If you or your loved one suffered serious injuries because of a dog bite in Alabama, it is in your best interest to understand your rights. You may be dealing with medical bills as well as a loss of wages because of an inability to return to work. The owner of the dog that bit you could be legally responsible for these types of expenses. In certain cases, you may also be entitled to damages for other considerations, such as your pain and suffering. The dog bite lawyers in Birmingham at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP understand the complexity of dog attack claims. Our firm can ensure that we hold liable parties accountable and help you secure all the compensation you need and deserve.
We know that you probably have many concerns about your case. Contact us at (205) 324-1212 to have Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free consultation.
Why Do I Need a Dog Bite Lawyer?
Dog bites are unique cases because victims frequently know the liable parties quite well. The dog owner in your case could very well be a longtime neighbor, friend, or family member.
As a result, you might have some fear about the personal financial hardship you will cause by filing an injury claim. Keep in mind that a dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy typically covers most dog attack claims.
You might think that filing a dog bite claim will not be as challenging as other types of injury actions, but insurers do not want to pay any amount of money for any claim. As a result, the settlements they usually offer to pay are typically much less than what victims are entitled to.
Often, time is of the essence in these types of cases, as Alabama only allows a person two years to file an injury claim. For this reason, you will want to contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP as soon as possible.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP?
As soon as you hire our firm, we will quickly begin an independent investigation of your incident and secure the evidence important to your case. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP will also negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company to try and arrive at a fair and full settlement, but we will not be afraid to file a lawsuit if the insurer will not provide adequate compensation.
Our record of success includes several multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. Kirby Farris and Ken Riley are both lifelong Alabama residents who have accomplished legal careers.
Mr. Farris and Mr. Riley are both members of the Birmingham Bar Association, Alabama Bar Association, and American Bar Association. They are also both admitted to the Alabama Supreme Court as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.
We also provide legal representation on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to worry about paying us any fees unless you receive a monetary award. You can have our lawyers examine all of your options when you call (205) 324-1212 right now.
Cases We Handle
According to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and public education website DogsBite.org, the breeds of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans in 2019 included:
- Pit Bulls — 33 fatal attacks (69 percent)
- Mixed-Breed Dogs – Six fatal attacks (13 percent)
- Rottweilers — Four fatal attacks (8 percent)
- Boxers — Two fatal attacks (4 percent)
- German Shepherds – Two fatal attacks (4 percent)
- Australian Cattle Dogs— Two fatal attacks (4 percent)
DogsBite.org noted that dogs of unknown breeds caused two deaths that year. There were also eight different dog breeds that contributed to one death each: an American bulldog, a Belgian Malinois, a coonhound, a Doberman pinscher, a Dutch shepherd, a Great Dane, a husky, and a mastiff.
Dog Bites Statistics
According to a recent nine-year analysis of dog bite injury data in the U.S.:
- An estimated 337,000 Americans visit emergency departments (EDs) each year seeking treatment for dog bite injuries.
- ED visits for dog bite injuries account for roughly 1.1 percent of all injury-related ED visits.
- Dog bites ranked 13th among the top reasons for injury-related ED visits, surpassing injuries from motorcycle wrecks, pedestrian accidents, and gunshot wounds.
Locations of Dog Bite Injuries
- Upper extremity (arms or hands): 47.3 percent
- Head or neck: 26.8 percent
- Lower extremity (legs or feet): 21.5 percent
- Lower trunk: 2.9 percent
- Upper trunk: 1.5 percent
Places Where Dog Bites Occur
- Homes: 80.2 percent
- Streets: 7.1 percent
- Schools or sports venues: 2.5 percent
- Other locations: 10 percent
Dog Bite Incidence Rate
- The annual incidence of dog bite injuries in EDs was 1.1 per 1,000 U.S. residents.
- Men were slightly more at risk for dog bite injuries than women, with incidences of 1.18 vs. 1.02 per 1,000 individuals, respectively.
- Children aged five to nine had the highest incidence rate at 2.18 per 1,000 individuals.
Another report of fatalities from dog-related incidents between 2011 and 2021 reveals:
- There were 468 deaths resulting from being bitten or struck by a dog over the study period, with an annual average of 43 dog-related deaths.
- Dog-related deaths varied from a low of 31 in 2016 to a high of 81 in 2021.
- Notably, between 2018 and 2021, dog-related fatalities more than doubled for both men (from 15 to 37) and women (from 20 to 44).
Frequently Asked Questions
Some states use a strict liability approach for dog bite cases in which dog owners are liable for victim injuries regardless of whether the dog has previously bitten someone or acted aggressively, but a so-called “one-bite rule” involves a requirement that a dog owner has knowledge of at least one such prior incident in order to be liable. Alabama uses a combination of these two systems, as dog owners are strictly liable for economic damages but knowledge of a dog having been vicious, dangerous, or mischievous is necessary for noneconomic and punitive damage claims.
If you do anything that could be considered negligence on your part that proximately contributes to your injury, it is considered contributory negligence. In a dog bite case, the owner may claim you antagonized or otherwise caused the dog’s reaction. Such allegations are important because, in Alabama, a defendant in a civil claim can argue contributory negligence as an affirmative defense. When proven, contributory negligence will make a victim unable to recover any damages. In order to avoid this outcome, you will want to make sure that you contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP before speaking to any insurance company representatives.
Your first step following any dog bite should be to seek medical care. Even if your injury does not seem serious, it is important to have any wound treated properly to avoid possible infection. Additionally, it is to your benefit to have a medical record created immediately so as to counter any claims from insurers that your injury claims are exaggerated or manufactured. Take pictures of your wounds before they heal. Do not get into any arguments with dog owners about liability. Instead, just be certain to get the necessary contact information for the dog owner and contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. You should refuse to speak to any insurance company without legal representation.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer In Birmingham Today
The legal team at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has been working on behalf of all kinds of injury victims in Alabama for more than 20 years. Dog attacks are very unique kinds of cases, but the severity of the injuries can cause just as many problems for victims as other injury claims.
If you or your loved one was bitten by a dog in Jefferson County, do not hesitate to contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. You can have our dog bite lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (205) 324-1212 to set up a free consultation.
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