Under Alabama Code § 3-6-1, dog owners can be held liable for damages if their pet has bitten or seriously injured another person. However, the law in Alabama 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 pursue damages in the product liability claim. First it must be proven that the big was not provoked in any way. Second, the person must have been at the time at a place where he or she had a legal right to be.
This liability shall arise only when the person who was bitten is upon public property or property owned or controlled by the owner of such dog at the time the bite occurs or when such person has been immediately prior to such time on such property and has been pursued therefrom by such dog.
However, the owner of the dog may have the right to mitigate the damages. Under Alabama Code § 3-6-3, the owner of the dog may mitigate damages if they can prove that they had no knowledge of any circumstances indicating the dog being dangerous. If the owner did know, then they shall only be liable only to the extent of the actual expenses incurred by the person that was bit.
Under Alabama statutes, the owner of the dog may be liable for twice the amount of damages if they were aware of the fact that their dog had rabies before it attacked someone. This is known as the “rabid dog statute.”
In sum, you can sue the owner of the dog if you are bitten and seriously injured by a dog bite attack in Alabama as long as the dog was not provoked and the accident took place on public property or on the pet owners property.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!