Alabama Dog Bite Laws
So what happens when Old MacDonald’s dog, B-I-N-G-O, bites and injures you? Good question. Although you cannot sue the dog, every state has laws which allow the injured person to take legal action. In Alabama, there are a series of state laws that could hold a dog owner’s liable for your injury assuming you are legally on Old Macdonald’s farm.
Upon showing you were legally on the dog owner’s property (i.e. you were invited and not trespassing). There are some provisions in the law that limits or eliminates the dog owner’s legal responsibility. If Old Macdonald proves he had no knowledge Bingo was “vicious, dangerous or mischievous” then Old Macdonald is not legally responsible for paying for pain and suffering. Dog owners in that case are only legally responsible for “actual damages,” expenses incurred from the actual injury and not any expenses due to the injured party’s pain and suffering.
The dog bite laws in Alabama only allow the injured person to sue when there was no provocation involved. So, if you were taunting Bingo with bacon while pulling his tail when he bit you, you likely won’t be able to sue anyone in Alabama for your injuries.
Bites Off the Property
When a dog bite occurs off the owner’s property it is up to the injured person to prove that the owner knew or had reason to know about the dog’s dangerous tendencies. Separate from the state law that governs a dog bite that happens on the property, dog bites occurring off the owner’s property fall under Alabama’s common law rules for negligence.
Pitbulls and other “vicious and dangerous” dogs
Pitbulls have a certain reputation for being vicious. Even when a dog owner has only seen harmless and friendly behavior from their pitbull, that dog-owner cannot get off the legal hook for lack of knowledge about the dog’s dangerous behavior. Owners of “vicious and dangerous” breeds have a responsibility for being aware of the tendencies of their dog’s breed. Additionally these dog owners must not carelessly manage their pet. If a dog determined to be a vicious and dangerous breed runs free, bites and injures an innocent person the dog owner is liable for damages.
Under Alabama laws dog owners who know their animal has rabies are responsible for twice the damages when their dog bites and injures another person.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney Today
Dog bite laws have exceptions, defenses, and meaningful terms of art. It is important to contact an Alabama dog bite law attorney to assist you in navigating the ins and outs of your case.
Find an Alabama dog bite lawyer now.