A dog can be a human’s best friend, but not all dogs are trained and cared for by loving and responsible people. When a dog attacks an Alabama resident, the encounter can leave the victim with emotional stress, physical pain, and mounting costs. They may consider their legal options for getting themselves back on their feet following their violent attack.
This post will generally outline how the state of Alabama views dog attack liability, and what dog owners can be held responsible for when their animals cause damages to others. No part of this post represents legal guidance, and all victims of personal injury incidents like dog attacks can seek the counsel of dedicated attorneys.
Dog bite and attack law in Alabama
Dog bite law is codified in Title 3 of the Alabama Code. Under the law, dog owners can be held strictly liable for the injuries of others when their dogs are under their control and on the owners’ properties. When a dog harms a person off property, the owner can still be held liable for the harm the pet inflicts but evidence of negligence may be required to prevail.
To explain the distinction established above, strict liability is a legal theory that imposes liability or fault on a party when an action occurs. In the case of a dog attack on its owner’s land, the failure of the owner to protect a person from the pet is enough to show their fault in allowing the situation to occur. This theory does not apply when the dog attacks off property, and more evidence of fault will be used to establish the liability of the dog owner.
The role of provocation in a dog bite case
Alabama law recognizes an exception to liability when an alleged dog attack victim provoked the animal into attacking them. For example, an individual who threw objects at a dog, or enticed it to attack through actions or words, may lose their right to sue the dog’s owner due to the role that the alleged victim played in bring harm upon themselves. The facts of a case will determine how a victim may approach and litigate their claims.
Getting help after a dog attack
Dog attacks are violent occurrences that can result in life-threatening harm and even death. Victims can suffer more than physical pain: they may experience fear, anxiety, financial loss, the inability to work, and the inability to support their loved ones after their attacks. They may require long-term treatment to heal and to recover the use of their bodies.
When a dog attack happens, a victim can put their energy into healing. However, when they are ready they can consider their legal options for the recovery of their losses. A personal injury attorney can support them as they choose how best to serve their needs.