More than 800,000 Americans receive medical care because of dog bites each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. A bite from an aggressive dog can cause serious damages, too. Not only do victims of dog bites have medical expenses and lost wages from missed work, they may also experience pain and suffering and emotional damage.
If a dog bit you, an Atlanta dog bite lawyer can help you learn more about any potential legal options. You may be able to recover compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages.
One Free Bite
Under the Atlanta dog bite law in Section 51-2-6 and 51-2-7 of the Georgia Code, the owner of a dangerous or vicious dog may be strictly liable for all damages resulting from that dog’s bite. Strictly liable means that the victim will not have to prove that the owner was careless or reckless in their actions, only that the dog was dangerous or vicious and bit them. There are two ways that an Atlanta dog bite accident victim can prove a dog is dangerous or vicious.
The first option is mostly based on the dog’s history and the owner’s knowledge of it. A dog owner will be liable for the damages caused by a dog bite if they knew or should have known of the dog’s propensity to bite people.
This is the one free bite theory of liability which allows a dog one free bite and after that the law assumes the owner has knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite others and holds him liable for the second time if the dog bite resulted from his careless management.
Violation of Local Ordinance
The second option for proving a dog is dangerous is proving a violation of local ordinance. Under Section 110-70 of the Atlanta Code, a dog must be on a leash in all city parks except for in areas explicitly designated as an off-leash area for dogs.
If a dog injures a person while not on a leash, in violation of the Atlanta ordinance, the dog owner may be strictly liable for damages caused by the dog bite. By violating the Atlanta ordinance requiring all dogs to be on leashes, the owner of the dog de facto created a dangerous dog. This may seem theoretical when they take the leash off but it quickly becomes a reality when the dog bites a person.
Atlanta Dog Bite Claims
Unfortunately, the burden of proof is on the victim in this situation. That means the person who the dog bit must prove in an Atlanta court that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s propensity to bite and that his careless management of the dog led to the dog biting them.
If they successfully prove this in court, they may be able to recover compensation. Victims typically recover compensation for:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Talk to an Atlanta Dog Bite Attorney About an Injury
Even minor dog bites can become infected and make the recovery process even more arduous and expensive. However, if an owner’s negligence lead to your attack, you may have options.
If a dog bit you in Atlanta, you may be able to recover some of the damages caused by the attack. While these rules only provide a general outline of Atlanta dog bite law, a knowledgeable Atlanta dog bite attorney can help you understand how the local laws apply to your specific situation. Contact an Atlanta area attorney today for a consultation.