Two women in Oxford, Connecticut were treated at a local hospital after having been attacked by one of their neighbor’s German shepherd. The 37 and 49-year-old victims were taken by ambulance with bite wounds to their arms and legs. A common scenario when dogs attack.
Police report that the dog attacked one of the women before breaking away from its owner, and ran back to attack the other woman who had gone to help the victim of the initial attack. The owner of the dog has been cited for having an expired rabies certificate, two counts for having a nuisance animal, and two counts for permitting the dog to roam.
Here in Atlanta, we follow the “one bite rule.” That is, all dogs in Atlanta get “one free bite” before they become a liability to their owner. After the initial bite, the dog’s owner is placed on notice and becomes liable for all damages caused by the animal. However, there are numerous exceptions to the one-bite-rule which, for all intents and purposes, render it void. For instance the Atlanta leash law states:
- All dogs must be on a leash when in City of Atlanta parks, trails and public spaces that are not designated dog parks.
- If you are caught with your dog off a leash, Atlanta Police Officers will cite you.
- Persons with pets must clean up after the pet.
- No pets are allowed during A, B or C festivals. (For more information about festivals, go to Special Rules for Parks During the Festival Season.)
- Owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs. Each dog must be kept within sight of her/his owner and under voice control.
Someone who possesses or keeps a ferocious or dangerous animal and who, by careless supervision or lets the animal go at free will, injures another person who does not provoke the injury, can be held accountable for damages to the injured person.
The thought behind this law is that the owner “knew or should have known” of the dog’s potential for viciousness if it “was not at heel or on a leash” as required by law or if the dog bit someone at a previous time.
After the first bite, the owner has to register the canine as a “dangerous dog” with the Georgia Dangerous Dog Control Office. Then the owner becomes the dog’s sole insurer and is solely legally responsible for any injuries it may cause. Even if other individuals “contributed” to the negligence by aggravating or freeing the dog, only the owner is liable for the subsequent injuries.
Dog bites can cause large medical bills, lost earnings, and other serious problems. Therefore, if a dog has injured you or a loved one, an experienced Atlanta dog bite lawyer can help. Since 1997, we at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC have successfully helped numerous victims of dog bites. Please call us at (404) 525-5150 or contact us online to discuss the value of your case.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.