In just a moment what may seem like an innocent interaction with a neighborhood dog can turn dangerous. Each year, our local emergency rooms see many dog bite victims, and a sadly large majority of these are children. Every state has its own statutes regarding suing a dog owner for dog bite injuries, and in Lawrenceville, Georgia the law regarding dog bite liability generally tends to favor the dog’s owner rather than the victims.
As per the state of Georgia rules and regulations, it is necessary to have multiple grounds for dog bite liability, as opposed to only a single ground for liability in other states. Multiple grounds for liability can include a dog who has attacked a person in the past, but there are other methods of providing proof. Crucially, the law regarding dog bite injuries in Lawrenceville, GA, does not stipulate whether the dog’s owner needs to be present at the time of the attack.
Dog Bite Injuries by Aggressive Dogs in Lawrenceville, GA
Dogs are wonderful companions, as most people know. However, that does not mean that dogs cannot also snap at, bite, or worse, viciously attack an innocent human. Dogs, after all, are animals first, though most are domesticated and well behaved. Aggressive dogs, in most cases, have been made dangerous by their interactions with people. A dog who is not adequately socialized with humans from birth may become aggressive. This is sometimes seen in dogs who spend their lives sequestered in a paddock, attached to a chain all their life, receiving little, if any, interaction with humans.
In other cases, a dog may have suffered physical abuse or neglect at the hands of their owners. This is heartbreaking, but also dangerous: when dogs are neglected, mistreated, and abused, they can become very aggressive toward people or other animals. In Georgia, we have a sad history of underground dog fighting, and these dog owners are not only raising very aggressive and dangerous dogs, but they are also creating serious legal liabilities for themselves. However, a dog who is aggressive is not necessarily an indicator of abuse, neglect, or dogfighting. Sometimes, a dog who is given plenty of love and attention develops aggressive behaviors anyway.
Proving Liability in Your Lawrenceville, GA Dog Bite Injury Case
In dog bite injury cases, the burden of proof lies with the victim. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the law regarding dog bite liability in Lawrenceville, GA. When you pursue your claim, you can expect several things.
First, the owner of the animal in dog bite injury cases frequently states that they did not know their dog had any aggressive tendencies. Since the state of Georgia requires multiple grounds of liability in dog bite injuries, this is a valid defense for a dog owner. However, when you work with the experienced attorneys at Cain Injury Law, you can be sure that we will thoroughly investigate your case and do everything we can to show liability on the part of the dog owner, even if the owner was not present at the time of the attack.
In order to prove liability in a Lawrenceville, Georgia dog bite injury case, it is necessary to show that:
- The owner had knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies
- The owner showed carelessness in allowing the dog to roam free or leave the property
- The victim made no provocation toward the dog
In addition, if there is a local “leash law” requiring dogs to be on a leash while outside and the dog is in fact not leashed, then the dog’s propensity for aggression is implied and assumed, and there is no need for evidence of prior attacks. This is an important exception, as the process of uncovering a prior attack in a dog’s history is often very difficult. Often, dog owners will allow their dog outside into a yard without a fence to relieve themselves, without accompanying the dog with a leash.
These are situations which often result in the dog leaving the property and attacking innocent victims such as children, joggers, or mail and parcel delivery personnel.
Another exception to the provision involves provocation on the part of the victim. If it can be shown that the victim of a dog bite injury in Lawrenceville, GA teased, struck, behaved aggressively, or otherwise provoked the dog, then the owner will not be held liable. The lesson here, then, is this: if you are faced with a dog you do not know, do not interact with it at all. Most likely it will not chase or attack, and if it does, you are legally covered.