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Birmingham Dog Bite Lawyer

When people are bitten by a dog, the injuries can be severe. Dog bites can not only cause severe cuts and broken bones, but also sepsis or perhaps even rabies. However, just because a person is bit and injured by a dog does not automatically mean that the dog’s owner is liable.

Alabama has set out specific rules for when a dog owner is liable for damages caused by their pets and steps they can take to limit their liability.

Birmingham dog bite lawyers walk potential clients through these steps and if the dog’s owner is liable, fight for the fair compensation that our clients deserve. To learn more or begin the process of your claim, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.

Dog Bite Laws in Alabama

There are two means by which a person may be liable if their dog bites another person. The first is defined under Alabama Code 3-6-1. In sum, this law states that a dog owner is liable for injuries suffered by a plaintiff if the plaintiff is on the dog owner’s property.

Additionally, the plaintiff must have had the legal right to be on the property. This can be if the person is invited onto the property by the owner or if the plaintiff is a legitimate worker, such as a delivery man or meter reader.

However, if the dog owner is able to demonstrate that they had no knowledge of the dog being dangerous, their liability is limited to actual damages under Alabama Code 3-6-3. Therefore, if a mailman is bitten by a dog whose owner had no knowledge of its violent tendencies, the dog owner is only liable to pay the cost of medical bills.

The second theory of dog bite cases involves the theory of negligence. This requires that the dog owner have knowledge of the dog’s propensity for violence and, through a breach of duty, allows that dog to injure the plaintiff.

“In cases seeking damages for injuries sustained from a dog bite where the dog bite statutes do not apply, the plaintiff must plead and prove “scienter,” namely that the owner of the dog had knowledge of, or had reason to know of, the dog’s dangerous propensities.” Rucker v. Goldstein, 497 So. 2d 491 (Ala. 1986).

Types of Damages Available

If the case moves forward under a negligence claim, the plaintiff can collect not only medical damages, but also pain and suffering and lost wages. Birmingham dog bite attorneys will examine each case to determine which avenue for pursuing the claim applies to the unique circumstances.

One more aspect to consider is the concept of statute of limitations. The statute of limitations can be seen as a time limit for a plaintiff to come forward. Alabama Code Title 6-2-38 states that a complaint alleging personal injury must be filed within two years of the accident.

While this can seem like a long time, medical treatment and negotiations with insurance companies can often stretch for months or even years.

How Can a Birmingham Dog Bite Attorney Help

Dealing with a legal case involving a dog bite can be complex. A plaintiff’s attorney must not only identify the legal theory under which to pursue the case, but also the correct defendant.

While it is fairly obvious that the dog’s owner may be liable if their dog bites another person, it is possible that a landlord or building owner might also be responsible. If so, there may be an insurance company to deal with.

Dog bites can result in serious injury. Do not take a chance with insurance companies; show the defendant that you are serious. Birmingham dog bite attorneys will guide you through your case to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call our firm today.