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Georgia Dog Laws

Most dogs love companions with little propensity for aggression. Yet, even the sweetest canines may bite when provoked. And you never can guess when a dog may be dangerous or vicious. After sustaining a dog bite, knowing the Georgia dog laws can help you protect yourself.

Georgia Dog Laws: What’s Classified as a Dangerous Dog?

Under Georgia dog bite laws, not all dogs that bite qualify as dangerous. If the bite was a nip or caused you only a minor scratch, the dog’s behavior will not merit this designation. But the dog may be dangerous if it punctures your skin or attacks you in an aggressive manner. If it killed your pet, it also meets this threshold.

And the dog may qualify as vicious – rather than dangerous – if it injured you in a manner that required stitches, gave you one of the serious dog bite infections, broke your bones, or could have killed you.

How Georgia Law Penalizes Dog Bites

In assigning liability for dog bites, under the responsible dog ownership law, Georgia penalizes owners who knew their dogs were dangerous or vicious yet were negligent in controlling them. The state also penalizes owners who disobey leash ordinances, provided the dog that bit you was running free. If the dog was vicious and had to remain on a leash or at heel legally, its owner would face consequences as well.

If the dog’s owner did not know it was dangerous, they may not shoulder liability for the incident. This may also happen in other specific cases, such as:

  • You provoked the dog
  • You abused the dog
  • You trespassed on the owner’s property
  • You sustained the dog bite while committing a crime against its owner

Absent these exceptions, Georgia’s statute of limitations gives you two years to file a personal injury claim after sustaining a dog bite. Often, the homeowner’s insurance of the dog’s owner will cover the related expenses. Consulting a Sandy Springs dog bite attorney can help you weigh your options moving forward.