A vicious dog that's not under its owner's control is dangerous to people who encounter the canine. Many dog owners consider their pets as members of the family. Some might be gentle to those they know but quick to attack whenever they feel threatened. They will bite and can inflict significant harm. Dog bites in Alabama are not uncommon. Being attacked by a dog can be traumatic, and the bites leave physical and emotional scars. Therefore, consider working with a seasoned Gadsden dog bite lawyer today.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we guarantee to work tirelessly when it comes to seeking compensation through an injury claim. The dog owner could be held liable for your medical expenses and other expenses or losses you incurred due to being bitten by their pet. However, such legal matters are riddled with different legal requirements that necessitate the need to work with an experienced attorney that understands Alabama dog laws.
If you or a loved one were bitten by someone's dog and wish to sue them for damages, we have the experience, and law experts needed to ensure you have the most effective and dedicated legal representation. Call our personal injury lawyers in Gadsden, AL, today at 256-666-6000to schedule a free case review and learn how we can help.
What Should I Do If Bitten By A Dog?
Whenever you have been attacked by a friend's, neighbor's, or stranger's pet or guard dog can be traumatizing for anyone, impacting the victim's life for years to come. Below are some of the measures you should consider if a dog bites you:
Seek Medical Attention
It should be the first thing to do after the attack, even if you believe the injuries are minor. The incident might leave the body in shock, thus unable to register any injury pains, and you might not realize how severe the injuries are for you to act accordingly. It would be wise not to brush off the accident as something trivial and seek immediate medical attention, which will also be crucial in providing the evidence needed when building your case.
Document The Incident
Try to document as much of the scene of the accident as you can. Take photos or even short videos, capturing all the essential details relevant to the incident. For instance, document any “beware of dog” sign that was present or proves the lack thereof. Also, record your injuries before seeking treatment. All that you document will be used as evidence that shows what transpired.
File A Report
You should notify the dog owner about the accident and report the matter to the local animal control as soon as possible. It is a vital step worth taking because it creates an official record of the incident and could be used as evidence.
Speak With A Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite lawsuits can be complex and burdensome to the victims, especially when recovering from a vicious attack. That is why having a reputable, experienced, and dependable dog bite lawyer helps make the process less burdensome. Moreover, you will have a law professional that will ensure your rights and interests are upheld. Call us today at 256-666-6000 to find out more about how we can help with your dog bite case.
Who Do I Report A Dog Bite To In The State Of Alabama?
It would be best if you informed the dog owner about the incident soon after it occurs. You also should report the matter to the police and the local animal control, who have to investigate the matter. Essentially, do this means you will have filed a formal complaint that will be used to support your compensation case.
Why Should I Hire A Dog Bite Lawyer For A Gadsden Dog Bite Claim?
Make it a priority to consult a dog bite attorney in Gadsden, AL, after the accident to improve your chances of securing the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Working with an experienced dog bite lawyer will see you enjoy the following benefits:
You will have professionals on your side that have far-reaching legal knowledge regarding dog bite lawsuits. They will interpret the laws for you, leveraging that knowledge to assist you in recovering your losses.
It will be personal advocacy during such a difficult time. You will have experts that will ensure the settlement amount is in line with your injuries and losses.
You will have bold and diligent lawyers that will handle all legal negotiations on your behalf to ensure the settlement the insurance company offers is fair.
You will not worry about trial preparations if the negotiations fail. We shall ensure the matter has its day in court and strive to win the case and make sure you receive fair compensation.
Who Is Responsible For Dog Bite Injuries?
The dog owner is the most common party found liable in cases related to dog bites and attacks. However, the liability can vary depending on various factors surrounding the case. Some of the issues that your Gadsden dog bite lawyer shall consider when trying to determine blame include:
Liability could be impossible to validate if the incident occurred while you were trespassing on private property or the dog owner purports such a claim. However, the rule does not apply if the victim was under six years of age.
It is hard to blame the dog owner attacked you because you provoked it, making it feel threatened.
The dog owner will be held accountable for your injuries if found not to have adhered to local as state leash laws. Your chance of getting the maxim compensation is better if you provide evidence supporting such a position (the defendant's failure to follow these regulations), which resulted in your injuries.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Expect In A Dog Bite Case?
According to Alabama dog bite laws, you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost incomes, mental anguish, physical disfigurements, pain, and suffering attributed to the accident. You can pursue punitive damages, which can serve as a punishment and deter others from such bad behavior. Punitive damages are appropriate when the dog owner's actions are far from negligent (found to be grossly indifferent).
When you come to us for help, we shall investigate the matter, gather the facts, including your medical reports, to understand the extent of your injuries and the treatment costs. We shall be open to negotiations if the defendant wishes to take such a route and ensure you receive a fair settlement. Nonetheless, we shall file the matter with the courts if the negotiations hit a brick wall.
What Does Alabama State Law Say About Dog Bites?
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have accomplished attorneys that have handled dog-related injury cases and helps numerous clients get fair compensation. We argue each case based on the Alabama dog bite laws, which are torts (wrongful acts resulting in harm or loss). The torts that govern dog bite cases in Alabama include:
- Tort of negligence defines this act as a person's behavior which a reasonably prudent person in a similar situation would not do.
- Tort of wantonness could provide an avenue of relief to the victim based on the dog owner's conduct that is determined to have been reckless or in conscious disregard to the other people's rights and safety.
Some of the provisions in the law that your Gadsden dog bite lawyer shall consider to determine the validity of the torts we shall highlight in your case include:
- Alabama Code § 3-1-3—Vicious Animal Law: It states that the owner will be liable for the victim's injuries attributed to his or her failure to restrain the animal.
- Alabama Code § 3-1-5—Dogs Roaming at Large Law: It stipulates the need for dog owners to confine their pets to the limits of their property or premises at all times. It is a provision often referred to as the “leash law.”
- Alabama Code § 3-6—1“Mailman” Law: It governs instances where the victim is injured by another's dog legally on the dog owner's property and situations where the animal chases the individual off its master's premises and then attacks.
Aside from the Alabama State animal and dog laws, we also consider the different additional ordinances enacted by the local municipalities that could apply to dog attacks. For instance, we can consider requirements such as having proper registration and licenses for harboring certain dog breeds, especially those considered to be inherently vicious. They include canine breeds like American Bulldogs, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Statistics For Dog Bite Injuries
According to national statistics, nearly 4.5 million people are likely to experience dog attacks each year, with nearly 890,000 of them sustaining dog bites and other related injuries that require medical attention. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) says that children make up nearly half of the reported dog bite victims, and many of them suffer severe harm from the dog attack. Kids might not notice or recognize warning signs of a dog present or tell if the animal is feeling distressed and is likely to bite.
Most dogs will show signs of aggression and will attack when they feel threatened. However, others can attack even when unprovoked. Any dog that attacks and bites people without being provoked can be declared a danger to the public, and their owners must keep them under a leash or in a secure enclosure and include a “no trespassing, beware of dog” sign.
Are There Time Limits For Filing A Dog Bite Lawsuit In Alabama?
If you or a loved one are a dog attack victim, having being bitten by the animal, you can sue its owner for damages. We at Mike Bell Accident Injury can help you pursue the lawsuit. The law gives you a minimum of two years from the time of the incident to file your case. And it would be best if you kept in mind that these types of lawsuits are riddled with complicated legal requirements that can slow down the process. That is why you should contact us as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you cover all required within the stipulated period.
Contact Our Gadsden Dog Bite Lawyers Today!
The facts surrounding the dog bite incident are crucial in determining whether the dog owner's conduct was reckless, negligent, or grossly indifferent. They also will be useful in determining if you have a compensation case worth pursuing. Such matters require an experienced dog bite accident attorney's expertise.
If you are looking for a dog bite lawyer to represent you or your loved one, we at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers ready to offer our legal expertise. Call us today to learn more about how we can help. Call our personal injury firm in Gadsden at 256-666-6000 to schedule a free case review during which the Gadsden dog bite lawyer shall answer your questions and explain to you all the legal options.