As the recent article in the AJC points out, Georgia is the 9th ranked state for one of the largest payouts of the leading insurance company in the nation. It’s also a safe bet that most of the dog attacks in Georgia take place in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area.
We have noticed an increase in the number of deadly dog attacks on children in the Atlanta area. Many of these attacks involve pit bulls and negligent supervision. While pit bulls are not, per se, dangerous, they do tend to be involved in many of the vicious dog attacks that my firm gets involved with. In addition to more frequent incidents of dog attacks involving pit bulls, it does appear that the attacks by pit bull or more serious and require much more medical attention than attacks by other dogs.
Much has been written in Georgia about the “one bite rule” and legal scholars go to great lengths to explain the rule and how it insulates dog owners of liability in situations in which their dog attacks someone
In most cases, the dogs’ owners are responsible for the victims hospital and medical bills because owners have a legal responsibility to prevent their pets from injuring people or damaging property. If a dog hurts someone, the owner will probably have to reimburse the victim for medical expenses, time lost from work, pain and suffering, and any permanent injuries that result from the attack. Many times, emotional harm is caused by the attack and the victims develop a life-long fear of dogs, which is an especially large claim in these types of cases because dogs are everywhere we go and if one is afraid of dogs after being attacked, life is simply not the same as it was before. The owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may cover the cost, even if the injury happens off the owner’s property. Because of this, it is important to timely identify the dog owner and secure the insurance information in a timely manner.
The owner may also be required to take measures to prevent another incident—in the most serious cases, by destroying the dog. An owner who acts recklessly or deliberately—by letting an aggressive dog run loose around children, for example—may face a fine or even a jail sentence.
If you are a dog owner and parent, never leave your children alone with a dog or dogs, especially if the dog has exhibited vicious propensities before. If you or your child has been attacked by a dog and would like to discuss your legal options, please give Robert J. Fleming a call on (404) 525-5150. Attorney 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) 923-7497 or contact us online.