Dog Bite Lawyers
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Dog Bite Lawyers
A dog bite injury can be painful and leave lasting damage. An individual who has been bitten by a dog can have a local dog bite lawyer file a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Alabama is two years.
A survivor of a dog bite can also hire a dog bite lawyer to file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. This is particularly true if the survivor was at the home of the dog owner and the dog bit them on the property.
The first step to filing a claim or lawsuit is to file a police report as close to the date of the attack as possible. The survivor should document the damages they suffered. Documents may include photos of the wound, medical bills from treatment, paperwork showing time missed from work, and therapy bills from treatment.
If the survivor suffered the dog bite on the job, they may have grounds for a worker’s comp claim. They should speak to a worker’s comp attorney as well as a personal injury attorney. Their dog bite attorney may be able to refer them to a worker’s comp attorney.
The fourth step for the survivor may be to file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowners or renter’s insurance company. The survivor should discuss this step with their attorney. The liability limit for such a policy is usually between $100,000 and $300,000. The homeowner is typically responsible for damages beyond that amount. If the policy limit is low, the survivor should consider hiring a dog bite lawyer in Birmingham or wherever they reside when they make a claim against the insurer.
A dog bite attorney can help a survivor of a dog bite estimate their damages. A lawsuit for $6,000 or less belongs in small claims court. A lawsuit for damages above $6,000 but below $20,000 belongs in district court. Even in small claims court, a case can go to trial. A dog bite lawyer can act as a consultant, representative, negotiator in mediation, or in all three roles.
Alabama Dog Bite Attorneys
Knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite is important. Typically, a dog owner is not liable for an injury unless the owner knew of the dog’s propensity to bite. This is known as the “one bite rule” and our dog bite lawyer in Alabama can explain this to you at your phone consultation. A dog owner may be liable if they had actual knowledge, such as they had seen or been told that the dog would bite before, or constructive knowledge, such as they were presumed by law to know the dog would bite.
In Alabama, if the owner knew the dog was a pit bull, this may be an adequate basis for liability. Fighting with another dog is not adequate to prove that a dog was dangerous to people.
Alabama’s dog bite statute provides that a dog owner will be liable for damages if the survivor was on property owned by the dog owner when they were bitten or were on the property before the bite and pursued by the dog immediately afterwards. The statute applies to the dog owner rather than the keeper of the dog. If the dog owner had no knowledge of circumstances indicating the dog was dangerous, they are only liable for the survivor’s actual expenses and our dog bite lawyer can help.
In Alabama, a survivor’s contributory negligence is a complete bar to recover damages for simple negligence. In a dog bite case, contributory negligence would be behavior that proximately contributed to the survivor’s injury. For example, placing a hand in a dog’s mouth could be considered contributory negligence. Our dog bite lawyer can explain the law to you at your initial consultation. Contributory negligence is not a defense to acts of wantonness or willfulness. As an example, a dog owner ordering a dog to attack a guest would be considered willful.
A court may have declared a dog to be dangerous. Alternatively, an owner may have had prior knowledge of the dangerous propensities of the dog and demonstrated a reckless disregard of the propensities under the circumstances. If either of these facts are true, the owner of the dog may be guilty of a crime. The court may have ordered the dog owner to pay restitution, or compensation for damages, to the survivor in a criminal case. If the survivor thinks they were not paid enough, their dog bite lawyer can pursue additional damages in a civil case. The survivor can submit the dog owner’s conviction in criminal court as evidence in the civil case.