It is no secret that dogs are hugely popular as pets in this country. We see them everywhere, even in places where we would not have seen them years ago, such as on airplanes. Whether at the grocery story, park, or church, people’s pets now go everywhere their people go. Often labeled as emotional support animals, it is not uncommon to see a dog in every imaginable place. Without commenting on the merits of this shift in our culture, it is evident that with an increased presence of service and other support dogs comes an increase in biting incidents with those dogs. This is what we learned from a recent, horrific story of a dog attack on an airplane taking off from Atlanta International Airport. The case has been referred to an Atlanta dog bite lawyer, and for good reason..
Dog Attacks Airline Passenger
According to reports coming out of Atlanta, a combat veteran with an emotional support dog was seated in the aisle and middle seat of an airplane bound for San Diego. Another passenger, a man, was seated next to the window when the large dog began to growl at him. Minutes later, the dog began attacking the man, biting his face. The attack lasted for several minutes, and the man is now awaiting plastic surgery to reconstruct his face.
Following this attack, many questions are being asked about the use of this service animal, and the corporate flying policy of the airline. For example, was this a trained service animal, and had it showed any propensity to violence in the past? Also, what are the policies in effect by the airline in question? For example, why was such a large animal not muzzled to prevent an incident of this sort?
Georgia Dog Bite Laws
Because this incident took place in Georgia, when it goes to court, it should be decided by Georgia law. The law dealing with dog bites in Georgia can be quite complicated, which is why anyone affected by a vicious dog attack should contact a qualified Atlanta dog bite lawyer to help resolve the case. For those victimized by dog attacks in Atlanta or other parts of Georgia, there are remedies under the law that should be pursued.
The oldest source of dog bite law in Georgia comes from judicial decisions reaching back to before Georgia was a state. Over the years, that law has been distilled down to a primary rule known as the first bite rule. Under this rule, a dog owner is liable for a dog’s attacks when he or she knew or should have known about the dog’s propensity to attack, or about the dog’s vicious nature.
Another element of dog bite liability under Georgia law comes from the state code book. Under OCGA 51-2-7, an owner can be held liable for a dog’s attacks even without prior knowledge. If a dog is not at heel, on a leash, or otherwise controlled as local law requires, then the owner should be held liable. Of course, the airline will face its own legal troubles following this case for how it handled the situation.
Your Dog Bite Attorney in Atlanta
If you have been the victim of a dog bite in the Atlanta area, contact us. At The Angell Law Firm you will have your own dog bite attorney serving Atlanta who will represent your interests and get justice for your injuries. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
(image courtesy of Dan Gold)