Georgia’s Dog Bite Laws

woman with an injury on her arm from a dog bite

When dogs attack, they often leave their victims with painful injuries, debilitating emotional trauma, and upsetting scars. If a dog bit you in Georgia, you might have grounds to seek compensation for your medical treatment and related losses. The personal injury attorneys of Geiger Legal Group, LLC want you to understand the most important dog bite laws in Georgia and how they might affect your case. To learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out for more personalized help with a dog bite attorney.

Georgia’s Dangerous Dog Law

Although Georgia does not have a statute on the books that explicitly applies to dog bites, it does have a law that establishes liability for an owner whose animal causes injury. The state also follows common legal standards in these cases. Under Georgia law, a dog may be considered dangerous in certain circumstances. The law defines a “dangerous dog” as any dog that:

  • Makes a substantial puncture of someone’s skin with its teeth
  • Aggressively attacks a person, causing the person to reasonably believe the dog poses a threat of harm
  • Kills another animal or pet while off the owner’s property

The law also defines a “vicious dog” as any dog that seriously injures a person trying to escape a dog attack or causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a damaged organ.

RELATED: What to do if you get bit by a dog while running

What Is the One-Bite Rule for Dog Bite Cases?

In states with a “one-bite rule,” a dog owner is liable for injuries their dog causes if they knew or should have known the dog could be vicious or dangerous. Generally, this rule is meant to put the dog’s owner “on notice” that their dog is potentially dangerous and should take necessary precautions to avoid another attack. A dog’s owner can still be liable for its attack if it has not bitten anyone before, though their liability is more difficult to prove.

Georgia is not technically a one-bite state. However, Georgia effectively has a modified one-bite rule that can be found in Georgia Code § 51-2-7. This statute states that a person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal may be liable for injuries the animal inflicts on another person — so long as the injured person did not provoke the animal. A dog’s owner will likely be responsible for injuries in a dog bite case if the city or county requires dogs to be on leashes and their dog was not leashed when the attack occurred.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites in Georgia

Georgia’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims gives you only two years from the injury date to file a lawsuit, with few exceptions. Two years might seem like a long time, but building a strong case can take weeks or months. It is best to speak to an attorney immediately. You do not want to lose your right to seek compensation in civil court because you waited too long to act.

Talk to an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney in Canton, GA Today

The attorneys at Geiger Legal Group, LLC know how devastating injuries from dog bites and attacks can be. We can help you pursue the compensation you need for medical bills and related expenses. Contact our office today to talk to an experienced dog bite attorney in Canton during a free consultation.

About the Author: Geiger Legal Group, LLC

In 1981, attorney J. Christopher Geiger began practicing law in Canton, GA, determined to provide personalized legal service to the people of Cherokee County. His son Casey followed in his footsteps, first practicing law in Colorado before joining his father in 2017 to form the Geiger Legal Group, LLC. Together, the father and son team have built a law firm that revolves around clients, not cases.