Over 4.5 million dog bites occur annually. Some of these incidents are terrible, resulting in broken bones and lacerations requiring extensive medical care. In addition, the dog bite victim may be left with horrific scarring and deformities that require plastic surgery.
A big dog can cause substantial damage within seconds. They can tear flesh and even crush bones during an attack. In addition, the victim may face lost time from work while healing and suffer emotional trauma. Ultimately, it is not just about the medical bills; it is a devastating, impactful experience.
Each dog attack is unique, and the severity of injuries can vary greatly. In addition, unleashed dogs can sometimes cause harm without biting. For example, if the dog jumps on someone and knocks them down, or if the person falls while fleeing; these conditions can also qualify you for financial compensation.
Dog Owner Liability and Defense
A Georgia dog owner may be held liable for harm caused by their dog. Dog owners must guarantee their pets do not injure others. Aggressive dog owners must follow leash laws.
Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly and safely confined by their owners. When these dog owners fail to uphold their duty, they may be liable for injuries caused by dog attacks.
Conditions apply. For example:
- An indication that the dog is violent or vicious
- There was no control over the dog’s whereabouts (the dog was roaming freely)
- The dog attacked without provocation
Georgia law defines a “vicious” dog as one that had attacked someone before or whose owner recognized it was dangerous. But if the area has a leash regulation and the dog was not restrained, it could be enough to label it hazardous.
However, there are also many valid defenses to a dog attack lawsuit, such as trespassing, provocation and assumption of risk or contributory negligence (if the owner warned you to stay away but you did not listen).
Do Not Talk to Insurance Before Your Lawyer
Dog owners’ homeowner’s insurance often covers claims, even if the owner is a relative. But beware of talking to the insurance company! It will deploy a trained claims examiner to elicit ambiguous replies and misleading comments that can be used against you.
You do not have to provide a recorded statement; it will not help, so avoid it. Attorney Kevin Race knows how the insurance system works, so speak with him first. If you are a dog attack victim, please contact Race Law Firm so we can review your legal options during a free consultation.
Posted on behalf of
5555 Glenridge Connector Suite 550
Atlanta, GA 30342
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