Alabama Dog And Animal Bite Lawyer

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Although we may think of dogs as loyal family pets and man's best friend, there are also several breeds of dog that are hard-wired to be aggressive and violent. Even dogs that are normally docile in nature may become vicious through abuse, neglect or fear. There are many reasons why a dog might attack either another dog or other animal or a person. In the United States each year, there are over four million animal attacks. Many of these attacks are minor bites or scratches, but some cause serious injuries which may require stitches or even cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. While death occurs in fewer than 100 of the reported dog bites or attacks that occur across the country yearly, dog bites that require medical treatment or hospitalization are common. In fact, a dog bite is the second most frequent cause for emergency room visits among small children.

To avoid an animal attack, it is important to look out for signs that the animal is an aggressive one, or might become aggressive. Such signs include a chain around the animal's neck, foaming at the mouth, an unkempt appearance, aggressive behavior, baring its teeth and growling. If you happen to encounter a dog which exhibits these characteristics, you should avoid the dog, crossing the street or changing direction if necessary. You should never approach a strange dog without its owner's permission.

Nevertheless, it is not always possible to avoid dogs or to evade being bitten. If you have taken all the necessary precautions and have still suffered a dog bite, there are certain steps which must be taken.
Take down contact information for the dog owner and any witnesses, as well as license information for the dog, and report the incident to your local Animal Control office. You should seek medical attention for your dog bite, even if it does not initially seem to be serious, as dog bites can carry a high risk of bacterial infection. If you have sustained significant injuries that resulted in medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering, you may find it beneficial to hire an Alabama dog and animal bite lawyer or attorney.

In Alabama, the standard rule of negligence applies to the dog bite statutes. However there are a few exceptions to the rule that include trespassing, contributory negligence, and secondary liability. Both the victim and the dog owner should hire an attorney to protect their separate rights in theses cases.

Alabama's dog bite attorneys assist the victim in not only recovering damages, but in proving fault for the bite. First, the lawyer must prove that the owner violated the standard rule of negligence. He must answer the question: did the owner have prior knowledge as to the dangerous potential of the dog? Did the owner take measures to protect the public from the dog if it was dangerous? Evidence can be information on the dog's breed, and also any precautions that the owner took to warn about the dog's disposition. This includes 'beware of dog' signs, fencing, etc. Proving owner negligence is essential to the plaintiff's case. After owner liability is proven, and then the victim can proceed in recovering damages.

The owner's attorney may try to build a case for contributory negligence. This requires evidence of the victim's negligence in the incident. The attorney will use anything that may show that the victim provoked the dog or trespassed onto the owner's property (and thereby into the territory that the dog feels the need to protect). A victim who is chased onto the property, however, is not liable for the injury. Under Alabama's statutes, a victim found to be even partially negligent in the incident, he is liable for the entire incident. The victim must, then, prove that the owner was the only cause of the incident.

Alabama state dog bite laws are complex. If you have been bitten by a dog in the state of Alabama, contact a personal injury attorney who has experience litigating dog bite cases in order to determine whether you may have a valid claim against the owner or handler of the dog that bit you.


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