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When is a Georgia dog owner liable for bite injuries?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Dogs can be a source of companionship and love. They can help motivate people to exercise. They are also very expensive to own, in part because they can hurt people.

When dogs become aggressive toward humans, they can cause severe injuries. A dog bite incident could lead to disfiguring scars, broken bones and psychological trauma.

This can cost thousands of dollars in immediate medical bills and even more than that in long-term care costs after a dog bite incident. Who covers the expenses generated when a dog turns aggressive in Georgia?

Owners are often liable for an animal’s aggression.

Under current Georgia law, dog owners have some protection from liability. Typically, they are only culpable for injuries caused when the dog has bitten someone at least once before. The law also holds owners accountable when the dog’s behavior gives them reason to believe the animal may be dangerous.

The so-called one-bite rule limits liability if an animal suddenly bites despite prior good behavior. However, if someone fails to keep their dog on a leash when out in public, that failure could lead to owner liability even if the animal has never displayed aggressive behavior before.

Typically, when someone files a dog bite injury claim, insurance policies can help pay the costs generated by the incident. Occasionally, it may be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against the animal’s owner to get compensation for the injuries suffered because there’s no available insurance. Knowing what steps to take after a dog becomes aggressive may help people obtain the financial support they deserve.