New Precedent Set for Dog Bite Cases
Dog bites can result in a variety of mild to severe soft tissue injuries, ranging from lacerations to nerve damage and, in some cases, even broken bones. For those who have been attacked, the incident often ranks as one of the scariest experiences in their lives. Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court made a decision that could make it much easier for victims to recover damages from a dog’s owner after an attack.
The court findings essentially came down to one question: Did the owner know the dog had a tendency to attack, or had it shown any dangerous behavior previously? While this was not a landmark question, the answer does set a precedent: If the dog had snapped at someone in the past, that is enough to know the animal does have violent tendencies, even if they had never bitten anyone.
This decision stemmed from a 2011 lawsuit in Henry County. A woman went to her neighbor’s house to borrow some tea bags, when she was attacked by a pit bull named Rocks in the yard. The attack left her with nerve damage and substantial scarring. However, this was not Rocks’ first instance of being violent, according to the new criteria.
The first day Rocks was rescued, he snapped at one of his owners. He also snapped at a neighbor when the neighbor came to see him on his first day in the new home. According to the Supreme Court, that should have been a warning that he may attack someone.
Rocks was put down after the attack.
Though the Supreme Court has stated its findings, it will be up to a jury to decide whether or not the dog’s owners should have known the dog was vicious.
If you have suffered soft tissue injury in Atlanta due to a dog attack or any other kind of incident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Fortas today for a free consultation.