For many dog owners, their pet is more like a member of their family. Dogs can be some of the most loving and affectionate creatures around, and most dog owners couldn’t imagine their dog being dangerous. Still, dog attacks are more common than you might expect, with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur a year. When your dog injures a human, it can lead to a lot of very expensive legal issues for you.
In a dog bite injury case, the burden of proof rests on the victim. This means that it is up to the person who was bit to prove that they were bit due to negligence on your part as a dog owner. In order to do this, they must prove elements such as:
- The dog owner was aware of the aggressive behavior of the dog.
- The owner was careless in their maintenance of the dog by allowing them to leave the property or otherwise roam free.
- The victim in no way provoked the dog to attack.
To protect yourself from these elements applying to you, it is important to watch your dog for any aggressive tendencies, such as biting of other dogs or refusal to follow orders. If you have seen these dangerous behaviors from your dog, even if they are sweet and loving when you are around, you must take caution. The best way to protect yourself from being found negligent in a dog attack is to make sure that your dog is contained on your property, and keep your dog on a leash when going on walks.
Dog bites can be very serious and can lead to infections that can carry large medical bills and crippling injuries. Most dog attacks involve children, who may not know how to properly treat the dog and can accidentally antagonize them. As such, all dog owners should take care in making sure that their dog does not pose a risk to those around them, not only to avoid costly lawsuits but also as a responsibility to your neighbors.
If you have been attacked by an aggressive dog, or if your dog has bit someone who you believe may file a lawsuit, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced dog bite attorney Atlanta GA relies on. Your attorney will be able to apply the specific laws of your state to your case, and make sure that you get the fair outcome you deserve.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., for their insight into dog bite cases.