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Mark A. Casto
Mark A. Casto
Attorney • 706-940-4030

Have You Been Bit? Georgia Laws on Dog Bites

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ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Bak, 28th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, bites down on Staff Sgt. Kevin Nelson, 28 SFS K-9 unit trainer, during a training session, June 24. Sergeant Nelson wears a Òbite suitÓ to protect his legs from serious injury during the training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Anthony Sanchelli)Did you know that each year, more than 350,000 dog bite victims are seen in emergency rooms, and approximately 850,000 victims receive medical attention? If you happen to be included in this statistic, The Casto Law Firm is here to help. A dog attack can be a very traumatic event in a person’s life, no matter how serious the injuries may be. It can lead to the victim experiencing anxiety every time a dog is spotted. It can also lead to the owner of the dog being charged with murder. This is a very serious manner and we are here to do whatever it takes to help you.

In 2001, Dianne Whipple was murdered by two pet dogs while she was attempting to enter her own apartment. The owners of the dogs were tried in 2002 and they were sentenced to involuntary manslaughter and second degree murder. The judge’s reasoning was because the owner’s failed to muzzle the dogs despite knowing their potential dangerousness and failure to pull the dogs away from Ms. Whipple as they ripped her body to shreds for 5 minutes. Click here to read more about this case.

Now that kind of attack is rare, however, no matter how big or small the damage, The Casto Law Firm is here to help. Read below many questions that are frequently asked about Dog Bite Cases:

Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions

Is a dog owner responsible for their dog when it bites?

In Georgia, the common law rule is that a dog owner is liable for damages if the owner knew, or should have known, that the dog had the propensity to bite and cause injury. A dog’s aggressiveness or menacing behavior is not sufficient to prove a dog as dangerous.

What is a “potentially dangerous dog?”

A potentially dangerous dog in Georgia is defined as a dog that, without provocation, bites a human.

How does the law hold a dog owner responsible for a dog bite incident in Georgia?

Georgia’s dog bite law is one of the strongest in the nation, and local ordinances support dog bite claims. This gives dog bite victims two legal arguments to use to hold a dog owner responsible in a dog bite.

Can workers’ compensation insurance apply if I suffer a dog bite on the job?

Yes. If a dog bites you while you are working (say as a deliveryman, for example), you should be able to obtain worker’s compensation for your injury.

Are dog bite cases covered by homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance covers most dog bite injuries.

Can posting a “Beware of Dog” sign help offset any liability if the dog bites?

Potentially. The sign alerts others to the presence of the dog. If an attack occurs, more facts will be used to determine liability.

Is an owner responsible for injuries to a trespasser?

Typically, dog owners are protected from being sued by trespassers; however, you’ll want to discuss this with us here at The Casto Law Firm.