Anyone who has ever played with a puppy may know that the more aggressive the person is with the dog, the more aggressive the dog may get with them. A dog may get more and more excitable as their owner or playmate encourages them to run, chase or fetch; in Georgia, a person who instigates a dog into action and then suffers a bite because of it may lose their right to collect damages for their injuries.
Generally, dog bites are considered personal injuries and, therefore, those who suffer them can sue for the recovery of their damages. However, just as a person who causes their own harm when they slip and fall on a wet floor they created cannot collect damages for their self-inflicted pain, a dog bite victim may not be able to collect damages if they pushed the dog into attacking them.
A clear definition of provocation is not provided in Georgia’s dog bite statute. Whether a victim truly provoked a dog into biting them may depend upon many factors, such as where the attack happened, the age of the victim, how close the victim was to the dog when the attack commenced and other important details.
A dog bite victim should not ignore their possible legal options just because they may have petted or spoken to a dog that attacked them. They should seek legal counsel so that they can make informed decisions about their rights under the law. Personal injury attorneys are excellent resources for individuals who do not know how to move forward with their pending dog bite claims.