4 Things Georgia Dog Bite Victims Should Know


December 16, 2013

Believe it or not, dog bites can be very serious, and can have severe health consequences if medical treatment is not sought immediately. If you were attacked by a dog and sustained injures as a result, it is important to realize that you may be entitled to monetary damages. Many people who face these types of injuries are forced to undergo painful surgeries and deal with a lifetime of physical and emotional scars. Due to these and other serious risks associated with dog bites and attacks, our team of seasoned personal injury lawyers has compiled some key facts for Georgia dog bite victims. While we have addressed many issues that dog attack victims face, we invite those with more specific questions to contact our experienced Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers.

1. What if we do not have a leash law and the dog has never acted aggressive in the past?

Liability may still be imposed on a dog owner where the scienter requirement (proof that a dog owner has knowledge of the dog's vicious tendencies) is not satisfied and no leash law is applicable if the dog attack was the result of the owner's negligence. The dog owner might fail to repair a board that fenced in the dog or leave the gate unlatched allowing the dog to escape and attack someone in the vicinity of the home.

2. Are dog bites the only types of injuries for which a dog owner may be liable?

Many injuries involving aggressive dogs are caused by dogs chasing someone trying to flee from the dog. A bike rider might tip over and hit his head on the sidewalk or a pedestrian might slip and fall when fleeing or even run into the path of a speeding car. When a dog chases a person in an aggressive manner, this can result in liability for falls that cause broken bones, head trauma and other forms of injury.

3. How does breed specific legislation and ordinances impact liability in personal injury claims?

There are many Georgia cities that have passed ordinances declaring certain breeds of dogs to be "potentially dangerous breeds" or "dangerous breeds." These statutes usually impose requirements that make it easier to locate and track the dog if it gets loose and attacks someone. This may include registering and implanting a chip in the dog along with providing a picture of the dog to the local animal control. These laws also may require owners of such dogs to carry certain minimum amounts of insurance so that there is a source of funds to pay a personal injury settlement or judgment. These breed specific laws differ between municipalities so you should consult with one of our experienced Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers if you have questions about breed specific legislation or particular breeds of dogs.

4. What types of evidence may be used to prove a dog has vicious propensities?

This is a fact specific inquiry so an investigation, review of public records and witness interviews may be necessary to gather evidence to satisfy the scienter requirement. Family, friends and neighbors may have witnessed behavior by the dog evidencing aggressive tendencies. Further, public agencies like animal control or emergency medical responders may have dealt with prior animal attacks involving the dog. Signs may have been posted that warn that the dog bites or other similar types of evidence may all contribute to establishing that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had violent propensities.

Contact the Experienced Atlanta Dog Bite Lawyers at Montlick and Associates Today!

If you or someone you love has been involved in a dog mauling in Georgia, our Atlanta Dog Attack Lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.