In the event that you or someone you know and love has suffered injuries due to a dog bite in Birmingham, then you should be fully aware of your rights. There are many issues you’d likely be dealing with such as various medical bills as well as the loss of income due to an inability to work.
The dog’s owner in these cases may be liable for these particular expenses. In some situations, you may even get damages for other issues such as the pain and suffering from being bitten.
Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Birmingham dog bite lawyers fully understand these types of cases and know how to best handle them. We will ensure that all liable parties are made accountable and that you will get your owed compensation.
Now, you may definitely have a lot of questions and concerns, so be sure to give us a call at 866-6MB-WINS, and we will fully check out your case and answer any questions you may have in a free consultation.
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Why Hire a Dog Bite Attorney?
These particular cases are quite unique since the majority of victims typically know the liable persons. The dog’s owner may happen to be a friend, neighbor, or even a member of your family.
So, you may have some issues and even fear about the financial problems you may cause this person if you take up the case and file a personal injury claim. You should also remember that the majority of dog bite and attack claims are typically covered by the homeowners’ insurance of the dog owner.
You may wrongly think that a personal injury claim due to a dog bite might be simple in comparison to any other type of personal injury claim but that is not true since insurance companies usually don’t want to have to pay any type of money due to any type of claim. So, the settlements that these insurance companies typically offer are a lot less than what victims should actually receive.
In these cases, time is very important since you only have up to two years to file personal injury claims in Alabama. So, it is imperative that you call our Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers asap.
Alabama’s Laws on Dog Bites
The majority of the states in the United States have determined that any dog owner is responsible for the actions of that animal since it is potentially dangerous and may cause harm. Alabama’s particular laws indicate that the owner is responsible but proof of negligence is also very important.
According to Alabama law, dog owners are responsible and liable for what their dogs do on both public and private property. However, there is a little bit of leeway in the case that the dog did not attack previously or was not previously hostile or in the event that it was provoked. These laws get a bit stricter when it comes to private property where once the victim was there lawfully, then they will be entitled compensation and are protected by these laws.
In addition to these persons, other persons who are also protected include government agents, postal staff, police, etc. Additionally, if there are signs posted on the property then this can possibly reduce the amount of liability but it isn’t sure to offer protection, and compensation may still be owed.
Dog Bite Injury Types
We at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers represent a wide range of dog bite victims that have injuries as follows:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Deafness or blindness
- Abrasions or bruises
- Head injury
- Crushing injuries
Unfortunately, victims of dog bites sometimes need surgeries, most commonly plastic surgery. Victims will suffer from psychological distress on top of their physical injuries. They may need counseling for anxiety, post-traumatic stress, inability to sleep, and more.
The One-Bite Rule
In certain states, there is a particular approach where the owners of the dog are liable even if the dog never acted aggressively before or never bit anyone before. However, there is a one-bite rule where the owner of the dog has to know of at least one other biting incident from that same dog before they are liable. In Alabama, these two different approaches are combined where the owner of the dog is liable for economic damages. However, if the owner knows that the dog is dangerous and aggressive, then they will be liable for punitive and non-economic damages.
Dog Bite Cases & Contributory Negligence
In the event that the victim does anything that is seen as negligent which may have lead to the dog bite injury, then this is known as contributory negligence. In this case, the dog owner may say that you caused the dog to bite and react aggressively if you antagonized it.
This is particularly important since, in Alabama, this is seen as an affirmative defense by the defendant. If this is proven to be the case, then the victim of the dog bite may not receive any compensation. So, if you want to prevent this from happening, then you should definitely talk to one of our lawyers at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers before talking to anyone from the insurance company.
Statistics on Dog Bites
In 2017, the Insurance Information Institute indicated that $37,051 was paid out in claims due to dog bites throughout the United States for that year. This is basically a significant 90% increase in claim payments from 2003. This is due to higher medical bills, bigger settlements, awards by the jury etc.
The USPS has reported that 6,755 postal employees suffered dog bites in 2016. According to the DogsBite.org 2018 report, there were over 35 different breeds that lead to 433 human deaths between 2005 and 2017.
When Should a Dog Bite Claim Be Submitted?
The deadlines for submitting dog bite claims vary by state. There is a statute of limitations that indicates a particular time in which these claims would not be accepted. The statute of limitations in Alabama is 2 years from the exact date in which the injury occurred. The majority of courts will not hear a dog bite case if it is filed after that 2 year period.
Contact a Birmingham Dog Bite Lawyer
Suffering from a dog bite is no joking matter and it is quite traumatic. As a result, it is essential that you get proper legal representation so that you can get compensation for your injuries and medical bills.
If you reside in Birmingham and have been bitten by a dog because of the dog owner’s negligence, then you should file a claim to seek compensation. It is highly recommended that you call our Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers office so that you can speak to one of our experienced lawyers who thoroughly understand the laws around dog bites and will successfully handle your case. All you need to do is contact us for a free case evaluation and we will do everything we can to ensure you get the justice that you deserve.