Q: Can I file a claim if I was attacked by a dog while trespassing on private property?
If you were attacked by a dog while trespassing, it can hinder your ability to file a claim. Whether you can pursue compensation depends upon the nature of the circumstances and the impact of dog bite laws.
How Georgia Dog Bite Laws Impact an Injury Claim
Even without the issue of trespassing, filing a claim for a dog bite can be challenging in the state of Georgia. There are two ways in which an owner could potentially be held liable for a dog bite. But even then, more than one element must be present.
The first way you can hold a dog owner liable for your dog bit injury is by proving the following, the:
- dog is vicious or dangerous;
- owner had knowledge of the danger his or her dog poses; and
- animal wasn’t properly managed (for instance, it was allowed to roam at large).
The second way is that the owner violated a local leash law and mismanaged the dog. There are additional challenges when the bite occurred on someone’s private property and the victim had trespassed. Because of these dog bite laws, it’s important to also consider how premises liability may factor into this type of case.
How Premises Liability Laws Could Impact an Injury Claim
Property owners generally don’t owe a duty of care to trespassers. Therefore, even if a dog was dangerous, trespassing could eliminate the owner’s liability for any resultant injuries.
A possible exception is when a child trespasses because of an attractive nuisance. Abandoned cars or appliances and swimming pools with no fence are examples. If a child ventures onto someone else’s property under these circumstances and is bitten by a dog, it may be possible to file a claim.
With so many complex issues and laws that can affect this type of case, it’s best to consult legal counsel. Jason R. Schultz can help determine your right to file a claim. Call 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation.