There is no denying that dogs are very prevalent in our day-to-day lives. Between emotional support dogs and the increased number of pet-friendly businesses, it has never been more common for dogs to be part of your daily routine. Simply put, there is a reason they’re known as man’s best friend. Nowhere is this truer than in Alabama, which has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the country. As you may expect, however, this increase in interaction with dogs has a negative consequence: it also increases the chances of attack. Our Huntsville dog bite lawyers see the effects of humans and dogs being so close, and we are prepared to help you if you’ve been injured.
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Under the Code of Alabama, dog attacks are torts or wrongful actions that result in loss or harm. There are two standards that Alabama law uses to decide whether a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by their dog: negligence and wantonness.
Alabama does not follow a “one bite” rule like other states. There are multiple ways for you to recover damages after a dog bite attack in Alabama. Local ordinances also affect how dog attacks are handled from municipality to municipality.
Alabama (AL) Code § 3-1-3 states that if you are injured due to the “careless management” of a dangerous animal, the animal’s keeper is liable for your injuries. Whether or not the management of an animal is deemed careless usually requires an investigation into the animal’s past. If previous behavior indicates that the keeper’s control of the animal can be classified as either negligent or wanton, the handler can be assigned liability for your injuries.
If you were injured by a dog you believe to be vicious, speak to a dog bites attorney right away.
Often referred to as the “leash law,” AL Code § 3-1-5 prohibits dogs from roaming unaccompanied by their owners. The owners or keeper of the dog must take reasonable steps to keep it within the boundaries of the premises where it’s usually held. If the dog is being watched by someone other than its owner, the dog must remain on the keeper’s premises. Whoever claims responsibility for a dog also claims responsibility for any damage it causes while roaming unaccompanied.
If you are legally on someone’s property, they are responsible for any damages you may suffer due to their dog. This rule is stated in (AL) Code § 3-6-1. This rule says that the property owner is liable for your injuries if you’re legally on someone’s property and their dog bites you without incitement.
Alabama dog bit laws also declare the owner liable for damages caused to someone on their property “immediately before” the attack and “pursued therefrom” by the dog. Even if a dog chases you off the owner’s property, the owner still may be responsible for damages incurred in the attack.
Dog bite laws can be confusing. If you’re searching for clarity after suffering from an attack, call a dog bite injury lawyer from Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C. to learn more about the statutes governing these cases.
Negligence refers to a person acting in a way that a reasonable person would not in a specific situation. The opposite is also true. Negligence also refers to someone failing to act when a reasonable person would have. This standard usually applies to the dog’s previous behavior in dog bite cases. For example, if a dog has bitten someone, its owner has reason to know of its dangerous behavior.
Under state law and the Huntsville Code of Ordinances, owners have certain obligations regarding their dogs’ behavior. If they don’t fulfill these obligations or fail to warn you of possible danger, they may be liable for the injuries the dog caused you.
Wantonness is a slightly different standard than negligence. If someone’s actions are wanton, they have consciously disregarded the well-being of others. Ignoring leash laws is a good example of this. If an owner knows their dog has exhibited dangerous behavior, they would be wanton by purposefully removing its leash in public. In turn, this could lead to their liability if the dog injured you.
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Our dog bite lawyers realize that success in your case requires showing that the other party was negligent and that their negligence directly resulted in your harm. We know that each incident involving a dog is different, and we must investigate every pertinent detail. This means reviewing witness statements, medical records, and first responder reports.
The Alabama dog bite lawyers at Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C., have helped many dog bite accident victims. We know that a strong case is needed for you to receive a sufficient settlement. If no acceptable financial settlement is offered, we will use our years of trial experience to seek your compensation in court. You can recover damages to help with many hardships in your life after a nasty dog bite, such as:
While “dog bite law” is a general term used to refer to cases involving animal attacks, it is essential to note that an actual bite is not necessary to recover damages. For example, if a dog roamed unaccompanied in violation of the leash law and causes you to crash your car, the dog’s keeper may be responsible for the damages you incurred in the collision.
While bites are common in dog attacks, other injuries that can be incurred from such a situation include:
After you’ve been injured in a dog bite case, you may need help sifting through the Alabama laws to see which statutes apply to your situation. The Huntsville dog bite lawyers at Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C. have won dog bite cases all over Alabama. Our attorneys understand how to fight for you to obtain the compensation you deserve after you’ve been injured. A dog attack is scary and can affect your life for years. You shouldn’t be left with pain and medical bills because of someone else’s negligence.