Dogs are unquestionably man’s best friend. There’s nothing better than getting home at the end of the day to a wagging tail and a bunch of slobbery kisses. Even if you don’t personally own a dog, it’s always fun to meet other people’s dogs on walks (or even just watch videos of dogs on YouTube).
By and large, dogs are comfortable and friendly around people. However, occasionally there are incidents where a dog will bite a human because it is fearful, sick, or aggressive. Sometimes these encounters with aggressive dogs can even lead to serious injuries or death.
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog and suffered serious injuries, you’ll need to act quickly if you want to pursue legal action.
What to Do When You Have Received a Dog Bite
Under Georgia law, there’s a relatively high burden of proof on the victim of a dog bite (which favors the owner of the dog). However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue legal action against the dog’s owner—it just means you will have to have plenty of proof on your side.
Georgia has a version of the “one-bite rule.” This rule essentially means that victims can hold dog owners liable for damages if the owner knew (or should have known) that their dog had dangerous tendencies. Ultimately, if the dog had a propensity for aggression (such as a history of biting), then the owner will be liable for the victims’ damages.
But when is a dog considered dangerous for the purposes of liability?
According to Georgia law, a dangerous dog is one that:
- “Inflicts a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property…or
- Aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans without provocation after the dog has been classified as a potentially dangerous dog and after the owner has been notified of such classification.”
If you decide to pursue legal action against the dog’s owner, you will need to prove the dog is dangerous under these guidelines and do it within the statute of limitations (which would be two years from the time of the attack).
Some examples of how to prove a dog is dangerous might be any (or a combination of) the following:
- Vet records
- Animal control records
- Witness testimonies
- Documentation of complaints about the dog
- Testimonies from previous victims
- Video footage of the dog biting or being aggressive
Should you decide to go forward with legal action, you’re going to need an expert legal team by your side. If you have received a dog bite and were injured as a result of the incident, call the Fry Law Team at 404.969.1284 to set up a legal consultation today.