Dog bite laws, like the one bite rule, can vary from state to state. The regulations keep residents safe and hold negligent pet owners responsible for the damages their animals inflict on others.
So, does Georgia adhere to the one bite rule? While Georgia is not technically a one bite rule state, it has similar legal standards that a dog bite lawyer will enforce.
What Is the One Bite Rule?
The one bite rule originated in common law and is commonly referred to during dog attack lawsuits. It states that the owner of a domesticated animal is liable for damages the animal causes if the owner knew (or should have known) about the dog’s vicious nature. However, a dog is not considered vicious unless it has bitten another person in the past.
Once the dog attacks a person or animal, the owner can be held 100% liable for any future damages the animal inflicts on others.
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What Is Georgia’s Modified One Bite Rule for Dogs?
Georgia uses a modified one bite rule. A dog owner in Georgia is liable for a dog bite if they knew that a dog was vicious.
Under Georgia law, a dog can also be deemed “vicious,” and the owner can be held liable if the owner was careless (such as not keeping the dog on a leash) or the attack was unprovoked. These modifications to the one bite law give a dog bite victim more flexibility because it makes it easier to show that a dog was dangerous.
Do Other Aggressive Behaviors Go Against the One Bite Rule?
You may be able to show that a dog is dangerous or vicious in other ways, even if it did not bite anyone. But, a history of biting people is perhaps the easiest way to prove that a dog is dangerous.
Nonetheless, if the dog exhibits other behaviors that make it seem aggressive, that could be enough to notify the owner that the dog is not safe. Other actions include:
- Charging at people or animals
- Excessive growling or snarling
- Aggressive barking
- Attempting to get away from an owner to attack another person
Just because the dog did not successfully bite someone doesn’t mean that the owner isn’t aware of its dangerous behaviors.
How Can a Dog Bite Lawyer Help After an Attack?
A dog bite attorney will:
- Determine liable parties (usually this is the dog owner or the person responsible for keeping the dog under control)
- Establish the full extent of your dog bite injuries
- Gather evidence to build a strong case
- Calculate a reasonable settlement for your damages
- Negotiate a payout and represent you during a trial (if necessary)
Most importantly, a legal expert files dog bite lawsuit within Georgia’s statute of limitations (two years from the date of the attack). If you miss the deadline to file your claim, your case will get dismissed, and you will not be able to collect compensation for your damages. An attorney prevents this from happening by taking immediate legal action.
Let Our Georgia Dog Bite Lawyers Represent You
If you were attacked by a dog, there are legal options available to help you deal with your damages. At John Foy & Associates, our skilled attorneys will walk you through your options as part of our free case evaluation process. Call us at 404-400-4000 or complete an online form to get started now.