No dog owner wants their dog to bite someone, especially not someone the dog had previously been friendly with. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs, even those that have never behaved aggressively before, attack and cause serious injuries. When this happens, dog owners need to be held accountable.
When a canine attacks you and you suffer injuries, you should seek medical attention immediately. Then, document the dog bite injuries with photographs and keep records of all injury-related expenses. The dog owner may be held responsible for your damages through either a court verdict or negotiated settlement. However, holding a dog owner responsible often necessitates the assistance of an Opelika dog bite lawyer. An aggressive personal injury attorney at Bence Law Firm, LLC, could collect eyewitness accounts, assess the full extent of your injuries, and provide dedicated representation in court.
Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
Often, negligence on behalf of the canine owner triggers dog-bite lawsuits. Dog owners can reduce dog bite risk by:
- Using a muzzle
- Being vigilant around children
- Keeping their dog on a leash when not in an enclosed environment
- Ensuring adequate fencing and dog gates are installed around their homes
However, under Alabama Code § 3-6-1, a dog owner can be found liable if their dog bites someone on their property or in a place where the injured party has a right to be. Liability means the dog owner is responsible for the resulting injuries and related expenses. Fully understanding what is recoverable may require the assistance of an Opelika dog bite attorney experienced with canine-related personal injury claims.
To prove liability, you must show the dog owner’s negligence and your sustained injuries. If you can prove that an owner failed to take precautions to reduce canine-related injuries—particularly if the dog has a history of hostility or biting—it can serve as decisive evidence for your case.
Recoverable Damages Following Animal Attacks
Those injured by aggressive or unruly canines can file personal injury claims against dog owners for their injuries. Damages from dog bite injuries include:
Economic damages are related to an injured party’s calculable and quantifiable expenses. These damages typically include reimbursement for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and lost future income.
Non-economic damages are related to a person’s physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional harm from animal attack injuries such as disfigurement.
You may be able to claim punitive damages in addition to economic and non-economic losses. This is particularly true if the dog owner knew or should have known that the attacking dog has previously harmed another human, domestic animal, or property. When dog owners know their dog is aggressive but elect to keep the animal and let it interact with others, seeking punitive damages may be reasonable. A skilled Opelika animal attack lawyer could help you hold the negligent party accountable.
Call an Opelika Dog Bite Attorney Today
When you or someone you care about has suffered dog attack injuries, you should take immediate action. Holding a negligent dog owner responsible can be a complex legal process. At Bence Law Firm, LLC, we will thoroughly explain your legal options and rights.
Our experienced and empathetic Opelika dog bite lawyer, David Bence, comes from a long line of attorneys and has years of experience dealing with dog bite cases. You do not have to navigate this alone. Call to schedule a consultation today.