According to the CDC, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites. Often unexpected, dog bites can be scary, painful and even result in death.
Here at Barfoot and Schoettker we want you to receive the compensation that you deserve regardless of the case type. If you have been involved in a dog attack case, here is an overview of how it should be handled:
Following the bite
Whether the bite was minor or severe, it is important to document everything in order to build a solid case. If the owner was present during the attack, make sure to exchange insurance information and get their personal contact information right away. If the owner was not present, take pictures of the bite and the site of the attack to ensure your story has no room for interpretation.
It is especially important to gather all the necessary information if the owner was not present. This piece of information could help prove a negligence case because the owner was not there to control their dog.
Following the attack, immediately visit the doctor to be treated. Keeping a record of these visits and all that is involved is vital to ensure that you receive appropriate compensation.
Once someone has suffered from a dog bite, there are many factors to consider when deciding who is held responsible. The laws vary from state to state, so understanding what your state’s liability entails is crucial to being entitled to compensation.
Some state’s follow a “one bite rule” where if the dog does not have a history of violence, then the owner is held accountable, but most states have a liability statute set in place with some provisions including the history of the dog’s behavior, owner negligence, trespassing and/or provoking the dog.
According to FindLaw, in Alabama, the owner is held strictly liable for a dog bite if it occurred on the owner’s property unless the dog was provoked. In this case, the owner would be held liable to the damages needed from the injured person.
These statutes are set in place, but there are exceptions to every rule. In Alabama, if the owner had no previous knowledge of their dog having dangerous or vicious behavior, the owner could be subject to only paying actual expenses of the bite instead of mitigation damages.
These exceptions can be detrimental to being fully compensated, so having an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer is key to being properly compensated for a dog bite.
How we can help
We believe each case, including dog attacks, deserve specific and personalized attention. We specialize in many types of cases, including personal injury, to help ensure you are properly awarded damages.
Here at Barfoot and Shoettker, our professionals are ready to help you no matter the case. We will work alongside you to gather information, form a case and support you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you today.