Dogs are one of the most affectionate types of animals and people often adopt dogs for their loyal companionship. However, many people are not fully aware of the aggressive tendencies of their canine friends which can quickly turn deadly when approached by a small child or person unaware of the dog’s predisposition. If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog bite attack, the dog’s owner may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Alabama offers victims of dog bites several ways to recover for any resulting injuries, although many of these come with outside requirements. Dog owners are often liable for any injuries their dog is responsible for. However, in Alabama, the dog must have bitten the injured person on the owner’s property, or the dog must have chased the victim off the owner’s property and then committed the attack.
Additionally, if the dog did not exhibit prior aggressive or violent behavior, the owner may only be liable for the “actual expenses” of the victim. This means that any ongoing damage or emotional damage will not be compensated by the owner. However, some courts have agreed with the victim in cases where a specific breed known for violence, such as a pit bull, attacks an innocent bystander, the owner will have been aware of the dog’s propensity for violence.
Dog owners can also be liable if the victim is able to prove the owner acted negligently upon knowledge that the dog bit someone in the past. Many dog owners do not see the danger in allowing their dog to roam free in their backyard despite the ability for the dog to escape and create havoc in the neighborhood. Children are especially at risk when dangerous dogs roam the streets because not only do they not understand how dangerous dogs can be, but they are much smaller than adults and easier for a dog to overpower.
While you can seek compensation from a dog owner for your injuries, you may additionally be able to look to the owner’s landlord or company for further compensation if you are able to prove that they knew or should have known about the dangerous dog living on the property. Dog bite injuries can be long lasting and can leave permanent damage. In some extreme cases, dog bite incidents can be fatal. Some dogs are seemingly docile but the wrong step or the wrong word can inexplicably set them off. This should not be your burden to bear, but the responsibility for your injuries should rest with the owner.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Wettermark & Keith. Dog bite injuries occur far more than they should throughout the state, and owners should be held accountable for the actions of their dogs. By bringing a claim against a dog owner, you will send a message to other owners of dangerous dogs to either ensure their dogs are kept a safe distance away from people, or alter their behavior in some way. Contact our Montgomery office today for your initial free consultation.