Dog may be man's best friend, but even our friends can sometimes hurt us. If you or someone you know has had the unfortunate experience of being attacked and bitten by a dog, then you may have legal recourse for seeking compensation. It should not be the victim's responsibility to pay for medical bills not to mention the potential loss of wages that can occur during the recovery process. Covering these damages should be the responsibility of the liable party. An experienced Montgomery dog bite lawyer will make sure the owner responsible pays what is owed.
- There's no risk or fees involved with speaking to our attorneys.
- You can't fight for adequate compensation if you don't work with experienced lawyers.
- You won't owe our attorneys a dime if they don't win your case.
Many dog bite victims are never properly compensated because they never reach out to a personal injury attorney. You do not want to be a part of that group. If you, a friend, or a family member has suffered a serious injury from a dog bite, then pick up the phone and contact our legal team directly at 334-666-5000.
What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By A Dog?
Taking the proper steps after a dog bite is crucial for the safety of everyone involved. They will also have some bearing on how the personal injury lawsuit will unfold. Here are some key points that you should keep in mind.
Safety Is Paramount
The safety of everyone involved should be the primary concern during and after a dog bite. If assistance is needed subduing an aggressive dog during an attack, then you should immediately contact the local authorities. Do not attempt to attack or harm the dog in any way or you may risk encouraging more aggression from the dog.
Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention regardless of the perceived severity of the bite. A trained doctor can help spot injuries that you might not otherwise recognize or even notice. This is particularly true in the hours following the incident when adrenaline will likely be incredibly high. The medical records you receive during this visit will also serve as an important piece of evidence during the lawsuit.
If possible, gather as much evidence as you can from the scene of the incident and later at the hospital. This includes contact information for the dog owner, any witnesses who saw the attack, and photographs of the injury. We understand that this may not always be easy or possible during such a traumatic event. It also should never take priority over securing your safety and medical treatment.
File A Report
Alabama legislature requires that all dog bite complaints be filed with the local Animal Control. These records are useful for your claim as well as for future incidents that may involve the same animal.
Call Our Dog Bite Attorneys
Finally, call our experienced Montgomery dog bite lawyers at 334-666-5000. We will provide you with a free case evaluation and discuss the possibility of pursuing a dog bite claim. Not every victim of a dog bite will have a strong legal case, but you'll never know if you don't take the time to make the call. Do not let the dog's owner convince you otherwise.
Who Do I Report A Dog Bite To In The State Of Alabama?
There are three important organizations to keep in mind in Alabama. You will need to report the incident to at least one of these parties but may require all three.
You may need to call the police immediately during the attack for assistance subduing the dog. Likewise, if the dog's owner is threatening you or voluntarily sent their dog to attack you, then it is very important to get the police involved because criminal charges will be necessary. If the attack is over and you no longer feel threatened by the animal or owner, then you can contact the local non-emergency number instead of 911.
County Health Department Where the Incident Occurred
The health department works hard to prevent the spread of rabies through humans as well as the wildlife population. In most cases, an animal that bites or scratches a person will be placed on a 10-day quarantine period with the Health Department to ensure that it does not have rabies. If the dog has rabies and the owner was aware, then the Alabama rabid dog statute states that the owner may be found liable for twice the amount of the damages suffered.
Local Animal Control
Legislation that was enacted in 2018 requires that all dog bites be reported to local animal control. These dogs are then registered as dangerous animals and the owner will have additional requirements if they wish to keep the animal. It is possible that when initially contacting the local police they also contact animal control services so discuss this with the officer who arrives.
Why Should I Hire A Montgomery Dog Bite Lawyer?
For the same reasons you would hire a personal injury attorney after a serious accident: you want to be compensated for your damages. Attempting to seek compensation without legal representation is rarely fruitful. The owner of a dog who bites someone on their property may not feel like they owe anything to the victim, but Alabama statutes disagree.
If someone else is liable for the injuries you suffer, then they should also be responsible for covering your financial losses. Medical bills associated with dog attacks can easily exceed $50,000 in the state of Alabama. You also have to factor in the financial losses you suffer from missed wages as well as any physical therapy bills you pay in the future. It's an expensive endeavor and it shouldn't come out of your bank account.
We fight for your rights as a Montgomery citizen. We have the legal expertise needed to gather the proper evidence and prove liability in dog bite claims. We negotiate on your behalf with other organizations and legal teams until we reach a settlement that you are comfortable with.
Who Is Responsible For Dog Bite Injuries In Alabama?
Our job as dog bite attorneys is to identify who is responsible for the injury and then ensure that person pays for damages. Alabama statute clearly outlines who is responsible for these incidents, though the statute varies according to where the accident occurred and whether the dog is registered as a dangerous animal. Let's look at the two potential locations:
On The Owner's Property
If the dog bites an individual while they are legally on the owner's property, then the owner may be found strictly liable. If the dog is considered a non-aggressive animal at this time, then the victim can only pursue compensation for economic damages. However, if it can be proven that the owner was aware that the dog is dangerous, then the victim may seek non-economic damages as well.
Not On The Owner's Property
There are fewer chances for recourse if the bite occurs outside of the owner's property. There are two specific instances where the owner may still be found liable. First, if the dog is known to be a dangerous animal and is carelessly managed so that it leaves the property and bites someone. Second, if the dog chases the victim off of the owner's property and bites them elsewhere.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Expect In A Dog Bite Case?
The majority of cases consist entirely of economic damages. These correlate directly to financial losses, such as medical bills and loss of wages. If the dog is registered as a dangerous animal and the bite occurs on the owner's property, then it may also be possible to include non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Finally, if the owner acted with obvious wantonness, then the victim may also seek punitive damages as a form of punishment against the defendant.
What Does Alabama Law Say About Dog Bites?
Alabama has various statutes that specifically relate to dog attacks and bites. There are a few very specific regulations that you should be familiar with.
Passed in 2018, Emily's Law requires all dog bites to be reported to Animal Control. It is done so for the purpose of registering these animals as “dangerous animals”. Dog bites that involve registered animals often include more severe punishments for the defendant.
Dog Bite Laws 3-1-3
Alabama Code 3-1-3 states that when an individual owns a vicious or dangerous animal and their careless management allows that animal to attack someone without fault of the victim, then the owner will be found strictly liable for all damages.
Statistics Of Dog Bite Injuries
Serious injuries caused by dog bites are more common than you might believe. Here are some important statistics to consider.
- More than 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year
- More than 800,000 dog bite victims need medical attention annually.
- The group most at-risk for dog attacks are children between the ages of 5 and 9.
- The average settlement amount for a dog bite claim in Alabama is $43,000
A dog attack can cause lasting physical and mental trauma. No victim should have to deal with that trauma alone while also paying for it out of pocket. This is especially true if the dog's owner was aware of their dangerous nature and still neglected to properly restrain them. The team at Mike Bell Injury Law will stand up and fight for your right to seek compensation. We won't back down until the dog's owner takes responsibility and pays for the damages they caused. Call us now at 334-666-5000 for a free case evaluation.