In the United States, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. If you or someone you love was attacked in Birmingham, Alabama, you understand the pain and suffering behind this statistic. Nearly 20 percent of dog bites require medical attention. And some bite victims remain traumatized long after the physical wounds heal.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we believe in justice. For more than 40 years, our mission has been to provide skilled legal representation to Alabama residents. The first step is helping you understand your rights.
Would you like to learn your legal options after a dog bite? Norris Injury Lawyers has the answers you need. To find out what your case is worth, contact our law firm at (800) 477-7510 to schedule a free consultation. Read on to learn how we can win compensation for your dog bite injuries.
Why Dog Bites Occur in Birmingham, Alabama
Many dogs are trustworthy family pets. Yet, any dog with any owner can bite. When a dog bites you, or worse yet, a vulnerable child or elderly person, you might wonder what went wrong. Alabama law protects you from unprovoked dog or other animal attacks caused by the following.
Alabama law requires dogs to be under control at all times. The animal control code is clear: The owner should restrict the dog or dogs to his or her own premises or another appropriate area, such as a kennel or dog park. Any personal injury caused by an unleashed dog may form the basis of legal action against the Birmingham dog owner.
Dogs with a history of vicious behavior
If an animal is dangerous around others, the owner has a responsibility to keep others safe. For instance, you might notice a “Beware of Dog” sign posted on the owner’s property or see dogs strapped into muzzles.
Careless management or allowing a dog to roam free can result in serious injuries to innocent victims. In Birmingham, you have the right to hold neglectful owners responsible for injuries and damages.
The rabies virus affects humans and animals. If an infected animal scratches or bites someone, the virus can cause damage to the central nervous system. Without proper treatment, rabies is often fatal.
Rabies can cause an array of health problems, including:
- Flu-like symptoms
- General weakness
- Prickling or itching around the bite wound
- Fear of water
If you were exposed to rabies, it could be weeks or months before symptoms appear. Since rabies is almost always fatal once clinical signs appear, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately after a dog bite injury, whether you suspect the animal of being infected or not.
Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. If an irresponsible owner is at fault, you have the legal right to pursue damages. For a free analysis of your claim, call (800) 477-7510 or complete our free online consultation form today.
Dog Bite Injuries That Deserve Maximum Compensation
Birmingham dog owners can vaccinate their pets to prevent the spread of rabies. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dog bites remain the most common cause of rabies-related death worldwide.
Besides this serious condition, a wide range of injuries can result from a dog bite incident:
- Wounds: When an animal bites, its teeth can cause deep tears, punctures, or cuts in your skin. You should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after an animal bites you. If a wound becomes infected, it can result in serious complications.
- Infections: Dog bites can introduce harmful microbes from the dog’s mouth, the physical environment, or your own skin into your body. Infections can lead to abscesses, cellulitis, tissue damage, and even death.
- Nerve damage: Your nerves control much of what you feel in your body. Besides often being painful, nerve damage can lead to temporary or permanent loss of function and sensation.
- Scarring and disfigurement: The injuries from animal bites can leave permanent marks. Visible scars, especially on the face, can make social interactions uncomfortable.
- Loss of body parts: Dog bites can rip and tear tissue from your body. Loss of ears, eyes, fingers, or other body parts might require reconstructive surgery.
How to Take Advantage of Your Legal Rights As a Birmingham Dog Attack Victim
A Birmingham dog bite lawyer can help you pursue damages from a dog owner (or his or her insurance company). No amount of money can make up for the trauma that dog bite attacks can cause, but damages can help compensate you for your losses.
Economic damages encompass measurable financial losses. For instance, you might be facing:
- Medical bills: Getting appropriate medical attention for your dog bite injuries can be expensive. If you are receiving medical bills for emergency room visits, hospital admissions, surgeries, medication, or rehabilitation related to a Birmingham dog bite accident, please contact our offices at (800) 477-7510 to learn your eligibility to win financial damages.
- Lost wages: While you are recuperating from your Birmingham dog bite injury, you might miss some time at work. At Norris Injury Lawyers, we know making ends meet during recovery can be stressful. It’s our mission to help you win compensation for lost income so you can focus on getting better.
- Lost future earning potential: Some animal bites cause permanent physical disabilities. In other cases, fear and anxiety triggered by the attack might prevent you from performing work duties. A Birmingham personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you qualify for earning potential compensation under current dog bite laws.
Non-economic damages refer to non-monetary losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering: Animal bites can be very painful for a long time after the initial incident. You might also suffer emotionally, feeling anguish, fear, and anxiety. In Birmingham, AL, courts recognize the intangible costs of emotional distress.
- Loss of society and companionship: Unfortunately, some people do not survive dog bite injuries. Family members can sue the dog owner for the emotional loss of their loved one, along with economic damages if the deceased contributed to the family’s finances.
- Punitive damages: Rather than making up for a loss, punitive damages are meant to deter reckless or malicious behavior. For instance, if a dog owner intentionally sets a vicious dog on someone, a court might set an example to the public by punishing him or her with punitive damages.
Why You Should Contact Norris Injury Lawyers Without Delay
After an event as traumatic as a dog bite, it’s understandable that you feel upset and unsettled. Though you might be tempted to put off dealing with the situation, it is best to contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible for two important reasons.
Reason one: Statute of limitations
All states set a time limit for dog accident victims to begin legal actions for personal injury cases. From the day that your injury occurs, the countdown begins. If you wait too late, Jefferson and Shelby County dog bite laws might not be able to protect your rights to compensation.
Why miss out on claiming the money you deserve from the individual responsible for your injuries? Unless you speak out, the dog owner might continue to put the public at risk. And as medical bills pile up, you could be headed for financial disaster.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we want you to have all the facts. There is no cost or obligation associated with free legal consultations at our law firm. Click “Live Chat” on your screen to discuss your options now, or leave us a message and we will get in touch.
Reason two: Insurance deadlines
When dealing with insurance companies, acting quickly is essential. If you do not file your claim within what an insurer deems a reasonable amount of time, the company can delay or reject your settlement.
Collecting all the evidence and completing insurance forms is time-consuming and frustrating for many dog bite victims. An experienced dog bite attorney with our law firm can advise you on how to maximize your compensation.
Trusting our years of experience can help you avoid costly mistakes. Bring in your paperwork to our Birmingham law firm office at 201 Vulcan Road, Birmingham, AL, 35209, or call us toll-free at (800) 477-7510 to schedule an appointment.
Benefit From the No Fee Guarantee®
Perhaps you see the wisdom in hiring a seasoned law team to protect your interests, but you are worried that you might not be able to afford our services. At Norris Injury Lawyers, we never want one’s financial situation to prevent him or her from accessing legal representation after a dog bite accident.
To serve the needs of Birmingham residents, our No Fee Guarantee® ensures your initial consultation is free. The costs of our services are covered by the money we win for your claims, so you will not need to pay anything upfront. Finally, since we do not charge for court representation, you don’t have to worry about hidden fees – no matter how far your case goes.
Are you ready to learn what you deserve for your Birmingham dog bite claim? Call our office today at (800) 477-7510 to investigate how Norris Injury Lawyers can protect your rights.