One Child Killed, One Maimed While Walking To Bus Stop By Vicious Dogs
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported recently that one child was killed and another severely wounded by two dogs that had broken free from their owner. The child who tragically succumbed to his injuries was only six years old and the girl who suffered grievous head and facial injuries is five years old. Moreover, the attacking dogs were mixed breed pit-bulls. Georgia dog bite law is a complex area of the law, one that requires the help of skilled and knowledgeable attorneys to represent the victims of dog bites.
The tragic events unfolded on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, as neighborhood children walked to the bus stop. Two pit-bull dogs, whose owner resided a street or two away, chased the young children. The children screamed and cried for help. Children came to each other's aid while dogs chased them. One dog even backed children into a corner. During the commotion, an adult neighbor came outside with his firearm in an effort to prevent further attacks. Police and animal control officers flooded the area. Animal control apprehended one dog quickly while the other was not easily captured, requiring that that they fire two shots at the dog to neutralize the threat. Eventually, both dogs were restrained and taken away. One animal was observed with red streaks of blood down its chest. Atlanta police investigated the identity of the dogs' owner and arrested him, charging him with two counts of reckless conduct.
Unfortunately, by the time the authorities apprehended the dogs, the dogs had already mauled the two children. The five-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to treat head and facial trauma, while the boy was transported from the scene by medical personnel and sadly perished at the hospital.
Georgia Dog-Bite Law Is A Complex Area Of The Law
The victim of a dog bite might assume that the dog's owner is automatically liable for civil damages caused by the animal. However, Georgia law is not that simple. Some cities, such as Atlanta, have city ordinances legislating the dog owner's obligations. Counties like Fulton also have by-laws relating to the obligations of a dog owner. These multiple laws and how they interact with each other create a complicated scenario for the dog bite victim. Consequently, if a domestic animal injured you or a loved one, you you can benefit from a Georgia personal injury attorney at Montlick & Associates with the knowledge and determination to seek justice.
Under state law, the dog bite victim must prove three elements, or components of the law, before the animal owner may be found liable for damages.
The dog bite victim must show:
• the animal was a vicious or dangerous animal;
• the animal's owner was careless in managing the animal or allowed the animal to roam; and
• the injured person did not provoke the animal into attacking.
The statute does not define vicious or dangerous explicitly, but it does refer to city and county ordinances as well as town by-laws for assistance. If the local laws require an animal to be "at heel or on a leash," then the dog is considered vicious. Liability will attach if the animal was unleashed in violation of those local laws.
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