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Georgia Motorcycle Wrecks Involving Animals

Photo by Kaspars Upmanis on Unsplash

Usually, an animal is on the losing end when it collides with an automobile; however, colliding with a bike can have devastating effects for both the animal and the motorcyclist. Pet owners can be held responsible for injuries that result from the improper containment of the pet. O.C.G.A. §51-2-7 lays out the law:

A person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and who, through careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by their own act may be liable for damages to the person so injured. In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash. This shall not apply to domesticated livestock or fowl, including roosters with spurs.

Most counties or cities have an ordinance that requires a dog to be within the property limits of its owner, controlled by a leash, or at heel beside a competent person where the dog is obedient to that person’s command. This applies to all breeds of dogs. In a county or city that does not have a leash law or ordinance, Georgia follows the common law, in that there must be a showing that the dog owner had knowledge of the vicious propensities of the dog before recovery can be had. If a dog owner is found negligent in a dog collision, their homeowner’s or umbrella policies can be utilized to compensate the injured party.