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Attorney Jordan Van Matre

I’ve been bitten by a stray dog. Who is liable?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Dog Bites

Dogs are wonderful animals. However, these friendly companions can turn aggressive and cause serious bodily injury if provoked. If you are attacked and hurt by someone’s dog, you may file a civil claim against the dog owner or handler. But what if you are attacked by a stray dog?

According to Georgia dog bite laws, you can hold a dog owner liable for injuries caused by their animal if they knew it was dangerous and were negligent in taking care of it. However, things can become slightly complicated if the dog in question is a stray dog.

Pursuing damages when you are attacked by a stray dog

Basically, your ability to file a successful claim if you are attacked by a stray dog comes down to whether or not you can trace the dog owner. For this to happen, must employ a couple of strategies. Upon filing a report, the police and the animal control department may refer to the government records to help track down the defendant.

To help build a strong case, you could take photos of the dog as well as the surrounding areas where the attack happened.

Sometimes, an eyewitness can identify the owner of the dog or where it typically eats and sleeps. But what if the defendant claims that they only feed the dog out of kindness and that they do not own it? Well, in this case, you could argue that feeding and sheltering the animal amounts to them being the custodian of the animal and you may still be able to hold them responsible.

Protecting your rights

A dog attack can leave you hurt and shaken. Understanding Georgia’s dog bite laws can help you build a strong case if you are attacked by another person’s dog.