Dothan Dog Attack Lawyer
A dog attack is more than frightening. It can also lead to serious physical harm such as cuts, fractures, and infections. As a result, many dog bite victims must receive extensive medical treatment and endure a lengthy rehabilitation process. The cost of this treatment can be highly burdensome – especially if the victim cannot work due to his or her injuries.
Fortunately, Alabama law gives victims several ways to hold dog owners accountable for the injuries and losses which they suffer. If a dog recently attacked you in Dothan, personal injury attorney Aaron Gartlan can help you to explore all of your options. Ultimately, he can develop a strategy that is aimed at securing maximum compensation for you.
Contact us now to discuss your case in a free consultation. As you will quickly see, we take the time to listen to our clients. We also work tirelessly to deliver life-changing results for them.
What Are the Legal Options for Dog Bite Victims in Dothan?
If a dog bites or otherwise attacks you in Dothan, you may be eligible to recover compensation through one or more different routes. Gartlan Injury Law will thoroughly investigate your case and help you to evaluate options that may include:
Like many states, Alabama has a statute that imposes strict liability on a dog bite owner if the owner’s dog attacks and injures another person. However, the law applies in only limited circumstances. Those circumstances are:
- The dog bit or injured the victim.
- The victim did not provoke the attack.
- At the time of the attack, the victim was legally on the property which the dog owner owned or controlled, or the dog had just chased the victim from the property.
Additionally, Alabama law allows dog owners to plead that they had no knowledge of any circumstances which indicated that the dog was vicious, dangerous or mischievous. If they can establish that lack of knowledge, dog owners can greatly reduce the amount of compensation which they – or, in most cases, their homeowners’ insurance provider – pays to the victim.
If Alabama’s strict liability dog bite statute does not apply to a victim’s case – for instance, the dog attacked the victim in a park – the victim may still be able to hold the dog owner accountable by alleging negligence. However, in order to establish negligence, the victim must prove that the dog owner knew or reasonably should have known about the dog’s dangerous propensities.
It should come as no surprise that dog owners often try to avoid liability by arguing that they had no idea that their dog would attack someone else. For this reason, it will be important to thoroughly investigate the dog’s history, including interview neighbors and others who were familiar with the dog as well as searching for any prior police or animal control reports. In some cases, the dog’s breed – for instance, a pit bull – may help to establish the owner’s knowledge.
Negligence Per Se
In some situations, a dog bite victim may be able to establish negligence as a matter of law, or negligence per se, by showing that the dog owner violated a local “leash law.” For example, in Dothan, a local ordinance prohibits dog owners from allowing their pets to be “at large,” or off the owner’s property unless the dog is under the restraint of a leash or chain.
Finally, it is important to note that Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state. In other words, if a dog owner can establish that a victim’s own negligence contributed to the attack, the victim may be barred from recovering any compensation. With that said, at Gartlan Injury Law, we will aggressively challenge any unfounded attempts to blame you for your dog bite injuries.
What Compensation Is Available in Dothan Dog Bite Injury Cases?
A dog attack accidents can cause victims to suffer a wide range of injuries. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Hand and arm injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Emotional distress (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Infections (with rabies being a major concern).
At Gartlan Injury Law, we will seek maximum compensation for you after a dog attack in Dothan. Our goal is to secure a settlement or judgment that fully and fairly compensates you for the harm which you have suffered. The damages that we seek on your behalf may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress.
When we take on your case, we will take care of collecting and analyzing your medical records. We may also consult with your doctors and other medical experts in order to determine the impact of your injuries on your health, your ability to work and your enjoyment of life.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Alabama?
Like every state, Alabama has a statute of limitations that applies to personal injury claims, including claims arising from dog attacks. This is the amount of time that an injured person has to file a claim. In Alabama, the statute of limitations expires two years from the date of the injury. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time period, you can lose your right to recover any compensation.
Because of the statute of limitations for dog bite claims in Alabama, you should get in touch with Gartlan Injury Law as soon as you are ready to take action. We will need time to investigate your case and take other steps to prepare your case for filing. We want to make sure that any claim that we file on your behalf is timely.
Get Help Today from an Experienced Dothan Dog Attack Attorney
Our experienced legal team at Gartlan Injury Law is driven by our genuine passion for helping people through tough situations. We understand the heavy burden that a dog attack injury can place on victims and their families. You can count on Aaron Gartlan to be your voice in the courtroom and at the negotiation table and fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us today and receive a free review of your case.