Laws vary from state to state, but common threads exist. In Georgia, like many other states, a dog owner could be held liable for any injury the animal inflicts on others if negligence factors into the situation. Those who own particularly risky breeds may benefit from learning about local laws that detail their duties and responsibilities when the animal bites someone.
Dangerous dogs and biting incidents
For example, Atlanta law requires any dog that bites someone to undergo a 10-day quarantine for rabies at an animal shelter. The dog’s owner must pay the costs associated with the quarantine. Health resources indicate that rabies is 100% fatal once the virus reaches the brain or spinal cord of the bite victim.
Dog owners could face liability claims when their behavior contributed to someone’s injury. Georgia follows a strict liability rule, so owners who let their dogs run around off their leash or do not secure a canine known for being vicious or dangerous could face civil claims. Criminal charges could occur in some cases, such as when an owner maliciously orders an attack dog to bite someone.
Civil liability for dog bites
Dog bites could leave someone requiring stitches and antibiotics. Severe bites may require surgery and extensive treatment. Dog bite victims might seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages when they suffer such losses.
Again, negligence factors into such cases. If the victim hurt or provoked the dog, they may not have a negligence claim. However, when the dog bites someone for no reason and is able to jump a fence to attack someone, the owner could be liable for not properly securing the dog.
Homeowners’ insurance may cover dog bites, but many policies have exclusions for breeds or low coverage amounts. Procuring appropriate financial compensation may involve filing a lawsuit and going to trial.