Dogs are one of God’s loveliest creatures: charming, friendly, and affectionate. And no wonder people love having them as companions. Atlanta, in Georgia, is the sixth pet-friendliest state in the USA, with almost every other house having a dog.

However, owning a dog comes with its share of responsibilities. Even the slightest neglect or improper training can cause them to snap at strangers. According to statistics, Atlanta has between 50 to 100 bites per 100,000 population.

If a dog has bitten you because of its owner’s negligence, you must contact an attorney in the region your bite happened. For example, if you were bitten by a dog in Atlanta, then you would need to hire an Atlanta dog bite injury lawyer. In most cases, the victims are tempted to negotiate directly with the owner, especially if they are familiar faces. However, the best course of action is to allow an expert attorney to handle your case and ensure you receive fair compensation.

Also Read: Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer in the UK

Why Should You Contact a Dog Bite Attorney?

A lawyer will advise you on the best action to seek compensation or file lawsuits against the animal owner. They may also be able to help with medical costs if necessary and give advice on other matters related to being bitten by a dog, such as whether homeowners’ insurance covers these issues or what rights people have under state law when dogs injure them.

Most of all, your lawyer will help you by investigating the case, including examining the location of the attack, collecting medical records, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing the owner and the dog’s history.

What is Dog Owner Liability?

It makes the owner legally responsible for any injuries caused by that bite. If someone’s dog bites you and you decide to sue its owner in court, you can get monetary damages from them if they were negligent or careless enough to allow the attack to happen.

Suppose an owner knows or should have known that their pet will behave aggressively towards humans (or other animals). In that case, they are charged with negligence per se—meaning they must pay compensation regardless of whether their actions led directly to an injury.

Georgia, and therefore Atlanta, have a law called the Responsible Dog Owner Act, making owners solely responsible for their dog attacks on others. Further, the laws in Georgia make it mandatory for dog owners to have 50,000 USD in liability insurance to cover injuries caused by their pets.

Understanding the Bite Laws in Georgia

The one-bite rule is a common law doctrine that protects people who someone’s dog has bitten. It applies to anyone bitten by a dog, regardless of whether they have provoked the attack. As per the law, if a dog attacks and bites you, you may still be able to sue for damages under this doctrine, even if your actions led to getting bitten in the first place.

Georgia and Atlanta have a one-bite rule, and it’s crucial to understand what it means. After an owner’s dog bites someone for the first time, they must prevent their dog from going outside without a leash or a crater and ensure constant supervision of their pet around children or minors. 

What is the Leash Law in Atlanta?

As per the Municipal Code laid out by the City of Atlanta, owners should put a leash on their dogs when walking outdoors and under control at all times. However, if multiple dogs are on leashes together, they must wear collars with identification tags attached to each one so their owners can easily find them if needed.

Failure to observe the following law in Atlanta constitutes a violation, and your attorney could use this violation to prove the dog’s vicious nature, making the owner entirely responsible.

What Types of Compensation Will You Receive?

You can receive three types of compensation for a dog bite case: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic damages are awarded for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Non-economic damages include loss of wages and earning capacity and other types of compensation that can be awarded depending on the severity of your injuries.

Suppose you can prove that you suffered emotional distress because of the attack by a dog. In that case, the court can add punitive damages to punish the owner(s) for irresponsibility.
You should hire an Atlanta dog bite injury lawyer if a dog has bitten you because of its owner’s negligence. They will examine the attack location, talk to witnesses, gather medical records, and examine the owner’s history for past signs of aggressive behavior.