A German Shepherd behind a fence.
Dealing with the aftermath of a dog attack can feel utterly devastating. Not only can you end up with severe injuries that can lead to a long-term impact on your quality of life, you may find yourself struggling with ongoing PTSD or anxiety around other dogs, especially if you suffered severe injuries. What do you need to know about dog bite laws in Georgia? Can you seek compensation for a dog attack? Take a look at everything you need to know about Georgia dog bite laws.

Protections Offered by Georgia Dog Bite Laws

Georgia dog bite laws provide protection when:
  • A dog kills or injures livestock belonging to another party
  • A vicious dog causes injuries to another party
Current Georgia dog bite law does not offer the type of one-bite protection found in other states. However, it does offer protection when a dog owner negligently controls the animal, leading to serious injuries.

Local Requirements

Many areas of Georgia have specific leash laws and other requirements that govern when a dog has to be on a leash. For example, city ordinances may require you to keep your dog on a leash when off your property. If your local requirements require dog owners to strictly control their dogs, and the dog’s owner fails to control the dog properly, resulting in a dog attack, the dog’s owner may bear liability for the attack.

Vicious Dog Requirements

Georgia law does require dog owners to leash or control vicious dogs. Vicious or dangerous dogs may include those who have shown a habit of biting or attacking in the past, or who may have caused serious injury or damage to other people or dogs. Dog owners who own vicious animals may bear liability any time they fail to properly control the dog and it results in an attack.

The Damages You Can Recover After a Dog Attack

Following a dog attack, you may have the right to compensation for any injuries you sustained because of the dog’s dangerous actions. In order to establish liability for the dog attack, you may need to show that:
  • The dog’s owner committed an act of negligence in some way. That may mean that the dog’s owner failed to adhere to local leash laws or dog control mandates, or that the owner of a vicious dog failed to take any steps necessary to keep the animal under control.
  • You had the legal right to enter the property where the dog attack occurred. For example, trespassers who end up suffering injuries in a dog attack may not have the right to seek compensation for their injuries.
  • You did not deliberately or knowingly provoke the dog in any way. In general, when dogs attack due to provocation, the person provoking the dog will bear liability for the attack.
Damages you can recover after a dog attack may vary depending on the extent of your injuries. However, most dog bite claims do include compensation for the damages you sustained in the dog attack.

The Cost of Treatment for Your Injuries

Generally, dog bite laws hold the dog’s owner liable for any medical costs that arise because of the dog’s attack. Medical costs can prove incredibly damaging in the aftermath of a dog attack, and you may find yourself struggling to keep up with those bills. By claiming compensation for the medical bills associated with the dog attack, you can make it easier to pay those bills and manage your expenses.

Income Losses

In some cases, a dog attack can result in such severe injuries that you end up missing the ability to go to work after the accident. How much time you miss at work may depend on what injuries you suffered, where that injury occurred, and what type of work you do. Talk to a lawyer about how and why your injuries may have caused you to miss work.

Pain and Suffering

In some cases, especially in the case of severe injuries from an attack, you may have the right to recover compensation for pain and suffering associated with a dog attack. Talk to your lawyer about symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD arising from the dog attack as well as any emotional struggles.

The Statute of Limitations in Georgia Dog Bite Claims

The statute of limitations governs how long you have to file a claim after you sustain injuries in an attack or accident due to the negligence of another party: in this case, the dog’s owner. Georgia law allows you two years to file a claim before the statute of limitations out. After that two-year mark, the courts will generally refuse to hear the case, which means you likely will not recover compensation for your dog attack injuries. Talk to a lawyer to learn more about when to file your claim in order to achieve the best possible results.

What Should You Do After a Dog Attack in Georgia?

After a dog attack, you may find yourself reeling. What should you do next? How can you protect yourself? Start by taking care of any emergency first aid needs. Stop the bleeding or seek medical attention if needed. Next, make sure that you report the incident to your local Animal Control department. Animal Control can make sure the dangerous dog has any needed vaccines. Furthermore, repeated reports about a dangerous dog may increase the likelihood that Animal Control will deem the dog vicious and require its owner to keep it contained. Finally, consult with a Georgia dog bite attorney to learn more about how you can seek compensation for the damages associated with the dog attack. Consult with an attorney before talking to the dog owner’s insurance policy so that you can improve the likelihood that you will obtain reasonable compensation for your dog attack injuries.

Did You Suffer Injuries in a Georgia Dog Attack?

After a Georgia dog attack, you may need an attorney to help you navigate the complicated claim process. Contact Cambre & Associates today for help with your Georgia dog bite claim.