Things to Know About Georgia Dog Bite Laws
If you've been bitten by a dog, it's important to understand how Georgia dog bite laws can protect you. Owners of dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs-and their insurance companies-must pay dog bite victims for damages and injuries if they are found guilty of violating local and state laws.
According to Georgia law, dog owners must pay damages to victims if they knew or should have known their dog had a tendency to bite people and cause injuries.
A dog owner can be fined up to $5,000 and face one year in prison the first time their dog attacks someone. For any subsequent attacks, a dog owner can be charged up to $10,000 in fines and face 10 years in prison. To be properly compensated in the state of Georgia, you have to prove the owner's negligence caused the dog bite.
Key Elements of Georgia Dog Bite Law
Georgia law defines a dangerous dog as an animal that causes injury to a person without provocation. Severe injuries include broken bones, death, and gashes that require stitches or cosmetic surgery to repair.
If an owner knows their dog is potentially dangerous and the dog is labeled potentially dangerous, the owner is liable for injuries. A potentially dangerous dog is one that bites, attacks, or causes danger to people without being provoked.
If dog owners fail to take steps to rein in their pets and an accident occurs, they are responsible. As a result, dog owners must adhere to certain guidelines to control their dogs and protect innocent bystanders. If any of the following rules is broken, a dog owner could be sued:
- Dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs have to be registered in the state of Georgia.
- Dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs must be securely restrained both inside and outside. If placed outside, the dog must be placed in an area enclosed by a fence or other structure. The structure has to prevent the animal from escaping; it also has to stop people from entering the area.
- If a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog is outside, but not in an enclosed area, it must be muzzled, leashed, or chained, and physically restrained by a person.
- Owners of potentially dangerous dogs or dangerous dogs must place signs on their property warning people that a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog is there.
- Owners of dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs must have at least $15,000 worth of liability insurance for personal injuries caused by the dog. In lieu of liability insurance, a dog owner could obtain a surety bond worth at least $15,000 to pay a dog bite victim.
If you've been the victim of a dog bite, immediately report the incident. Call the police or local animal control agency in your area. In addition, contact an experienced dog bite attorney who understands Georgia dog bite laws. A Georgia dog bite lawyer in Georgia can help you understand the laws of the state and help you win damages caused by a vicious dog.