Dothan Dog Bite Lawyer
Understanding Alabama's Dog Bite Laws
According to Alabama Code §3-6-1, dog owners can be held liable for providing damages if their pet has bitten or seriously injured another person. Unlike many other states, however, the law does not hold pet owners "strictly liable" – meaning that the attack must have taken place under a specific set of circumstances for the victim to be able to pursue compensation. First, it must be proven that the dog had acted out violently without provocation. If it is discovered that the victim had goaded or irritated the animal before they were subsequently injured, their claim may be denied for that reason alone.
Secondly, the attack must have taken place on either public property or the pet owner's property – the only exception being that the dog had chased the victim off of the owner's property. In other cases, the victim must only need to prove that the owner had previous knowledge of, or had reason to know of, their dog's dangerous propensities. If, for example, they had expressed concern about their pet's violent tendencies or they had been aware of the fact that the dog had previously attacked another person, they could be held responsible solely on these grounds.
Additionally, the fact that the attacking dog was a breed of pit bull could be used as a basis of liability. This theory was tested in the case, Edgar v. Riley, 725 So. 2d 982 (Ala. Civ. App. 1998), as the dog owners were deemed to be aware of their pet's propensity to attack without provocation – even though it had never acted out violently in the past – and were subsequently held accountable for providing the victim with damages. To learn more about the dog bite laws in Alabama, do not hesitate to contact a Dothan personal injury lawyer at the firm today.
Can my landlord be held responsible?
If you have suffered dog bite injuries after being attacked by a neighbor's pet, you may have grounds to pursue compensation from the landlord who is responsible for overseeing the property. Since it would be their responsibility to maintain a reasonable safe environment for their tenants, they must take the appropriate measures to protect residents from the violent actions of a dangerous pet. This is only applicable if the attack took place in an area that is shared by other tenants, however, as a landlord can only be held accountable for maintaining the public areas of the property. Similarly, it must be proven that they were notified and/or made aware of the dangerous condition before the incident took place.
The Rabid Dog Statute in Dothan, AL
Under Alabama law, a pet owner may be liable for twice the amount of damages if they were aware of the fact that their dog had rabies before it attacked another person. Known as the "rabid dog statute," this area of the law was implemented to compensate victims for the additional harm that they have suffered. Rabies is a viral disease that can cause serious damage to the central nervous system – including the brain – if it is left untreated. Although the victim can seek treatment to combat the disease before it becomes fatal, there is only a small window of time in which medication would be effective. By allowing the victim to recover twice the amount of compensation, however, they will be able to more comfortably afford the cost of any necessary medical treatment.
Speak to a Dothan Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been attacked by someone else's pet in Alabama, you should waste no time in talking to a Dothan injury lawyer at Morris, Cary, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC. We have extensive experience in representing difficult dog bite and premises liability cases, so we encourage you to find out what we can do for you. Contact the firm today at (888) 694-0174 for your free initial consultation!