A dog bite can cause intense pain, significant disfigurement, and long-term emotional distress. Furthermore, treating these injuries is often expensive, and victims may miss lengthy periods of work. So, who pays for all these expenses?
The short answer is that a dog’s owner is typically liable for injuries their pet causes. However, recovering compensation for a dog bite injury can be challenging without help from an experienced attorney. The Atlanta dog bite attorney at the W. Winston Briggs Law Firm has in-depth knowledge of Georgia’s dog bite laws and can help you recover the money you need. Below you’ll find essential information on dog bite injuries in Atlanta and how we can protect your rights.
Georgia Dog Bite Laws: The Basics
According to Georgia Code, anyone who keeps a “vicious or dangerous animal of any kind” is liable for injuries the animal causes through the owner’s carelessness or by letting the animal run free. (Ga. Code § 51-2-7.) In other words, if a dog’s owner knew or reasonably should have known the dog was dangerous, they are liable for injuries the dog causes and any resulting medical bills.
Some people call this law the “one-bite rule,” but that’s not entirely accurate. While a prior bite proves a dog is dangerous, the law does not require that a previous bite occurred for a victim to hold the owner liable. If there is other evidence showing the dog was aggressive or dangerous, that might be enough to prove liability.
Another way to prove liability in a dog bite injury case is to show that the dog’s owner did not follow local leash laws. Atlanta’s leash law says all dogs must be on a leash in city parks, trails, and other public spaces that are not designated parks. Fulton County has a similar law stating that dogs must be on a leash whenever they are not on their owner’s premises. Furthermore, the leash cannot be longer than six feet. If you sustained a dog bite injury within Atlanta city limits or Fulton County limits, both of these laws might apply.
Finally, it’s worth reviewing the laws as they apply to dog bite injuries on the owner’s property. Generally speaking, it is harder to hold a dog’s owner liable for injuries sustained on their property, particularly if they argue the injured party provoked the dog. Talk to a dog bite injury lawyer right away for help with these cases.
Compensation for Georgia Dog Bite Injuries
Compensation for dog bite injuries in Georgia can go well beyond your medical expenses. With support from a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, you could recover compensation for the following losses:
- Medical bills, including the cost of future treatments
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earnings due to a long-term injury or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
Deadline to File a Georgia Dog Bite Lawsuit
Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives you two years from your injury date to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you will likely lose your chance to claim compensation for your injuries in court. However, we recommend you speak to a Georgia dog bite lawyer immediately, as critical evidence can disappear or deteriorate within days or weeks. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the more they can do for you.
Contact Our Atlanta Dog Bite Attorneys Now
Recovering compensation for a dog bite injury is not easy, but you have a much stronger chance with the W. Winston Briggs Law Firm at your back. Call (404) 522-1500 today or complete our online contact form for a free case review.