Dog Bite Lawyers in Alabama and Georgia
Dog Bite Claims in the Southeast
If you have been attacked by a dog or another animal, the first step is to identify the animal that bit you. If you have been attacked by a dog or other animal that is owned by another individual, you may be entitled to compensation. Should you or a loved one experience a dog bite, safety should be the first priority. Once the dog bite victims health has been secured, a report should be filed through the proper channels. Filing a dog bite report in Alabama or Georgia varies from county to county. Reports can be filed with both the police and the county animal control office depending on your county’s regulations. This report can be helpful in your case and provide important context in your fight for compensation.
Alabama Dog Bite Laws
In Alabama, dog bites are governed by statute, more specifically, Alabama Code § 3-6-1. The code states that dog owners can be held liable for providing damages if their pet has bitten or seriously injured another person. Unlike many other states, however, the law does not hold pet owners "strictly liable,” meaning that the attack must have taken place under a specific set of circumstances for the victim to be eligible for compensation.
First, plaintiffs must prove that the dog acted violently and without provocation. If the victim goaded or irritated the animal before they were injured, their claim could be dismissed for this reason alone.
Secondly, the attack must have taken place on either public property or the pet owner's property – the only exception being those in which the dog chased the victim off of the owner's property. If a dog bite occurs away from the owners’ premises, then the case may be governed by rules of common law negligence.
In cases where dog bite statutes do not apply, the victim of a bite may need to show that the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous or had previously bitten others in order to be entitled to damages for their injuries. Certain municipalities in Alabama may also have additional statutes which create liability, such as “rabid dog laws” or “leash laws.”
Our Dothan dog bite lawyers can help you understand all relevant Alabama dog bite laws.
Georgia Dog Bite Laws
In Georgia, the law allows victims of a dog or animal bite to recover on 1 of 2 grounds. The first ground is the "one bite rule.” Unfortunately, this rule requires the victim to show that the animal was dangerous or vicious, that the dog owner had knowledge of this propensity, and that the owner either carelessly managed the animal or allowed it to go at liberty.
The second is the "ordinance rule.” This rule requires proof that the animal was not at heel or on a leash, as required by local ordinance, and the dog owner either carelessly managed the animal or allowed it to go at liberty. This rule will vary depending upon local county or municipality laws and whether or not a “leash law” exists.
We are proud to offer free consultations for dog bites and all other personal injury cases.