The “one bite” rule applies to those who have been bitten by a dog. Many states have laws that a dog is not considered vicious or dangerous unless it has already bitten someone else and the owner knows about its violent history. When the dog bites someone else, it is clear that it is vicious. Without that bite, the owner could argue that they didn’t know the dog was dangerous. That means that the dog owner is only legally responsible for the damages that arise from the second bite.
Every state has slightly different law regarding dog bites. Georgia is not technically a “one bite rule” state, but it does have similar legal standards.
What does Georgia dog bite law say if there is no one-bite rule?
Georgia uses a modified “one bite rule.” If a dog owner knows that a dog is violent or vicious, then that owner can be legally responsible for the dog’s actions. But, sometimes the only way to prove that a dog is vicious is by knowing that it has bitten someone in the past. In addition, the dog’s owner must have been keeping the animal carelessly or recklessly, such as by letting it roam free in your neighborhood.
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 considered “vicious” if it is not leashed and there is a leash law or ordinance that applies in the area in which you were bitten. This law gives a dog bite victim a little more flexibility because it makes it easier to show that a dog was dangerous.
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Does the one bite rule really only apply to “bites”?
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 show that a dog is dangerous. Nonetheless, if the dog exhibits other behaviors that make it seem aggressive, that could be enough to put the owner on notice that the dog is not safe. Other actions could include things like:
- Charging at people or animals
- 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 that it is vicious. Your Georgia dog bite attorney can help you gather evidence to prove this type of case.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer for Free
If you have recently been bitten or attacked by a dog, you may have legal options to deal with your damages. John Foy & Associates can walk you through your options as part of our free case evaluation process. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.