Understanding Georgia Dog Bite Laws

Georgia dog bite laws, some of which are detailed in Ga. Code Ann., § 51-2-6 to 7, are rather complex and tend to favor the dog owner, rather the victim. Georgia animal owners can be held liable for animal attack victims’ damages only if the following three elements are true.

  • The animal was considered dangerous or had aGeorgia Dog Bite Lawyer “vicious propensity.” There must be proof (e.g., previous animal attacks or a history of aggressive behavior) that the owner knew the animal was dangerous.
  • The animal must be at large through the careless management of the owner.
  • The victim must not have provoked the animal.

In addition to state laws, each county or city may have its own distinct rules that apply in dog bite situation, such as a leash law. If there is a leash law requiring the animal to be on a leash, at heel or confined, then attack victims can prove the animal had a "vicious propensity" by simply showing that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of the city, county or consolidated government, and it wasn’t. Your lawyer can explain exactly what laws apply to your case and whether or not you qualify to file a claim.

Dog Bite Lawyer Seeking Compensation for Your Dog Attack Injuries

If you or your child were attacked by a dog, after you’ve tended to your immediate medical needs and called Animal Control, you will want to contact a lawyer to discuss your options for restitution. Most animal attack cases fall under an area of law referred to as premises liability, so make sure the lawyer you speak to handles cases of this nature.

The first route for seeking compensation for damages is to file a premises liability claim against the dog/property owner (defendant). Dog attacks usually fall under the defendant’s homeowner’s insurance or the company’s general liability insurance if the defendant is a business. If the insurance doesn’t cover your damages, you will have the option of suing the defendant in court.

Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.