Animal Injury Attorneys Fighting for You After a Violent Dog Bite in Alabama
Animal attacks can be a terrifying, life-changing experience that can potentially leave the victim with devastating injuries. Dog bites, in particular, are a constant worry for many individuals, and rebuilding your life after surviving a violent dog injury can be painful and traumatic—not to mention expensive.
Here at Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys, we have helped victims and survivors of dog attacks across Alabama to secure the justice they deserve. We have made it our mission to help you achieve the compensation you are owed and work hard to help you win your case.
What Does the Law Say About Violent Dog Injuries?
Legislation on this topic in Alabama, known as the dog bite law, states that the owner of a dog is liable for any injuries—not only bites—caused by the animal if the following criteria are met:
- The injured person did not provoke the dog
- The injured person was not trespassing
- The injured person was on the dog owner’s property, or had just left the property and was chased off by the dog
The dog bite law allows victims of dog attacks to pursue the animal’s owner for damages and compensation. The rules do not apply, however, to any situation where a person is injured by a dog in public, such as a park, sidewalk or street, or on the private property of a third party.
In these circumstances, the victim may still pursue a lawsuit, but it will be based on the concept of negligence.The victim will be required to demonstrate that the dog owner failed to use reasonable care to control the dog or otherwise prevent the bite from occurring. The victim must also prove that the injuries would not have occurred had this lack of reasonable care not taken place.
What Defenses Are Available in Alabama?
Alabama law provides three potential defenses to any dog bite claim:
- Provocation: the owner will not be liable for damages if it can be proven the injured party provoked the dog through abuse, torment, or teasing. They will need to prove that if not for the provocation, the dog would not have attacked, so the injuries would not have been sustained.The owner would not be liable in this instance.
- Trespassing: to claim damages, any victim must be lawfully on private property when the injury occurs; that is, invited to the property for social or business purposes or carrying out a specific duty, such as a mail carrier or courier. If the victim was not on the property lawfully, they would be considered a trespasser and prohibited from collecting damages.
- Location: if the victim was not on the property of the owner or was leaving the property when the injury occurred, the owner may be able to escape liability. A lawsuit may still be filed on the basis of negligence, however.
What Are the Responsibilities of Dog Owners?
There are a number of legal requirements that must be met by dog owners; if they fail to adhere to them, ownerswill face liability for a dog bite, or a lawsuit focused on negligence.
Dog owners also have a responsibility when it comes to the type of dog they choose to keep. Legislation states that an owner may be liable in the following circumstances:
“When any person owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and, as a result of his careless management of the same or his allowing the same to go at liberty, and another person, without fault on his part, is injured thereby, such owner or keeper shall be liable in damages for such injury.”
In addition, any person who keeps a dog is required to keep them on their own property and under the control of the owner, as per the following:
“Every person owning or having in charge any dog or dogs shall at all times confine such dog or dogs to the limits of his own premises or the premises on which such dog or dogs is or are regularly kept.”
What Should I Do If I Have Suffered a Dog Bite?
If you have been the victim of a dog bite or violent injury, Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys could be the answer to your issues. Our team of qualified attorneys have aided dog attack victims across Alabama and will work hard to help you secure the justice and outcome you deserve, as well as the compensation you need to move forward. Call today at (256) 487-6080 to set up a free consultation, so you can start on the road to the justice which you deserve.