Do you have a dog? A report from the American Veterinary Medical Association confirms that the number of households owning a dog is 48,255,413. The AVMA cites the total number of dogs in the United States is approximately 76,811,305, or an average number of 1.6 per household.
If you have been involved in a dog bite incident, the physical and emotional trauma can be significant. You do not have to struggle alone. As an experienced Marietta personal injury lawyer, we understand how challenging it can be when an animal or dog attacks you.
Beware of the Dog: Some Bite
While many households consider their dogs to be friendly and the pet is considered to be ‘part of the family,’ there are some issues with dog ownership that are less commonly spoken about. Dogs bite. The AVMA reports that more than 4.5 million people get bitten by dogs every year.
According to AVMA, at least half of the people bitten are children. If you are concerned about dog bites, you are not alone.
The Summary of Georgia Dog Bite Law
Georgia statute GA – Bite – § 51-2-6 to 7 represents the state’s dog bite strict liability law. The law defines liability for dogs or other animals with three criteria.
First, the dog must be considered as “vicious” or “dangerous,” which can be simply that the city ordinance requires that the dog must be leashed. Second, the animal must be found to be at large, such as unleashed, by the owner’s careless management. Third, the injured person must not have provoked the animal.
Proving The Dog Owner’s Liability in Marietta
To prove that a dog owner is liable for harm caused by their animal, you need to prove that the above criteria were met. First, you must show that the owner knew their dog had attacked in the past and so knew that the dog had a tendency to attack. Also, you must prove that the owner neglected their duty to restrain the dog, such as keeping the dog on leash in areas requiring leashing by city ordinance.
Finally, you need to prove that you did not provoke the animal. Provoking may be teasing, tickling, or tempting a dog into attacking.
Eye witness testimony, video footage, and evidence may be useful to provide tangible evidence of the circumstances. The extent of damages can also strengthen the evidence. This may be documentation such as witness reports, medical bills, physical therapy receipts, financial documents, and personal statements.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Cobb County
First and foremost, get medical attention. You may not know if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, so consult your medical provider. If the dog owner is present, get their name and contact information.
Take the next step to report the incident to local authorities, such as the police and animal control.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims in Georgia
In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years to file a personal injury claim, including injuries caused by a dog. This means you have only two years from the date of the bite to initiate a personal injury claim for damages.
Ask an Experienced Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer
Dog attacks can have varying impacts, ranging from minimal bruising to life-altering injuries. If you have questions and want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, this may be valuable to learn more