Where do you turn if you’ve been attacked and injured by a vicious dog or animal? An individual may be held liable for damages if he or she owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal and carelessly allows the animal to go free, thus causing injury to another person by an unprovoked act. In Georgia, success in a dog bite case typically rests on proving that the dog’s owner was negligent in caring for a dangerous animal. An experienced personal injury attorney like H. Lehman Franklin or Kimberly Ward may provide effective and aggressive legal representation to help you recover for any losses to person or property caused by a vicious animal attack.
A beginning consideration is knowledge of when the statute of limitations “runs” or expires on a dog bite cause of action. Filing an action in Georgia for damages resulting from a dog bite must be done within two years of the date of the attack that caused injury. Therefore, it is necessary for plaintiffs to begin preparation sufficiently early so that the lawsuit is filed before this deadline passes. If the suit is filed after this two-year statute of limitations has expired, the court will dismiss the case.
Pursuant to Georgia statutory law, to establish the liability of an animal owner for bites and injuries caused by animals, the elements that must be proven are:
- the act which caused injury was unprovoked;
- the dog or other animal which injured the plaintiff was “vicious” or “dangerous” (a leash ordinance may be used to prove that an animal had such a propensity); and
- the animal was free because of the animal owner allowing it “to go at liberty” or by careless management.
Any animal that kills another pet or inflicts a bite that substantially punctures the skin of the victim will be considered “dangerous” in Georgia. Also, any animal that attacks a person who believed that the dog posed an immediate threat of serious injury will be considered “dangerous” under Georgia law. Once a dog is considered “dangerous,” its owner, if careless, may potentially be legally responsible for any unprovoked actions that cause losses to person or property.
The attorneys at H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. have the experience and competence to take every measure to protect your rights if you’ve been bitten by a vicious or dangerous animal. Our office is located at 127 North Main Street in Statesboro, GA (30458). We proudly serve Bulloch County, as well as the surrounding counties of Candler, Evans, Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Screven, and Jenkins. Contact our office by telephone at 912-764-9616, by email at email@example.com, or check us out online. We’re available to meet your legal needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM.