What Does It Mean That Georgia Is a One Bite State?
The principle underlying personal injury cases, including those that relate to dog bite injuries, is that the injured person, known as the plaintiff, has the right to collect payment from the defendant, who is a party responsible for the incident that caused the injury. The money the plaintiff can get from the defendant is equal to the financial losses that the plaintiff sustained as a result of the defendant’s actions or lack of action. Depending on the details of the accident, the defendant’s responsibility to prevent injuries, known as the defendant’s duty of care, varies. For example, you cannot recover damages in a car accident lawsuit unless the other driver was at least partially at fault for the accident. By contrast, you can sue a retail store for premises liability if you suffer an accidental fall and you can prove that it was preventable. In Georgia, dog owners are sometimes legally responsible for bites and other injuries caused by their pets, but whether the owner could reasonably have known that the dog was at risk for biting during its encounter with the plaintiff depends on the details. To find out more about how to make the strongest possible case in your dog bite claim, contact an Atlanta dog bite lawyer.
Biting Is Not the Only Possible Form of Aggression in Dogs
Georgia, like many other states, applies the “one bite rule,” but each state’s laws vary slightly. In Georgia, this means that, if the dog has behaved aggressively before, the owner should know that it is at risk of behaving aggressively again, and therefore the owner is legally responsible if the dog bites a person. Some people describe this rule as “one free bite,” but it is not quite that simple. If the dog has bitten people before and you did not provoke it to bite you, your case is a slam dunk, but you can still sue if you are the first person the dog has ever bitten. You can still win your case if the dog has shown other signs of aggression, such as attempting bites, jumping on people, or growling and snarling at people.
Gathering Evidence for Your Dog Bite Injury Case
The dog’s history of aggressive behavior is not the only thing you must prove in order to win your dog bite injury lawsuit. You must also prove that your injuries are the result of the dog bite and not due to some other cause. On the surface, it sounds easy; just look at those tooth marks! If you continue to suffer from chronic pain after the acute injury appears to have healed, though, it can be your word against the defendant’s about whether the pain is due to the dog bite, an old sports injury, your old age, or simply a figment of your imagination. Your medical records and expert witness testimony can help you prove your claims.
Contact Zagoria Law About Dog Bite Cases
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you if you have been bitten by a dog that has never bitten a person before. Contact Zagoria Law in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss your case.