Articles Tagged with dog bite claim

christopher-ayme-157131-copy-300x200Dogs are everywhere we turn. More and more we must all become accustomed to seeing and interacting with dogs in places where that was not necessarily the situation in years past. We should be aware of our surroundings at all times, and take extra caution in the presence of a strange or aggressive dog. The increased presence of dogs in public life has some benefits and risks. One of those risks is the increased likelihood of being bitten or attacked by a dog. Anytime this happens in Atlanta, the victim should immediately reach out to a qualified Atlanta dog bite lawyer for help with filing a personal injury claim.

Dog on a Leash?

What happens when a dog is on a leash and bites or attacks someone, according to Georgia law? Will the owner be held liable for the resulting damages? The answer to this question can be complicated, and requires the expertise of an Atlanta dog bite lawyer to ascertain the nature of the case, and what steps a victim should take going forward.

thThe Georgia Supreme Court recently issued a decision in a case that involves how the court must approach dog bite cases. Proving liability for dog bite cases has largely not been the responsibility of the dog and its owner. In other words, the victim is required to prove that the dog in question had a history of violent or biting behavior that should have placed the dog’s owner on notice that the dog has a violent streak. While it has traditionally been the rule in Georgia that a dog is presumed innocent until it is proven to be guilty of behavior that could cause harm, this recent Georgia Supreme Court decision makes it easier for dog bite victims to reach this burden of proof. If you have been the victim of a violent dog attack, contact an Atlanta dog bite lawyer immediately.

A History of Violence

The state’s dog bite law is clear that a dog’s owner is liable for a bite injury if the owner knows that his or her dog has a history of biting behavior. It is up to the victim to prove that the dog had a history of violent or biting behavior. Dog bite victims are eligible for damages when the dog had at sometime prior to the victim’s incident exhibited dangerous behavior, which should have put the dog’s owner on notice as to the dog’s predilection to attack and bite people. Under Georgia law, victims are required to demonstrate that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that he dog is a biter based on the dog’s past conduct.

If a claim is made, the victim can normally attempt to recover damages for a wide variety of things. Some damages include, pain and suffering, scarring, temporary or permanent disability, lost wages, medical expenses, cosmetic surgery expenses, counseling services, property damage, among other things. You do want to talk to an attorney before filing a claim because some states only allow for damages to be awarded for medical expenses. Other states award larger sums if the dog that bit the victim has previously bit someone else. This confusion is why you want to make sure your attorney is present.

Sometimes, punitive damages are awarded to a dog bite victim. Punitive damages consist of monetary compensation awarded to someone that is above and beyond what is actually required to give to the victim. This is normally done to make an example of the defendant and punish the defendant for negligence. Normally, punitive damages are not given to a plaintiff unless the dog’s owner knew the dog was dangerous or vicious but took no steps to prevent a potential bite.

Dog owners are not the only people who can be held liable for a dog bite. Governmental agencies such as the FBI or local police can be held responsible under certain circumstances. They include:

In many dog bite cases in Georgia it is often necessary to prove owner liability when the dog involved in the attack has never bitten anyone before.  Here is some basic dog bite info for Georgia.

If you have a case where a dog has bitten you or your child while it was running loose in violation of a local leash law, here is what you need to know.  A Georgia leash law or Georgia-dogbite-lawyerstatute makes the dog owner legally responsible if the dog attack was caused by the owner’s careless management or allowing the dog to run loose without any restraints.

In order to successfully pursue a dog bite claim, the victim must prove the condition state in the first part of Georgia code section 51-2-7. This section says, “In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of the city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash.” For example, the local leash law may state that all dogs must be confined on the premises of the dog owner or must be on a leash when not on the owner’s premises.