Georgia’s Leash Laws and Liability: Preventing Dog Bites in Marietta

Dogs are extremely popular pets in Marietta, Georgia. Yet, as popular as dogs are, the state of Georgia does not have a statewide leash law.

Instead, specific cities and counties have adopted laws such as regulations regarding owner liability and when a dog must be restrained. Understanding these leash laws and liability issues can help owners prevent dog bites in Marietta.

What is the One Bite Law in Georgia?

Georgia is known for its “one bite” rule. Essentially, this rule keeps a dog from being punished if they bite someone once. 

However, there are exceptions if dogs are known to be aggressive breeds or have a history of biting. Aggressive breeds can include Rottweilers, pit bulls, and dogs that are bred for fighting. 

If you have been involved in an incident regarding a dog bite, talking with an experienced Marietta personal injury lawyer may be useful in understanding your legal options.

What Laws Help to Safeguard the Public and Prevent Incidents in Marietta?

Laws governing our communities are designed to safeguard residents and prevent incidents. Individuals are entitled to recover damages from a dog bite in Marietta. 

The Cobb County courts may award money for a variety of damages, such as medical treatment costs, costs of physical therapy, costs of mental health treatments, or lost wages. 

Pain and suffering may be awarded to compensate if you sustain long-term impact, disability, or injury.

What Should Georgia Dog Owners Know About Liability?

Georgia Code (Ga. Code 51-2-7 (2022).)  states that a dog owner can be liable under specific conditions, such as when the dog is considered “a vicious or dangerous animal.” The owner can be liable when the incident occurred through “careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty” and the injured person did not provoke injury by his own act.”

How Can You Be a Responsible Dog Owner?

Responsibility for properly training and controlling a dog is up to the owner. Irresponsible owners may foster viciousness through neglect or abuse.

The CDC recommends consulting a professional to learn about responsible breeds before adopting or purchasing a dog for the family home. Immediately seek professional advice from a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or expert breeder if a dog develops aggressive behaviors.

What Is Important to Know about Dog Bite Claims?

According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite claim ranges from approximately $40,000 to $60,000. Claims vary depending on the severity of the injury sustained. 

In Georgia, a claim can be filed two years from the date of the dog bite, according to the 2022 Georgia Code (OCGA) § 9-3-33. It is important to realize that this can vary from case to case. 

Is it Time to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Marietta?

Negligence is a key concept in determining liability, and it is critical to assess whether the owner knew the dog was dangerous or vicious. This knowledge is relevant for determining whether the owner might be negligent and can be held liable for the bite or attack. 

Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney may be useful in evaluating legal options and determining what evidence may be needed to prove liability. 

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