Dog Bites in Cobb County: Here is What You Need to Know

Every year, dog bites seem to be filling the news. A Fox News report described that a Cobb County police officer was bitten and shot during a dog attack. The injured officer was taken to the hospital for treatment for both the dog bite and the gunshot wound and is expected to survive. 

Dog bite incidents in Cobb County are increasingly common. A dog bite can injure people, regardless of age or occupation. If you have noticed an increase in dog bites, as a Marietta personal injury lawyer, the data supports this insight.

According to a report from the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2022, insurance companies paid $853.7 million for dog bite and injury claims. The average claim amount reported was $64,555, up from $49,025 in 2021. The III reports that the average cost per claim increased by 31.7% from 2013 to 2022. The III notes that this increase may be due to the upward trends of jury awards, as well as increased medical costs. 

The first concern in a dog bite is to seek medical attention. 

Georgia’s Modified One-Bite Rule

Georgia uses what is called a ‘modified one-bite rule.’ This rule means that a dog owner in Georgia is liable for a dog bite if they know that a dog is vicious or dangerous.

Can a Dog Owner Be Held Liable

Dog owners can be considered negligent and may be held liable if the owner’s negligence resulted in the bite or injury. 

In Georgia, you may have heard of what is commonly known as the one-bite rule. This does not mean that a dog has the right to bite or attack. The dog’s previous behavior may be sufficient to prove that it could be called dangerous or vicious. 

If the dog was not known to be dangerous or vicious, and if the dog wasn’t required by law to be on a leash, the owner may still be held liable. The owner may be held liable for not taking basic precautions, such as warning people not to pet the animal.

The owner may be held liable for injuries and damages, which could include medical bills, pain and suffering, and other impacts of the incident.

When Can a Dog Be Considered Not Vicious?

Georgia law has several definitions regarding classifying dogs as dangerous or vicious. One important distinction is the opposite. A dog cannot be classified as vicious when it is carrying out official law enforcement duties or military duties. Similarly, it can not be considered vicious if it attacks someone who is trespassing. Attacks are also not considered vicious when the dog attacks someone who was abusing the dog or committing or attempting to commit a crime. 

(Ga. Code § 4-8-21 (2022).)

How Soon Do You Need to File a Claim in Georgia?

In Georgia, a dog bite falls under a broader term of personal injury. The state statute gives people two years to file an action for an injury or incident. This means that if you or a loved one have been involved in a dog-bite incident, you have two years from the date of the bite or injury to file a personal injury complaint.

It is useful to know that cases are likely to be dismissed if they are not filed promptly, in line with this statute. 


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