In the wrong situation, any dog could cause serious harm to others. Owners who fail to properly train, socialize, or restrain their dogs could be held liable for the injuries that the animal causes.
If you were bitten by a dog in Alabama, you could be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim if the dog that was running free, or if you were attacked by a dog while you were an invited guest on the owner’s property.
The lawyers at Morris King & Hodge, P.C., can help if you’ve suffered a serious dog bite or another dog attack in Florence. We are here to provide you with the legal counsel, support, and resources that you need to make a full recovery.
To speak with a member of our team, call us or contact us today. The consultation is free, confidential, and comes with no strings attached.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog in Florence
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florence, it is crucial that you take the following steps to protect yourself and your injury claim:
- Seek Medical Care — It is critical to seek medical treatment right away after a dog attack. Even if you don’t think your wounds are severe, serious infections are common among dog bite victims, especially in people with weakened immune systems. Examples of infections after dog bites include rabies, Capnocytophaga or Pasteurella bacteria, Tetanus, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and antibiotic-resistant staph infections.
- Exchange Information — If the dog’s owner is present, exchange contact information, such as name, phone number, email, and address. If possible, confirm whether the dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Likewise, if anyone witnessed your injury, collect their information so that they can provide an official statement.
- Contact Animal Control — Report the incident to local animal control. This allows them to establish or add to any recorded information on the animal. It is common for animal control to investigate, which could end up helping your case.
- Document Your Experience — Keep detailed records, including medical expenses and other bills. Also, keeping a detailed journal of how your injuries have impacted your life could be helpful later if you need to take legal action.
- Call a Lawyer —If you have been bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. In many cases, homeowners’ insurance covers liability for dog attacks. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options, and could help build a convincing case on your behalf.
Liability for Dog Bites in Florence, Alabama
Dog bite laws vary depending on the state. Some states have strict liability laws regarding dog bite matters. Strict liability holds the responsible party accountable for the incident no matter how docile the animal has been in the past. Others have what’s called the “one bite” rule. Under the one bite rule, the owner is not penalized for the harm their animal inflicts unless there is at least one known past incident of aggression.
Alabama dog bite law combines both strict liability and the one bite rule for an unconventional approach. Under Alabama law, no matter what the aggressive dog’s history is, the responsible party can be made to cover expenses, such as medical care and lost wages, related to the injury. However, they cannot be held responsible for punitive or statutory damages unless they knew that the dog was capable of acting aggressively.
What Are My Rights If I Have Been Bitten by a Dog in Florence?
Victims of dog bites have the right to file an injury claim against the responsible party. If you’ve been bitten, Alabama law allows you up to two years from the date of the incident to file a claim.
The dog’s owner could be held responsible if:
- You did not provoke the dog in any way.
- You were not trespassing.
- You were injured on the property or were chased after leaving the property.
Additionally, a dog owner may claim that they are not responsible for your injuries if the incident didn’t occur on their property. However, you may still fight for compensation if you were bitten on public property or a third party’s private property by claiming negligence. A lawyer can help build your case so that you can recover what your injury has cost you.
Common Florence Dog Bite Injuries
Even relatively minor injuries can throw you into financial disarray and leave you with chronic pain and medical complications. Despite their friendly appearance, dogs have the capability of inflicting serious harm on people. Some commonly reported dog bite injuries to include:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Fractures and broken bones
- Psychological trauma
Children often suffer the worst harm in dog attacks. Tragically, some children die as a result of dog attacks.
Who Pays Dog Bite Settlements in Florence Dog Attacks?
Despite the pain and complications that they cause, taking action after a dog attack can be an emotionally difficult situation for victims when they know or are friendly with the owner of the dog. If you have been bitten by a dog owned by a friend, neighbor, or relative, you may be concerned that taking legal action will cause the other person financial harm.
Fortunately, pursuing compensation doesn’t need to come at the cost of a valued relationship. In the majority of cases, your lawyer can file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy since most policies cover dog bites. This means your settlement would be paid by an insurance company and not come out of the dog owner’s pocket.
Our dog bite lawyers can help you recover the damages that you need while making sure that your relationship with your friend, family member, or neighbor does not suffer.
How Can Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Help Me After I’ve Been Attacked by a Dog in Florence
The team of Florence personal injury lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., understands the serious consequences of dog bite injuries, and we help you pursue the justice that you deserve. Our Florence dog bite attorneys will listen to you, look at the facts of your situation, and investigate your claim to help determine the best course of action.
We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the people who entrust us with their cases, including $1,125,000 for the victim of a severe dog bite. If you are ready to speak with a Florence dog bite lawyer about your situation, contact us now for a free claim review.