A male German shepherd bites a man by the hand.

A six-year-old child suffered severe facial injuries after being attacked by a German Shepherd in the dog park at Piedmont Park. The child, who was playing during a family visit to the park, told his mother that he had a ball in his hand when the dog came up, grabbed him by the face, and drug him. He was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he underwent surgery and required about sixty sutures to close the wounds. The child’s mother reported that the boy nearly lost an eye in the attack, and has suffered emotional distress, including nightmares and fear that people are laughing at him because of his wounds.

In Atlanta, dogs must be on a leash at all times in public parks, unless the dog is in a designated dog park such as the one at Piedmont. In those cases, the city’s leash law notes that the owner is responsible for the actions of the dog. In dog bite cases, Georgia uses what is known as a modified “one-bite” rule in determining whether the owner is liable for injuries to others that were caused by his or her dog. The one-bite rule holds that the owner is only liable if he or she knew, or had reason to know, that the dog was capable of being vicious. While the most common way to know this is if the dog has bitten someone in the past, other aggressive behaviors may also constitute knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies, such as the dog has charged at people, growled or snarled, or attempted to get away from its owner to attack another person. 

If you or your child has been injured as the result of a dog bite, let us help you understand the legal options that are available for you to obtain compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. Contact Cambre & Associates for a free case evaluation.