Can Trespassers Sue for Damages Sustained in a Dog Bite in Georgia?

A trespasser can’t sue for a dog bite in Georgia

One of the first things dog bite lawyers in Dublin learn is that it is hard to sue someone for damages when you’re a trespasser. Regardless of how your injuries occurred, if you were trespassing at the time they happened, you will have a hard time winning your case. This applies to dog bite lawsuits as well.

Every State Has Their Own Laws When it Comes to Dog Bites

When new clients come in to meet with us, they tend to assume the pet owners are strictly liable for injuries their dog owns. Of course, they don’t use the exact phrase “strictly liable.”

Our Dublin injury attorneys understand why somebody would think this. After all, if the defendant owns the animal that attacked you, who else would you hold liable? The truth is that every state has its own rules and laws when it comes to dog bites.

Some States Follow Something Called the “One-Bite Rule”

Of the fifty states, fourteen of them follow something called the “One Bite Rule.” This rule states that a dog’s owner is only liable if they knew their dog was vicious. Obviously, the best way to prove this is to demonstrate that the dog had bitten someone once before.

If the dog’s owner can show that you did something to cause the dog to bite you, there’s a chance you may not win. For example, if you were trespassing on the defendant’s property when the dog bit you, the owner may be off the hook.

A Handful of States Hold Dog Owners Strictly Liable if Their Dog Bites Someone

Most states do not follow the one-bite rule. Thirty-six states hold dog owners strictly liable. This means that if you’re bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner will probably have to pay your damages.

The only way you’ll be denied damages is if the dog’s owner can prove one of two things:

  • You provoked the animal prior to the bite.
  • You were trespassing at the time of the dog attack.

Your dog bite lawyer in Dublin will do their best to prove that neither of these things happened. However, if the defendant can show that you were, in fact, trespassing, there is very little your Dublin injury attorney can do.

Call a dog bite lawyer in Dublin, Georgia!

Georgia Follows a Modified Version of the One-Bite Rule

When it comes to dog bites in Georgia, the laws are similar to the one-bite rule. According to OCGA §51-2-6, your dog bite lawyer in Dublin must show that the dog’s owner had reason to believe the dog was vicious or dangerous.

The easiest way for your Dublin injury attorney to prove that the defendant knew their dog was dangerous is to show that the dog bit someone before. Of course, the defendant isn’t going to come right out and admit that.

Thankfully, your dog bite lawyer in Dublin has other ways of getting this information.

Your Dog Bite Lawyer in Dublin Must Prove the Following

If you expect to collect damages from the dog’s owner, your attorney is going to need to prove the following.

The Dog Bit You

You will need to prove that the dog bit you. Your dog bite lawyer in Dublin can do this in a variety of ways. For example, there may have been witnesses who saw the attack take place. There could’ve even been someone recording the event.

The Owner Knew the Dog Was Vicious

You will also have to prove that the dog’s owner knew their pet was vicious. As stated above, the easiest way to do this is to prove the dog had attacked someone prior. Another way you can do this is if there are records showing that the owner’s neighbors had complained to the authorities that the dog was constantly growling and acting aggressively toward the neighborhood children.

You Were Injured

Not surprisingly, you need to demonstrate that you were injured – This is why our Dublin injury attorneys tell our clients to go to the hospital immediately after their injury. If you do this, your medical records should make reference to the dog bite.

You Were Not Trespassing or Provoking the Animal

You may need to show that you were neither trespassing nor provoking the animal – In most dog bite cases that our Dublin injury attorneys handle, the defendant will raise one of these defenses. While it’s easy to prove you weren’t trespassing, it’s a lot harder to prove you didn’t provoke the dog. The good news is that the burden of proof will be on the dog’s owner.

What Kind of Damages Can Your Dublin Injury Attorney Demand?

If your dog bite lawyer in Dublin is able to prove liability, you will likely be awarded damages. However, in almost all the cases our Dublin injury attorneys handle, they negotiate a settlement.

Nobody wants to go to trial unless they have to. Odds are, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will work out a settlement that is favorable to both parties.

Call an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in Dublin, Georgia!

If you’re attacked by a dog, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in the emergency room. While you’re being seen by a doctor, a part of you is wondering if you can sue the dog’s owner. Our Georgia injury attorneys have helped dozens of dog bite victims over the years.

While it is not a given that you’ll be entitled to damages, the odds are in your favor. For the most part, the dog’s owner will be held responsible for their pet. However, there are times when the court finds the dog bite victim incited the attack.

We suggest you contact our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. Take the time to sit down with a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Dublin. If they think you have a legitimate claim for damages, they will more than likely be able to help.

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