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Atlanta Employment Law Attorney / Blog / Dog Bite / Georgia Woman Recovers $5.6 Million after Dog Attack

Georgia Woman Recovers $5.6 Million after Dog Attack


A Georgia woman recently recovered $5.6 million in a dog bite lawsuit filed against her neighbors who were homing their son’s dog while he was staying with them. The dog, a Labrador/pit bull mix, was owned by the defendant’s son. The woman was returning mail that had been accidentally delivered to her home when she was invited inside. The son’s dog attacked her causing severe injuries, according to the lawsuit. The dog repeatedly bit her, causing injuries to her arms, legs, face, neck, hands, and other parts of her body. The victim had to undergo multiple surgeries and spent a total of 19 days in the hospital due to complications related to the attack. She incurred medical expenses of $336,000.

The plaintiff’s attorneys demanded $1.4 million to settle the case. Their offer was rejected by the defendant’s insurer. After a five-day trial in Hall County Superior Court, the jury awarded the victim $5.6 million in damages and an additional $20,159.99 to her husband for taking care of his wife during her recovery process.

Georgia has a one-bite rule 

In the case mentioned above, the defendants denied that their dog had ever bitten anyone in the past. However, the plaintiffs were able to provide evidence that the dog had, in fact, bitten another person in the presence of his owners. Further, the dog showed aggressive tendencies when in the presence of veterinary personnel.

The state of Georgia operates under a modified one-bite rule. Your typical one-bite rule means that an owner can only be held liable for a dog bite incident if the dog has previously bitten another individual and they had foreknowledge that the dog was aggressive and prone to biting. This is a legal concept of “scienter” and it applies to negligence actions in dog bite cases. In Georgia, the law requires a plaintiff to prove only that the dog had aggressive tendencies and not that the dog necessarily bit another person prior to the attack. The plaintiffs were able to establish that not only did the dog have aggressive tendencies, but it actually, physically bit another party in the presence of his owners.

For a plaintiff to successfully hold a dog owner liable in the state of Georgia, the victim must establish a few key facts. This includes proving that the owner of the dog was aware that the dog was aggressive, vicious, or had bitten someone in the past. A plaintiff can also establish that the dog owner was careless in the management of the animal or allowed the dog to roam freely.

The dog had to be euthanized as a result of the attack.

Talk to an Atlanta, GA Dog Bite Attorney Today 

If you have been attacked by another party’s pet, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life. Call the Atlanta, GA dog bite attorneys at Forsythe Law Firm, LLC today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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