The state of Alabama takes dog bites seriously! Gov. Kay Ivey recently signed a bill into law, Emily’s Law, that imposes felony penalties on owners of dogs that seriously injure or kill people.The law is named after Emily Colvin who was attacked and killed by a pack of dogs in her front yard in Jackson County, Alabama in 2017.
The law became effective in June 2018, and places the owners of dangerous dogs on notice that they may face severe penalties, including jail time, if their animals attack someone. They may also be financially responsible for all damages that a victim incurs. If you were bitten by a dog, a personal injury lawyer can advise you on your legal rights. In the meantime, you can review what Alabama considers a “dangerous dog” below.
What Kinds of Dogs Are Classified as Dangerous?
In Alabama, “dangerous” does not refer to a dog’s breed or size but rather, to its history. Dogs are automatically considered dangerous after a single biting incident. Once a dog falls under this category, its owner will likely be responsible for any subsequent attack. While owners can reduce their liability by containing dangerous dogs on their property, they may, nevertheless, face serious consequences if the dog ever escapes, even if they took reasonable precautions to prevent an escape.
It’s important to note that the dog will also face consequences. As of 2018, dogs that bite people may be euthanized.
What Should I Do If I’m Bitten By a Dangerous Dog?
If you are bitten by a dog, seek immediate medical care. Even if the wound appears superficial, there is always the risk of infection. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to be treated for exposure to rabies. Call a personal injury lawyer to determine how best to proceed. An attorney will investigate the dog’s history to see if a claim is warranted. If it turns out that the dog is classified as a dangerous dog—and you were not trespassing on the owner’s property or provoking the dog before the attack—you should have grounds for a claim.
If you were bitten by a dog, turn to a personal injury lawyer at Jones & Jones PC Attys at Law. Based in Andalusia, AL, this full-service firm has been counseling clients throughout Covington County and the surrounding area since 1953. If you need legal help regarding a personal injury lawsuit, family law dispute, or criminal offense, you can turn to them for attentive and personalized guidance. To get in touch with a personal injury lawyer on their team, call (334) 222-3161 or complete the form on their website.
No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.