Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. Based in Gwinnett County, he handles serious injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. Call him for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585.
Dog bites are the number one source of homeowners insurance liability claims, and, according to the Insurance Information Institute, they account for more than one-third of all homeowners liability payouts. In Georgia, under O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7, a dog owner can be liable for a bite when he either (1) knew of the vicious or dangerous nature of his dog and was careless in managing the dog or let it go at liberty, or, (2) lets the dog go at liberty when he is required to keep it “at heel” or on a leash by any city or county ordinance (this second method proves a vicious propensity in the dog without requiring any history of prior viciousness). In all cases the dog attack victim must not provoke the attack. The statute applies to all animals, with the exception of domesticated fowls, and not just dogs. If an animal attacks, the owner can be held liable under Georgia law.
Dog owners, regardless of the dog's breed, can be held liable. This is true whether it is a large pit bull, chow, or doberman, or whether the dog is a toy Maltese. Obviously in many cases, the larger and stronger the dog, the worse the injuries will be. Dog owners can be held liable for bites that may require a few stitches as wells as the horrific dog attacks we sometimes hear of on the evening news. It is important to get an attorney working on a case right away. Key witnesses such as neighbors move away over time. When a vicious propensity of a dog is a key element to prove in these cases you want an attorney getting to work right away.
The full text of O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7 reads:
“A person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and who, by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured. In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash. The foregoing sentence shall not apply to domesticated fowl including roosters with spurs. The foregoing sentence shall not apply to domesticated livestock.”
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury because of a dog bite please contact attorney Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation today.
For a link to the Insurance Information Institute statistics, click here.
The information above is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.