Dogs truly are man’s best friend. Dogs show unconditional love for their owners and have even saved human lives in emergency situations. Unfortunately, some dog owners abuse or mistreat their dogs, fail to give them the appropriate training and make them unreasonably dangerous. All too often these “dangerous dogs” go on to attack another person or animal. Dog bites are some of the most common injuries in the United States today, and statistics show that children are most at risk.
To recover under Georgia law for a dog bite, the dog owner must have some prior knowledge of the dog’s dangerous behavior before the bite. Evidence of the dog’s “dangerous propensity” includes prior bites, jumping or lunging at people, mistreatment by the owner or some other evidence that gives the owner notice that the dog is dangerous. Georgia law also allows a dog bite victim to recover when a local ordinance requires that all dogs be kept on a leash when off their owner’s property and the attack occurs off the owner’s property when the dog is allowed to roam free.
Dog bites can lead to significant medical expense for the victim. Georgia law provides an avenue for the victim to recover the cost of these expenses from the dog owner or the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. A dog bite injury can require wound treatment, stitches, antibiotic medication and in serious circumstances, even plastic surgery. More and more frequently, children dog bite victims also need psychological therapy to help them cope with the profound fear of dogs that comes following a traumatic dog bite. A dog bite settlement or verdict can include payment for all these necessary services.
Georgia dog bite law also allows recovery for a person’s pain and suffering after a dog bite. This generally includes compensation for any permanent scarring left on the skin from the bite. The jury will make a determination as to the appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation based on the specific facts of the case.
Dog bites are an unfortunately common injury that can have serious, long-term effects. Georgia law allows victims to recover compensation for the cost of their medical bills and their pain and suffering. An attorney with experience handing dog bite cases can further answer any questions a victim or his or her family may have about bringing a valid lawsuit.