Does the Dog’s Breed Affect Your Dog Bite Injury Case?
Some dog breeds have a reputation for being aggressive and for biting people. We tend to assume, when we see a large dog with a loud bark, that it is dangerous to humans. In fact, dog attacks on humans are relatively rare. Likewise, not all dog bites cause serious injury. Any dog might nip if you play rough with it, but a nip from a teacup Yorkie is something you can laugh off, whereas a nip from a husky could send you to the emergency room. Georgia law does not consider the dog’s breed as a factor in personal injury lawsuits arising from dog bite incidents. Instead, you must show that you did not provoke the dog to bite you, because even the calmest and friendliest dog will bite if provoked. You must also show that the dog has a history of aggressive behavior toward humans, which may or may not include previous bites. An Atlanta dog bite lawyer can help you make a more convincing case than just saying, “Look at those sharp teeth!”
Statistics Show That Some Breeds Bite More Than Others
Statistics on dog attacks show that some breeds are disproportionately represented. For example, nearly two thirds of dog attacks that result in serious injury or death in 2021 involved pit bulls. Despite this, well over two thirds of pit bulls have never bitten a person and probably never will. Other breeds that cause a substantial percentage of bite injuries include rottweilers, German shepherds, Presa Canarios, wolf-dog hybrids, huskies, Akitas, and boxers. All of these are large dogs bred for fighting or guarding.
No Dog Bite Injury Is Due to the Dog’s Breed
Pursuant to Georgia law, the dog’s breed cannot be one of your arguments about why the dog’s owner should pay you damages; owning a pit bull is not, by itself, an act of negligence. You will have to prove that the owner did something to fail to prevent the dog from biting you. For example, perhaps the owner did not keep the dog on a leash in public.
Many dogs become aggressive because they have been abused. They come to see humans as a threat and may react defensively when you approach them, even when your intentions are friendly. Likewise, many dog attacks arise from illegal dog fighting, where the owners of fighting dogs go out of their way to make the dogs aggressive by underfeeding them and subjecting them to violence. If the dog owner was involved in a dog fighting operation, this fact strengthens your claim. If the dog that bit you is of a breed that was used for dog fighting hundreds of years ago, but the owner has properly cared for it and trained it to interact well with humans, then the fact that it is a fighting breed does not matter.
Contact Zagoria Law About Dog Bite Cases
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you if a pit bull or other scary looking dog bit you. Contact Zagoria Law in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss your case.