorneys specialize in knowing Georgia’s unique laws. In general, Georgia laws entail the following:
- A dog bite victim has the right to seek compensation from any party whose negligence caused the dog bite attack, any party in violation of leash or restraint laws, or any party who knowingly harbors a dog with a history of biting people.
- Georgia’s Responsible Dog Ownership law defines a dangerous dog as one that causes a substantial puncture of a person’s skin with its teeth, aggressively attacks in a way that causes an individual to reasonably believe that the dog poses an imminent threat, and while not on the dog owner’s property, kills a pet animal, among other characterisitcs.
- A dog will not be classified as dangerous if the victim was injured while trespassing, provoking the dog, or attempting to commit a crime against the owner.
- Land owners and landlords can also be liable for dog bites if the county or city they live in has a leash law and the owner of the dog fails to properly keep the dog in a fence or on a leash.
Does my insurance cover dog bite injuries?
Most home owner’s and business owner’s insurance will cover costs of dog bite injuries. However, it is not standardly covered by renter’s insurance. Take the time to research what your insurance plan will cover in the case of a dog bite injury.
What will I have to prove?
According to the Georgia Dog Bite Statute (O.C.G.A. 51-2-7), a dog bite victim must be able to prove the following three elements:
- The dog is vicious or dangerous
- The owner of the dog knew, or should have known, of the dog’s vicious or dangerous nature.
- The owner carelessly managed the dog, leading to the victim’s injury
- The injured person did nothing to provoke the dog to attack
What kind of compensation can I receive?
No attorney can ethically guarantee the outcome of your case or the specific figure you will recieve without analysis dependent on the particular facts present. Several types of compensation for dog bites include:
- Any scarring, physical disfigurements, and the cost for scar revision
- Current and future medical costs
- Emotional distress and psycological damage
- Lost wages and any other losses or expenses related to the attack
How long do I have to file a claim?
You have up to two years following the incident to file a dog bite injury claim.
Steagald v. Eason
Supreme Court of Georgia, 2017
Attorneys Andrew Gebhardt and Marc Avidano represented the victim of a dog attack in 2017. The owners of the pit bull dog that attacked their client denied having any knowledge of their dog’s propensity to bite and argued in the trial court that they should not be liable for their dog’s vicious attack. The trial court agreed with the owners of the pit bull. Andrew and Marc knew the trial court erred in dismissing their client’s case and fought the matter through the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision and Marc and Andrew got their client the justice she deserved.
Andrew Gebhardt (left) and Marc Avidano (right)
Georgia dog bite Blog
A normal afternoon walk around a neighborhood cul-de-sac turned deadly in a matter of seconds for a 15 year-old Georgia girl who was suddenly attacked and mauled by a neighbor's pitbulls without provocation while walking through her neighborhood. The scene appeared...
It started as a normal day for Sarah (*name changed). She needed to borrow teabags and called her longtime friends and neighbors. They told her to come over and take what she needed. What happened next was a nightmare. Her neighbors' son had just moved back in with...