Dog bite laws in the State of Georgia have changed. Previously those who were bitten needed to show that the dog had already bitten someone and the owner knew about it – coined the “first bite rule.” Proving that a dog owner knew their pet had a propensity for violence or was vicious, without any documented reports was often a difficult legal task.
Dog Bite Laws Changed
The laws have been changed, through the High Court’s ruling, that an attempt to bite in the absence of provocation may be proof of a propensity to bite without provocation. In other words, there does not have to be a prior, obvious bite. A dog that snaps at a person may be considered a bite that missed contact. If a dog had snapped at a person, without actually biting them, that was enough to show that the dog owner knew that their pet was a vicious animal.
Dog Bite Without Provocation
While the changes in the dog bite laws allow for increased protection of the state’s citizens, the dog and snap or bite needs to meet the following:
- The dog must first be considered vicious or dangerous, which may be easier to prove with the change in the Georgia dog bite laws
- The dog must be at large, or roaming free of fence or leash, through the careless management of the owner, and
- The person injured must not have provoked the dog or animal into attacking them
Dog Bite Statute for Vicious Animals
In Georgia, anyone who allows a dog to run loose where it may attack, snap at, make physical contact and bite and cause injury in an unprovoked situation may be liable for the damages caused. Compensation for damages may include medical expenses, treatment, need for future medical care, loss of income due to inability to return to work, and numerous other compensatory claims.
Dog Bite Law Statistics
Almost 5-million people across the U.S. are bitten by dogs every year. More than 800,000 of those dog bites require medical attention with half of all those receiving medical care children. Chatham County reports 152 dog bites for every 100,000 residents last year – this does not include bites and other dog related injuries that go unreported.
Dog Bite Law Lawyer
If you have been bitten, snapped at, or traumatized by a dog, protect your rights by making a call to Joel Baskin, your Georgia dog bite law lawyer for a confidential review of your case and situation.