Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year, and over 800,000 victims of dog bites require medical care. Moreover, children are more likely to be victims of a dog bite, and they carry higher risk of requiring medical attention.
If you have been bitten by a dog you might think “I am not hurt too badly.” However, not all pet owners ensure that their animals have received their shots, and dogs can carry multiple types of diseases that can be harmful or even deadly to humans. These factors can turn a relatively minor bite into a major injury, which is why you should always ensure you receive medical attention immediately if you are ever bitten and discuss your case with an experienced dog bite attorney.
Leash Laws in Macon, GA
The city of Macon’s code of ordinances addresses several aspects of animal care in order to give pet owners guidance on what is required of them by law. These ordinances address things such as when and where a dog must be on a leash, the specifications for housing a dog, and any permit or licensing requirements. The Macon code also has different pet requirements depending on which county you are in, but each county has certain common requirements such as:
- When outside of a pet-owner’s property, a dog must be on a leash unless the dog is in an off-leash pet area
- When a dog is leashed, the animal must be under the control of a competent person.
- When the dog is on the land owner’s property, the animal must be kept within an enclosed area, but each county has its own specification for enclosures.
Additionally, under O.C.G.A. 51-2-7, pet owners can be held liable for damages if a dog bites someone and the presence of the unattended animal was in violation of a city or county ordinance.
What Should I do if I got Bit by a Dog?
If you have been bitten by a dog, there are a host of different things that run through your mind, but you should always make sure the attack is well documented. This is generally accomplished by doing the following:
- Taking pictures of your injury and the dog, if possible
- Calling the police and filing a police report
- Obtaining the owner’s name and contact information, which can usually be obtained from the police report or the owner directly
- Get evaluated and tested for diseases by a doctor
- Consult with a dog bite attorney
Who do I Report a Dog Bite To?
Regardless of whether the bite is serious or minor, you should always contact the police if you get bitten by a dog. The police will document what happened, issue a citation to the pet owner if they were in violation of any county or city ordinances, and if needed, contact animal control.
Get the Pet Owner’s Name and Contact Information
Every dog bite case is different, but regardless of the circumstances, you want to make sure you have the name of the pet owner or at least the address where the dog resides. This information is usually contained within a police report, but in the event a police report was not filed, you should try to determine, to some degree, who the pet owner is and their address.
Document Your Injuries
Georgia is considered a “negligence” dog bite state. Meaning, any case you bring against a pet owner for a dog bite involves an allegation that the pet owner’s negligence caused your injuries, but you, with the help of your dog bite attorney, must provide proof of your injuries and the pet owner’s negligent actions.
Photos of your injuries, medical records from doctors that treated your dog bite, and witness statements can all be used to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and exactly what transpired when the bite occurred. So, you should gather as much evidence after the attack as possible, which will strengthen your case if it goes to trial.