Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
Have you or a loved one been bitten by a neighbor’s dog in Decatur or Huntsville, Alabama? Are the bills piling up, and the insurance company is giving you the run around? Dog bites often leave serious and permanent physical and psychological scars. When you have been seriously injured by a dog bite, you need to call the attorney serious dog bite victims call when they have been bitten. Randy W. Ferguson is Decatur and Huntsville’s premier dog bite injury lawyer. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS. We also have a LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Huntsville or Decatur office. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help.
Common Types of Alabama Dog Bite Injuries
Our Huntsville dog bite lawyers pursue cases for many different types of injuries caused by dog bites. These include:
- Deep contusions
- Tissue loss and avulsion
- Crush injuries
- Fractured bones
- Nerve injuries
- Sprain / strain injuries
- Wrongful death
- Infections such as rabies, cellulitis, C carnivorous infections
What to do After a Dog Bite
Make sure to do the following after any dog bite:
- Obtain the names and addresses of witnesses, the dog owner, and the people who had custody of the dog when it bit you.
- Take photographs of the wounds and dog.
- See a doctor to document your injuries and obtain treatment.
- Go to the agency that does animal control in your jurisdiction and make a report.
- Get a qualified dog bite attorney to represent you and help you with your insurance claim.
Dogs Most Likely to Bite
The Centers for Disease Control studies dog bite incidents, including the types of dogs most likely to bite. The breeds that the CDC considers highest risk include:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Alaskan malamutes
- Doberman pinschers
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
Damages in Dog Bite Cases
A dog bite victim may incur many different kinds of damages and losses, including the following:
- Medical Bills
- Future Medicals
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement resulting from scars
- Long term emotional scars
How to Avoid Dog Bites to Children
Just as we teach our children to practice safety in other situations, we can teach them to be safe around dogs. The most important lessons for children to learn are not to chase or tease dogs that they know and to avoid dogs that they don’t know.
The following rules will help prevent your child from receiving a bite wound:
- Treat all dogs as potentially dangerous, unless supervised by an adult.
- Children should never be alone with a dog.
- Never approach a restrained or confined dog.
- Never approach a barking dog, even if he is wagging his tail.
- Never take a toy or food from a dog.
- Never disturb a sleeping dog.
- Never discipline a dog by hitting it.
Alabama Dog Law
Liability Statute For Dog Bites Occurring On Dog Owner’s Property
Alabama has a statute that makes dog owners liable for damages when their dog bites or injures a person, so long as the injured person is lawfully on the dog owner’s property at the time of the injury. The statute also applies to cases where the injured person was lawfully on the dog owner’s property, but, because the dog chased the person, the injury actually occurred off the owner’s property. A person is lawfully on the owner’s property when he or she is invited there. For example, those people who the owner invites on the property, such as a friend or a repair person, are “lawfully” on the owner’s property. On the other hand, trespassers are not lawful guests of the owner. The only exception to this rule is in cases where the injured person provoked the dog and that provocation caused the dog to attack. Finally, the statute permits a dog owner to defend the case by proving that he or she had no knowledge that the dog was vicious, dangerous, or mischievous. If the owner proves lack of knowledge, damages are limited to actual expenses incurred by the injured person. Actual expenses do not include pain and suffering.
Common Law Liability for Dog Bites Occurring Outside of Owner’s Property
When a dog bite occurs off the owner’s property, the injured person’s right to recover damages is governed by negligence principles under the common law. In that case, the injured person must prove that the owner knew, or had reason to know, that the dog had a dangerous propensity. If the owner can prove that he had no knowledge of this, the owner will still be liable to pay for the actual expenses incurred by the injured person. Actual expenses do not include pain and suffering damages.
Vicious and Dangerous Dogs
When the owner of a vicious or dangerous dog carelessly manages the animal or allows it to run free, and another person, without fault on his part, is bitten or injured, the owner or the dog’s keeper at the time of the injury will be liable for damages. Under Alabama law, all dog owners are bound to take notice of the general propensities of the breed of the dog that they own, even if their dog has never displayed vicious behavior. For example, a pit bull is a breed that is unpredictable and can be vicious and dangerous. If a pit bull owner fails to exercise reasonable care to guard against and prevent injuries that should reasonably be anticipated by the breed, the dog owner will be liable for injuries caused by the dog.
Alabama has a rabid dog statute. Under this statute, if a dog owner knows the dog has rabies, and the dog bites a person, the owner is liable to twice the damages suffered by the injured person.
Alabama Dog Bite Law
TITLE 3. ANIMALS
CHAPTER 6. LIABILITY OF OWNERS OF DOGS BITING OR INJURING PERSONS br
Code of Ala. § 3-6-1 (2003)
§ 3-6-1. Generally
If any dog shall, without provocation, bite or injure any person who is at the time at a place where he or she has a legal right to be, the owner of such dog shall be liable in damages to the person so bitten or injured, but such liability shall arise only when the person so bitten or injured is upon property owned or controlled by the owner of such dog at the time such bite or injury occurs or when such person has been immediately prior to such time on such property and has been pursued therefrom by such dog.
Why Hire Dog Bite Attorneys Ferguson and Ferguson
The law offices of Ferguson and Ferguson takes pride in giving each client individual and personal attention.
- We are committed to excellent client service.
- We care about our clients, and have patience.
- We identify the party responsible for your injury.
- We obtain your medical documents.
- We can help with financial assistance.
- We will help you get medical treatment.
- Your bills get paid, reduced or eliminated.
- Free phone consultation 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays.
- Free office consultation as late as 7 p.m. and Saturdays.
- Locations near you.
- You talk to attorneys, not secretaries or paralegals
- We answer all our clients calls, or return them promptly.
- We keep our clients informed of the status of their case.
- We make sure that our clients understand each step of their case.
- We have great compassion for the physical, emotional, and financial problems that our clients suffered, and will do everything possible to get them through their difficult time.
Every insurance company has adjusters, investigators, and attorneys assigned to dog bite claims. Their primary goal is to limit the amount of compensation the insurance company pays to dog bite victims like you. Insurance companies are not the friends of injured claimants. Don’t make their job easier by providing them with information that they can use or manipulate to deny your claim. Make sure you have the best Huntsville dog bite lawyer you can hire on your side to aggressively protect your interests.
Free Case Review
Making the decision to hire a dog bite injury lawyer is an important choice that takes careful consideration. If you need a dog bite lawyer, call or email us today. Our consultations are free. We can visit you or your loved one at a hospital, residence, or workplace. Some car accident lawyers, due to their lack of skill or resources, may not pursue all claims and compensation available to you. If you have been a victim of a dog bite in Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, Cullman or Scottsboro, Alabama, do not hesitate to call our skilled and experienced dog bite attorneys for a free assessment of your situation. Call now 1-800-752-1998 or 256-534-3435. We are here to help.