Getting bitten or attacked by a dog is one of the most traumatic situations any Georgia resident can experience. Even without physical injuries, you can develop a phobia. Some jurisdictions follow the “one bite” rule” when it comes to dog bite liability.
Understanding the one bite rule
The “one bite rule” means that dog owners are liable for injuries their pets cause as a result of dog bites or attacks if they knew the dog was aggressive or previously bit someone. This differs from the strict liability rule, which makes the owner automatically liable even if it’s the first time their dog has bitten someone and caused injuries.
A previous bite must have occurred when the dog was aggressive and unprovoked; if the pet bit someone who was taunting or teasing it, the owner may not be held liable under the one bite rule.
Elements in dog bite injury cases
Certain elements must be in place in a personal injury claim involving dog bites. The first is that the dog has a history of aggression toward people or other animals. For example, the dog had a pattern of growling at the plaintiff in the past.
The second element is that the owner knew that the dog tends to exhibit aggression toward other people or pets or had bitten someone in the past. For example, even while leashed, the dog aggressively jumped on a neighbor while the owner was walking their pet.
The third element is that the dog has caused damage in the past. Using the previous example, if the neighbor the dog attacked in the past suffered injuries from a bite and needed stitches to close the wound, it would suffice as damages.
Dog bites can cause serious physical and even mental health injuries. If you suffered damages, you could hold the pet’s owner liable.