You Deserve Compensation for Your Injury Pursue Justice with Jenkins Utley, P.C. On Your Side

Fido Bit My Finger

How Common are Dog Bites?

According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million dog bites occur each year! Of these, more than 800,000 will need medical attention and nearly half will be emergency or life-threatening situations. Men and children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at a higher risk of being bitten by dogs, and over half of those bites occur at home or by a family dog.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that over 1/3 of all homeowner insurance claims are from dog bites or injuries related to dogs. Some insurance providers will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds that have been categorized as dangerous; pit bulls are a common example.

Why do Dogs Bite?

Dogs bite for many reasons. Dogs commonly bite because they are scared, startled, not feeling well, protecting something, or responding to a stressful situation. You should always be cautious when approaching a dog that is unfamiliar to you, and should never attempt to touch the animal, especially if the dog appears uneasy.

How can I File a Dog Bite Claim Against the Dog’s Owner?

Dog bite laws are different in each state, and even separate cities or counties may have different ordinances. The law on dog bites in Georgia can be summarized as follows: if a person keeps a vicious or dangerous animal, and that animal injures another person while not provoked, then the animal’s owner may be liable for those injuries.

To bring a dog bite claim in Georgia, the Plaintiff (you), must have been injured, AND be able to prove two primary elements: (1) that the dog has vicious or dangerous tendencies; and (2) that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious or dangerous tendencies.

While there is no single, definite way to prove the second element listed above, one example would be to show that the dog has bitten someone else on a prior occasion, or had a history of exhibiting aggressive behavior. Another way to prove these elements is to show that the dog was required to be at heel or on a leash, due to a city or county ordinance, and the dog was not at heel or on a leash at the time the injury occurred.

If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, it is best to discuss any questions you may have with an attorney. At Jenkins Utley, P.C, we offer a free consultation and are happy to talk with you about your potential claim. Feel free to give us a call.