When you think of a dog, you probably think of your own or one you see every day, and probably do not even imagine the ones that are more prone to bite. But dog bites happen and happen often. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), over 4.7 million people suffer a bite from a dog every year.
But what other statistics surround dog bites? What causes dogs to bite? What do you do if you suffer a bite from a dog, and what laws does Georgia have regarding them?
Read on and discover more information about dog bites in Georgia and what to do if it happens to you.
Dog Bite Statistics
Dog bites are more common than you may realize. Here is a list of dog bite statistics
- Research suggests that only 17% of dog bites get reported
- Around 800,000 dog bite injuries require medical treatment
- Around 16 people die every year due to bites from a dog
- Half of all dog bite incidents involve children
- 80% of dog bite incidents involve a neighbor’s dog or a family-owned pet
- About 8% of dog bites that happen to people the age of 16 and older are work-related
The Georgia counties with the most dog bite attacks include:
- Chatham County = 152 bites per 100,000 residents
- Bulloch County = 87 bites per 100,000 residents
- Effingham = 24 bites per 100,000 residents
But what causes dogs to bite?
Common Causes of Dog Bites
Dogs will bite for a variety of reasons, but the top three reasons a dog will bite include the following:
- Fear. If a dog feels threatened, it will respond with the “flight or fight” response, causing many dogs to choose to fight. When dogs feel fear, it will drive them to act aggressively. They will also react in an aggressive manner if they feel they are in a dangerous situation or need to defend themselves from something that could harm them. Biting is a typical response when a dog feels fear.
- Possession Aggression. Also known as resource guarding, possession aggression is when dogs become possessive of cherished items, such as their food, toys, or beds. Possession aggression may cause a dog to growl if someone approaches their favorite toy or food bowl.
- Domination. To establish dominance, dogs will possibly become aggressive and bite. Dominance issues happen when dogs believe they have authority. If they feel their leadership is in jeopardy, they may growl or snap at people. Proper training and rehabilitation can correct a dog’s dominance issues.
Georgia Animal Bite Laws
In the United States, Georgia has one of the ten highest dog bite claims each year.
Georgia law states that dog owners may be held liable in legal cases regarding injuries their dog causes. If the owners were careless, permitted their dog to roam freely, or violated city or county ordinances, they may be held legally liable.
Many cities and counties in Georgia have individual ordinances for dogs, some of which relate to dogs’ specific breeds. For example, LaGrange and Lawrenceville both have rules restricting people from owning a Pitbull and have special regulations for those who wish to own one.
Several counties in Georgia have applied strict ordinances to reduce the number of roaming dogs and to reduce the high rate of dog attacks.
Dog Bite Lawsuits in Georgia
If you have suffered from injuries related to a dog attack in Georgia, you may want to file a dog bite lawsuit. You can undoubtedly file one if you can prove the following:
- The dog is/was dangerous or brutal
- The dog’s owner was careless and let the dog freely roam, thereby causing injuries
- You did not provoke the animal in any way
You must file a lawsuit regarding a bite from a dog within two years from the date of the injury. Filing a lawsuit in Georgia may allow you to recover damages for your medical costs, pain and suffering, physical injuries, lost income, and other possible losses.
If you have suffered from a dog attack or any incident involving the bite from a dog, you may be eligible to file a dog bite lawsuit, and the Law Office of John B Jackson can help. With a free consultation, you can discuss your case, get your questions answered, and address your concerns. With a dog bite attorney in Georgia, you may be able to recoup the losses your injuries have caused you. So, contact the Law Office of John B Jackson today.