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Attorney Jordan Van Matre

Is there a one-bite rule for vicious dogs in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Dog Bites

Many households in Georgia have canine companions and sometimes even working dogs. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and any of them can potentially become aggressive with very little warning. 

Dogs that attack people can cause disfiguring injuries, serious medical issues and sometimes even death. To hold an animal’s owner accountable, the person attacked by the dog or their parents may need to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. 

Does Georgia have a one-bite law that will prevent litigation if the animal has never attacked a person before? 

Georgia has a modified one-bite law 

The one-bite laws in certain states, including Georgia, are not as strict as people might think. For example, a dog does not actually have to bite someone for their owner to be liable for their future misconduct. 

They simply need to demonstrate a tendency toward aggression or violence. A dog that consistently snarls or snaps at people canine, just like a dog with a history of actually biting people. The law in Georgia also allows people to file a personal injury lawsuit against an animal’s owner if it runs free and hurts someone. 

Whether an individual takes the dog off of a leash in a park or fails to fence it improperly, a dog not adequately restrained by its owner can lead to the same amount of liability as a dog with a history of aggression toward humans. Those affected by a dangerous dog can potentially seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage caused by the animal’s attack. 

Learning more about premises liability and dog bite claims could help people more effectively demand accountability from someone who owns an aggressive or dangerous dog.