What are My Rights if I was Bitten by a Dangerous Dog Breed in Georgia?
There are many dogs that have the reputation as being dangerous breeds, but the data on dog bites offers more tangible proof that some classes of canines are a threat. Researchers compiled data on fatal bites over several years, as well as fatalities from bites in 2021, to come up with a list. They determined that the American Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and German Shepherd are the most dangerous breeds for dog bites. These rankings are a combination of how likely it is for the breed to bite, the pressure of the bite, and the size of the dog.
However, while a dangerous breed may be more of a threat, getting bitten by a dog in one of these classes does not change your rights under Georgia law. You can still pursue the owner, though there are other requirements you must meet to recover compensation. To understand your remedies, it is important to consult with an Atlanta dangerous breeds attorney. A summary of your rights is also informative.
Proving Your Claim: Georgia has a dog bite statute, and it provides victims with two ways to hold the dog’s owner liable:
- The dog was dangerous or vicious based upon prior instances of aggression, and the owner knew about these incidents. You also need to prove that the owner carelessly managed the dog or allowed it to roam.
- The animal was not on a leash or otherwise secured in compliance with local ordinances on restraining dogs. Again, you must also show that the owner carelessly handled the dog.
How Your Actions are a Factor: In addition to what you need to prove for a Georgia dog bite case, there are also factors you may need to disprove. The laws hold victims responsible for their own misconduct, prohibiting them from recovering compensation under certain circumstances. To avoid a harsh result, you need evidence showing that:
- You did not provoke the dog through teasing, poking it with objects, throwing items, disrupting its puppies, or other actions that would incite aggression.
- You were not trespassing on property when bitten by the dog.
Damages: It is the area of compensation where dog bites from dangerous breeds can make your case very different from other attacks. With the above breeds and others, the injuries are far more severe. Victims have lost eyes, ears, fingers, and toes. The bite wounds are extremely deep because of the PSI of the bite, making infection more likely. As such, your damages may be higher in the following areas:
- Medical costs for surgery, hospitalization, and emergency care;
- Expenses for skin graft and cosmetic surgery;
- Lost wages for time off work;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Emotional distress.
Contact a Georgia Dangerous Breeds Lawyer to Learn More About Your Rights
Your remedies may be no different after being bitten, but dangerous breeds do tend to cause more devastation and disability. To learn more, please contact Zagoria Law by calling 404.653.0023 or visiting us online. We can schedule a free case assessment with an Atlanta dog bite attorney who will provide details.