Dog bites are more common than one might think.
They can occur quite often and usually happen when you least expect it.
It is essential to know what to do if you’ve experienced a dog bite and what rights you have under the dog bite laws in Georgia.
What Does a Dog Bite Victim Need to Prove in Georgia?
According to Georgia’s dog bite statute O.C.G.A. 51-2-7, the victim of the dog bite must prove:
- The animal is vicious or dangerous;
- The owner was careless and let the animal “go at liberty,” causing the injury; and
- The injured person did not do anything to provoke the animal.
This statute covers injuries caused by other animals too, not only dogs. Also, animal bites are not the only injury covered.
For example, if a dog is loose and knocks you over and, as a result, you hit your head on the pavement, this injury would be covered by the statute.
Georgia Negligence Laws
Georgia also has negligence laws that pertain to dog bites and other animal injuries.
For a victim to prove liability, they must first prove that the animal’s owner had prior knowledge that the animal was vicious or dangerous.
They must also show that the owner acted negligently in not making an effort to restrain the animal.
It can be difficult to prove liability in dog bite cases.
However, if you can prove that the owner let their dog roam freely without a leash in an area where an ordinance requires leashes, this would be enough to prove negligence.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases
A statute of limitations is a law that imposes a time restriction for filing a lawsuit.
In Georgia, you have two years after the date of the incident to file a lawsuit for your injuries.
Once the injury occurs, the time clock begins to run.
If you fail to file your lawsuit within the two-year time period, a judge will likely dismiss your case and you will be unable to recover for your injuries.
Why Hire a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have experienced a dog bite, you should consult with an attorney right away.
Dog bite cases can be challenging to navigate, and you may have a difficult time proving the requirements under the statute.
An experienced attorney can review the details of your case and give you legal advice.
You should also keep the statute of limitations in mind to avoid losing your legal right to file a lawsuit.
The Pritchard Injury Firm, led by Zach Pritchard, is dedicated to helping the residents of Bartow County and Northwest Georgia.
Zach Pritchard is passionate about helping his clients through a challenging time.
He understands the process can be stressful and overwhelming, so he handles every case with care and compassion. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you.