If a dog has bitten you in Alabama, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical care and any other out-of-pocket expenses you’ve had to pay.
To be fair, Alabama law protects the owners of dogs against claims of damages to business or property. The question is, how do you defend your claims when you get bitten by a dog in Alabama?
Dog Bite Law
Dogs are adorable, but when they bite, it can be one of the scariest things you’ll ever experience. In Alabama, when a dog bites someone, the owner is liable. Still, the laws vary depending on if the owner knows the dog is aggressive or dangerous.
When the owner knows the dog is dangerous but lets them roam freely, they will be liable when something happens because of their dog’s aggressive behavior. Owners will also be responsible when their dog bites someone on their property who did not provoke the animal. This is only applicable when that person was legally on the property and not trespassing.
Emily’s Law was enacted in 2018 following an incident that involved a young woman who died during a dog attack. As a result, the county officials should investigate formal complaints about dangerous dogs by following a set process.
When a dog is classified as dangerous, the owners should take these precautions:
- Register the dog with the county
- Sign an affidavit that certifies your dog will be secured and supervised at all times
- Show proof that there is a proper enclosure for the dog
- Obtain $100,000 surety bond to cover the dog
- Have a microchip and spay or neuter the dog
- Pay an annual fee
Should the dog dangerously attack someone, the dog may be euthanized, while the owner could face criminal charges along with personal injury claims.
Alabama has placed limits on claims against previously friendly dogs. The first is that the bite should occur on property that the owner owns or controls, which means that the law doesn’t cover bites in public places.
Another thing is that victims are limited to actual damages that include medical bills and lost income. However, they are not allowed to demand non-economic damages.
On the other hand, if you can prove that the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressiveness, you may be able to fight to claim for additional damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog attack, you need to act right away. It’s essential you seek medical attention even if you think that it’s only a scratch or a minor injury. A doctor can identify any unrecognized injuries to prevent complications. Your medical records will serve as evidence in your claim.
The next thing to do is to file a report with Animal Control to investigate the complaint. Your complaint will also serve as a crucial piece of evidence to support your claims.
Aside from these, you need to gather evidence as much as you can to strengthen your claim. Get the information of any witnesses who saw the attack and get the dog owner’s information as well. Take photos of the wounds and write down the details of the attack.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Dog bites can be serious and traumatic. If a dog has bitten you in Alabama, keep in mind these things to get the compensation you deserve. It’s also recommended to talk to legal experts to know if you have a claim in the first place.
Swiney & Bellenger works on a contingency basis in which we can advance all the costs for your case. Our personal injury lawyers Birmingham, Al, are experts in dog bite cases. We can help you build a strong case. Contact us today!