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Georgia Dog Bite Laws: Responsible Dog Ownership Law

Dogs have powerful jaws, and they can inflict significant damage on the human body. Anytime a dog bite incident occurs, it is crucial for individuals to seek medical care. Victims of dog bites may also be able to recover compensation from the dog’s owner. However, each state handles dog bite incidents differently, and it is important to know how Georgia dog bite laws apply in these scenarios. Here, we want to review whether or not Georgia operates under a “one bite” or “strict liability” rule when it comes to dog bites and explain what this means for your case. For a free consultation 

One Bite or Strict Liability?

In many states throughout the country, dog bite incidents are handled through a strict liability system. Under these systems, a dog’s owner can be held liable for any injuries caused by a dog bite, regardless of whether or not the dog has ever bitten anybody or shown a propensity for aggression.

However, other states operate under a one-bite rule, where the dog owner will only be responsible if the dog has previously bitten another person or animal or showing a propensity for aggression.

Georgia is not technically a one-bite rule state, but it is also not a strict liability state. We often say that Georgia has a modified one bite rule in place when it comes to dogs. In this state, a dog owner will be liable for a dog bite if they knew that their dog was vicious and failed to take steps to prevent an incident. 

Under Georgia law, individuals who sustain injuries as a result of a dog bite must show that the dog owner was aware of previous attacks or dangerous behavior displayed by the dog. Additionally, victims can show that the owner failed to properly secure their dog properly, per state or local leash or restraint laws. Finally, it must be proven that the victim did not provoke the dog in any way.

Types of Compensation Available to Dog Bite Victims

Data indicates that there are around 4.5 million dog bites that occur each year across the country. Information from the CDC shows that approximately 800,000 of these victims have to seek extensive medical care.

Dog bite injuries are often severe. It is not uncommon for individuals in these cases to sustain:

  • Massive blood loss
  • Severe infections
  • Deep lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Severed arteries or veins
  • Severed muscles, tendons, or ligaments
  • Amputations of the fingers
  • Broken bones in the hands

Dog bite victims in Georgia may be able to recover various types of economic and non-economic compensation. This includes compensation for all medical bills arising as a result of the dog bite incident. Individuals may also be able to recover compensation for lost wages if they cannot work, as well as various types of pain and suffering damages arising due to the incident.

It is crucial for dog bite victims to file a lawsuit as soon as possible after the incident occurs. The Georgia personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. If a dog bite victim fails to file a lawsuit within the two-year time frame, they will likely be unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog bite, call (770) 251-7100 or contact us online for a free consultation.