A Brief Introduction to Alabama Dog Liability

Getting bitten by a dog can be a terrifying experience, and can cause some serious injuries that require significant medical attention. If you or a loved one has been bitten, you will need to know about the different laws surrounding dog liability in the state of Alabama. This will help to determine if you have a legal case on your hands, and if so, how to best pursue it.

Understanding Dog Liability

The state of Alabama has a number of different statutes on the books that deal with animal bites. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that in order to be held liable, the dog’s owner must have had a reasonable suspicion that their dog may have been a danger to others. If the bite was entirely unexpected, they won’t be held responsible.

There are many things that can indicate a bite risk, and being able to show one or more examples of this can be helpful when bringing a lawsuit. For example, if the dog had previously bitten another person, it will often be used to show that the owners should have known of the danger. If there had been complaints against the dog for aggressive behavior, this may also be effective evidence. While it is possible that a dog just “snaps” and bites unexpectedly, it’s not too common. In most cases, there have been warning signs in the past that can be used to show liability.

What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is important that you take the right actions in order to protect your legal rights. The first thing that needs to be done, of course, is to get any necessary medical attention. Once this has been done, it is time to begin gathering as much information about the incident as possible. If you don’t already know, get information about the dog, including who owns it and where it lives. In addition to being important for legal proceedings, it may also be needed to test the animal for any diseases. If possible, ask the dog’s owner for any vaccination records that they have on the dog.

In addition, make sure you don’t sign any paperwork (other than that which is required by the hospital or doctor’s office). Some insurance companies will try to quickly react to these incidents to minimize their risk. You may not even want to contact the city or county animal control office at this point as they may take action that will be potentially dangerous to your case.

Contact an Attorney

As soon as you are able, please contact John M. Totten to discuss your case and get specific information on what next steps you should take. We can help evaluate your situation and help you with all aspects of any potential legal case that you may have.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.