According to a report from WSB-TV 2, a 16-year-old girl was attacked and injured by a dog in Clayton County. The dog has been returned to the owner by local animal control and the parents are demanding answers about how they can keep their children safe in the neighborhood. In this article, our Atlanta dog bite attorney provides a more detailed overview of the attack and explains the most important things you should know about Georgia’s dog bite liability laws.
Two Rottweilers Attacked a 16-Year-Old Girl in Jonesboro, GA
WSB-TV 2 reports that a Jonesboro, GA father received a call from his 17-year-old daughter. She told him that her younger sister (Sanyah Aquil) was being attacked and mauled by two rottweilers. The teenage girl suffered serious injuries in the attack. In total, she was bitten by the dogs more than 30 times. A significant amount of blood was lost in the attack.
The sisters were reportedly leaving a local convenience store on their bikes when the two rottweilers escaped a nearby property through a hole in the fence. Clayton County has now returned at least one of the dogs to the owners. The family reports that they do not feel safe in their own neighborhood.
What to Know About Dog Bite Liability in Georgia
The dog bite laws in Georgia are not as favorable to victims as they are in some other states. While a majority of U.S. states now have some form of strict liability statute on the books for dog attacks, Georgia is not one of them. Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7), a dog owner is legally liable for a bite if they keep:
- ”…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.”
This standard is sometimes referred to as the ‘one-bite rule.’ In general, a dog owner is only deemed negligent and liable for an attack if they knew or should have known their animal was vicious or dangerous. Most often, that requires proving that a prior attack occurred. Local law can also make a difference in dog bite cases. In Atlanta dogs must be leashed in public spaces other than dog parks.
Note: While Georgia is known as a ‘one-bite’ state, a prior bite is not always necessary to bring a dog bite injury claim. Under the statute, a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by a vicious or dangerous canine. A dog may be deemed vicious or dangerous based on prior aggression towards people, even if the animal never actually bit a person.
Call Our Atlanta, GA Dog Bite Attorney for Immediate Help
At Ponton Law, our Atlanta dog bite injury lawyer fights aggressively for justice. If you or your child was injured by a dangerous dog, we are here to help you get justice and full financial support. Call us at (404) 418-8507 or contact us online to arrange your free case review. From our Atlanta legal office, we handle dog bite injuries claims throughout northern Georgia.