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Georgia Dog Bite Law

Jan 17

Written by:
1/17/2013 11:46 AM  RssIcon

    It is surprising how many people are attacked by dogs in Atlanta and the surrounding metro counties.  Dog bites can be extremely painful, causing severe injuries and significant scarring.  It’s sad that children are often the victims of dog bites. 

    We have provided a brief summary of the current law in Georgia regarding dog bites and owner liability. 

O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7 is Georgia’s main dog bite statute.

O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7 reads as follows:

A person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and who, by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured. In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash.


    This statute provides two ways for an animal owner to be held liable for injuries inflicted by his dog. 

A.   Number One - The victim must prove that the dog was dangerous or vicious and the owner knew that the animal was dangerous or vicious before the attack occurred.  The victim must also prove that the owner was careless in managing the animal.

B.   Number Two – If there is a lack of evidence for Number One, then the victim can still prove liability by demonstrating that the owner violated a local “leash law” ordinance.  When the owner violates a local “leash law” at the time of the attack, the victim does not have to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous. 

    Many counties in Georgia have strict “leash law” requirements for animal owners.  For example, Cobb County, Georgia has a local leash law ordinance that imposes a strict duty on animal owners even when the animal is on the owner’s property.

    If you or a loved one was a victim of an animal attack or dog bite, please feel free to call us.  Attorney John Hurst is a Georgia dog bite lawyer.  We are happy to answer your questions.  We offer free consultations, so you would not be charged any money for discussing your case with us.    





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The Law Offices of John W. Hurst, P.C. represents clients in the metro Atlanta area, including Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta, Mableton, Kennesaw,Douglasville, Cobb County, Villa Rica, Paulding County, Alpharetta, Fairburn,  Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Roswell, Decatur, DeKalb County, Lithonia, Druid Hills, Dunwoody, Tucker, Duluth, Acworth, Fayetteville, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Chamblee, Snellville, Woodstock, Gainesville, Morrow, Carrollton, College Park, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Newnan, Conyers, Covington, Canton, Milton, John's Creek, Stockbridge, McDonough, Buford, Cumming, Athens, and other cities and counties throughout the State of Georgia.