As a skilled Anniston dog bite lawyer, Steve Morris Law represents victims of dog attacks as we pursue compensation on your behalf.
Every year, over four million people are bitten by dogs in the United States. The pet’s owner is legally responsible for their actions. First, you must go through a legal process that almost always involves filing a claim with the owner’s insurance company. You need an advocate in the legal process because it could make a difference in the compensation that you receive. Reach out to us today for the legal help you need.
Dog Bite Laws in Anniston, AL
The dog bite law in Alabama is that of strict liability. The law does not concern itself with the dog’s breed or history. The only thing that the law is concerned about is that you are compensated for your injuries when a dog has bitten and injured you.
Under Alabama law, you have the legal right to dog bite compensation when you were bitten on public property. You also can receive payment when you were bitten on the dog owner’s property, so long as you had the right to be there — you were a delivery person, were invited by the owner or were performing functions of the government.
Strict liability relieves you from the burden of having to prove negligence in your dog bite. All you need to do is prove that the bite occurred. Then, the burden shifts to the dog’s owner to show why they should not be liable for the bite. For example, the dog’s owner may argue that you provoked the dog.
Anniston has its own local dog bite ordinances. The law says that:
“It shall be the duty of every owner or person in charge of a dog to keep said animal under control or restrained while the same is within the corporate limits of the city.”
Further, Anniston law states that “every female dog or cat in heat shall be kept confined by the owner or person in charge.”
Injuries and Complications from Dog Bites
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Broken or punctured skin
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Face injuries.
- Nerve damage.
- Tissue damage
Infection is another common complication of a dog bite. Many of these bites break the skin.
Dogs have several types of bacteria in their mucus that can cause infection. Some dog bite victims can suffer cellulitis, which is a serious short-term complication that arises in the first 24 hours following the bite.
Small children are more likely to be seriously injured from dog bites. Given that the dog is more on face level with them, children can be bitten on their head and neck.
While a majority of dog bites do not result in injuries, roughly 20% of people who have been bitten require further medical treatment. Some may even suffer life-threatening injuries or need reconstructive surgery.
If you have suffered serious injuries to your skin and nerves, you may need reconstructive surgery. One study found that nearly 30,000 people who have been bitten by dogs need reconstructive surgery in a given year.
What to Do After You Have Been Bitten
There are several steps that you need to take after you have been bitten by a dog:
- Call a police officer to come to the scene and write a report.
- Also report the dog bite to the relevant local authorities.
- Get medical attention, especially if the dog bite broke the skin.
- Closely monitor yourself for signs of infection.
- Contact an attorney to determine whether you can sue the dog’s owner.
The dog’s owner would be liable to pay for the damages that you have suffered. Dogs are covered under their homeowners (or renters) insurance policy. There is a provision in each policy that covers the homeowner’s liability. Usually, the coverage would be either $100,000 or $300,000. If the homeowner has an umbrella policy — which would be prudent to protect themselves against major liability — there may be additional coverage to claim.
Thus, you are always dealing with an insurance company when you file a claim for a dog bite.
Homeowners’ insurance companies work the same way as any other insurance provider. You would need to fight tooth and nail for every dollar in compensation that you get. If the insurance coverage is not enough to pay for your injuries, the dog’s owner would be personally liable for the rest of the damages.
How Steve Morris Law in Anniston Can Help
Since you may not have to prove negligence, your biggest fight in a dog bite case is for enough compensation. Everything starts with knowing the value of your case, so you can place enough pressure on the insurance company when they will not make you a reasonable offer. Then, you would need to negotiate with the insurance company to get them to raise their offer.
If your child has been injured by a dog, you owe it to them to get the most possible money to pay for their future medical care and cover the damages that they will experience for perhaps the rest of their life.
We will deal with the insurance company on your behalf, pushing them to do what is right. If not, we will file a lawsuit in court on your behalf, and a jury could decide how much money you would get.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in Anniston Today
If you or a loved one have been injured by someone else’s dog, Steve Morris Law can work on your behalf as you seek enough compensation to pay for your injuries. You can reach out to us to schedule a free initial consultation by calling us today or by sending us a message online.