When is a dog’s owner liable for the bites it inflicts?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2022 | Uncategorized |

There are millions of dogs living as companion animals or working animals in Georgia. Most of them have attentive owners and the proper training to be safe around people.

However, some dogs are dangerous and aggressive. They may turn vicious and inflict serious injuries on people that they encounter outside or that enter the space they consider their territory. Whether a dog bites you when you visit a co-worker’s home or you take your children to the park, you can suffer significant injuries.

When can you hold the animal’s owner accountable? 

When they knew the animal was dangerous

Georgia does not have a strict liability rule for animal ownership. Instead, owners are only liable for animals that they know pose a risk to others. If the animal has bitten a person previously, displayed aggressive tendencies or killed an animal, then the owner would have reason to know the animal is dangerous. 

When the victim did not provoke the animal

Georgia law also exempts owners from liability if their pet bites someone that taunted the animal or otherwise provoked the attack. Someone breaking the law or trespassing may not have a claim against an animal’s owner, but a delivery person dropping off a package might.

Finally, to bring a claim against the animal’s owner, there will need to be some kind of loss. Medical bills, property damage expenses and lost wages are all financial consequences people can recoup after a dog attacks them.

Learning more about the Georgia rules that apply to dog bite attacks can help families affected by aggressive animals.