Birmingham Dog Bite Lawyer
Attorneys Representing Injured Victims in Dog Owner Negligence Cases Throughout Birmingham
At the law offices of Salter Ferguson, LLC, our Birmingham dog bite attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of Alabama animal attack victims. A member of our legal team will always be ready to address your concerns and help you find solutions during this difficult time. Pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pets. If a dog or other animal has attacked you or someone you love, you want an experienced Birmingham dog bite attorney on your side — someone who can help you assess your options so you get the full financial compensation you deserve.
Dog Bite FAQs:
Alabama Dog Bite Law
Every state has unique dog bite and pet ownership laws. These laws control if and when a dog bite injury victim has the right to seek compensation from an owner or another party for damages. Dog bite laws in Alabama center on a tort system. A tort is a wrongful act, such as dog owner negligence. You may have a case against a dog owner if he or she is guilty of negligence that contributed to your injuries.
In Alabama, dog owners are responsible for the damages caused by their pets if:
- The dog was not provoked. You cannot have provoked the pet into having an aggressive reaction. This may include pulling the dog’s tail, poking at the pet, or injuring the pet. Provoking an attack is a usable defense for the pet owner.
- The victim was not trespassing. You must have lawfully been on private property or been on public property at the time of the dog attack to seek damages. If you were trespassing, the pet owner did not owe you a duty of care to prevent the dog bite.
- The dog was a vicious breed or had attacked before. It is a foundation for a negligence claim to prove that the pet owner knew or reasonably should have known of the pet’s propensity to bite. If the owner did know, he or she had a responsibility to prevent an attack.
Alabama’s dog bite law places the burden of proof on victims to prove the pet owner’s responsibility for the injuries. As a victim, it is you or your lawyer’s duty to establish that the owner’s careless management of a dangerous animal caused or contributed to your injuries. Only then will the state courts award compensation for your damages.
What Is the Mailman Law in Alabama?
Section 3-6-1 of the Alabama Code states that if any dog bites or injures a person, without provocation, in a location where the victim has a legal right to be, the owner shall be liable for the victim’s damages. However, this liability will only apply when the victim is on the property of the pet owner at the time of the attack, or if the victim was just on the property, and the dog pursues the victim off the property. The law came into place to protect mail delivery people, who are often at risk of dog attacks when lawfully delivering mail to a pet owner’s property.
Birmingham Local Dog Laws
Many municipalities in Alabama have specific dog laws for pet owners. One can find Birmingham’s local laws in Article B of the city’s Code of Ordinances. Birmingham’s local laws prohibit the owning of pets over three months of age that have not received the rabies vaccination. It is also against the law to let pets run at large, or to run freely without a leash curbing the pet. The city enforces other laws as well.
- Sanitary pet waste removal
- The care of tethered dogs
- Releasing someone else’s contained dog
- Keeping vicious dogs without properly securing them
- Other pet control and maintenance laws
If a pet owner breached one of the state or city pet ownership laws, and this breach caused your dog attack injuries, you may have a negligence per se case against the owner. Negligence per se means you do not have to prove that the owner was negligent in failing to prevent your injuries. Proof that the owner broke a law could be enough to establish negligence and liability for your damages.
Alabama Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites
Every state imposes statutes of limitations, or deadlines for filing, on dog bite claims. The statute of limitations is a strict cut-off time, by which an injury victim must file his or her claim – or else forfeit the right to file. In Alabama, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury. Most courts will dismiss a case without hearing it if the claimant filed after the statute of limitations has already expired.
About Dog Bite Injuries
About 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the victims are children. Nearly 900,000 dog bite victims require medical care annually. Bites occur most frequently on the hand/arm, followed by the foot/leg, and neck/face areas.
Dog attacks can cause serious injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Bruises and abrasions
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Head injuries
Dog bite victims usually require multiple surgeries which frequently includes corrective plastic surgery. They also require psychological counseling for PTSD, anxiety and insomnia. The physical and psychological scars from a dog bite can last a lifetime.
Contact an Aggressive Birmingham Dog Bite Attorney to Schedule a Free Consultation
Dog bite cases can be complicated. That is why it is important to speak to an attorney who is experienced in dog bite injury cases. Our Birmingham dog bite lawyers have more than 30 years of combined legal experience helping victims like you. To arrange a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team, contact our personal injury law firm online to speak with a dedicated member of our team. We offer a flexible appointment schedule to accommodate your medical appointments and your employment commitments. We will also schedule home or hospital visits when you are unable to travel to our office.
We handle all dog bite cases on a contingency basis, so you do not have to worry about lawyer fees while you go through the recovery process. From our office in Birmingham, we represent dog bite victims throughout central Alabama.