Dog bites can be serious, leaving people with severe scarring and a lifelong fear of dogs, even if they were dog lovers before the incident. In other states, these cases are often very simple because they abide by an assumption of strict liability on the part of the owner. However, Fulton County and the rest of Georgia does not assign strict liability for dog bites, making these cases potentially much more complicated.
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. To give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome to your case, it is important that you speak with a Fulton County dog bite lawyer who could review your case. Call a seasoned personal injury attorney today to schedule a consultation.
When are Fulton County Dog Owners Liable for a Dog Attack?
Under strict liability law, dog owners are responsible for their pet’s actions if the animal bites someone, even if the dog had not previously shown aggressive or violent tendencies. In Fulton County, someone injured by a dog bite must prove that the animal is vicious or dangerous and that the owner was aware of these violent tendencies, in order to have a valid civil claim.
In practice, injured individuals must also be able to prove that the dog owner was careless with the animal, or that the dog was allowed to run at liberty. The Fulton County Ordinance Code states that dogs cannot leave an owner’s premises without a leash that extends at least six feet. Furthermore, owners must be able to control their dog while they are on the leash.
Proving that an animal was vicious in the past can be difficult, and proving that the owner knew about those vicious tendencies may pose an even greater challenge. By seeking out eyewitness testimony and reviewing past reports of the animal’s aggressive behavior, a dog bite attorney in Fulton County could be a valuable resource when proving these elements of a dog bite case.
What are the Legal Consequences of Provoking a Dog?
While dogs must have a history of violent tendencies and injured parties must prove that the owner knew about that history, there is one exception to this rule in Fulton County dog bite cases—namely, when a dog was provoked by the person they bit or attacked.
Teasing, taunting, or injuring a dog could be considered provocation in a dog bite case. If actions such as these directly contributed to causing a dog to attack, the dog’s owner may not be found negligent or liable in the case.
In light of this, dog owners often rely on a provocation defense when they have a dog bite lawsuit filed against them. This can be a hard claim to refute, as it is difficult to prove that something did not happen, but a skilled Fulton County dog bite lawyer may be able to provide assistance in that regard.
Dog Bites and Other Areas of Law
While Fulton County statutes pertaining specifically to dog bites sometimes make it difficult for injured people to claim compensation, that does not always need to be the case. For instance, if a contractor entered someone’s property and was subsequently bitten by a dog while there, that case may be covered under premises liability law. Under those statutes, the injured person may have an even better chance of winning their case.
Consulting a Fulton County Dog Bite Attorney
If you experienced a bite by a dog and suffered serious injury as a result, you should not attempt to handle the case on your own. Dog bite cases are much more complicated than they seem. In order to give yourself the best chance at receiving compensation, schedule a consultation with an experienced Fulton County dog bite lawyer today. Let a skilled personal injury attorney fight tirelessly on your behalf to hold the responsible party at-fault.