Right here in our local communities of Auburn, Opelika, Valley, Lee and Chambers County Alabama, we have seen an increase in Dog Bite cases and animal attacks. Several of these dog attacks, like the two dog attacks in Fairfax (Valley, AL), were life threatening! It is important to know your legal rights and options if you or a loved one are injured in a dog bite or animal attack.

Dog bites and animal attacks are serious incidents that can result in significant physical and emotional trauma. If you’ve been bitten or attacked by an animal, it’s crucial to understand your legal rights and the steps you need to take to protect yourself. In our latest blog we will attempt to provide an overview of the legal aspects surrounding dog bites and animal attacks, what you can do immediately after an incident, and how a personal injury law firm can assist you.

Understanding Liability in Dog Bite Cases

The liability for dog bites varies depending on the state, county, or municipality it occurred, but generally, there are three primary legal frameworks:

  1. Strict Liability: In many states, like Alabama (read the law here), dog owners are held strictly liable for injuries their pets cause, regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s aggressiveness. If a dog bites someone, the owner is automatically responsible for damages.
  2. Negligence: Some states follow a negligence rule where the injured person must prove that the owner’s failure to control the animal or take reasonable precautions led to the attack.
  3. One-Bite Rule: A few states have a “one-bite rule,” where the owner is liable only if they knew or should have known about the dog’s tendency to bite (e.g., the dog has bitten someone before). Georgia uses a modified version of this rule (read the law here) where the victim can hold the owner strictly liable if the owner knew or should have known the dog had dangerous tendencies.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite or Animal Attack

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the top priorities. Immediate medical care can prevent infections and address any serious injuries.
  2. Report the Incident: Notify local animal control or law enforcement. This creates an official record of the attack, which is important for any legal action.
  3. Gather Information: Collect details about the dog and its owner, including names, addresses, and vaccination records. If there were witnesses, get their contact information as well.
  4. Document Your Injuries: Take photographs of your injuries and keep a journal of your physical and emotional condition following the attack. These records will be valuable in any legal case.
  5. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney: An attorney specializing in dog bites and animal attacks can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights.

Have you or a loved one been attacked or bitten by an animal or dog? Contact our experienced team of personal injury lawyers for a free initial case consultation*

Damages You May Be Entitled To

Victims of dog bites and animal attacks may be entitled to various forms of compensation. Most compensation from dog bite cases will come from the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. These policies typically include liability coverage that can help pay for:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering immediate treatment and ongoing medical care.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for time missed from work due to injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the attack.
  • Property Damage: If personal property was damaged during the incident.

However, coverage can vary significantly between policies and insurers. Some policies may exclude certain breeds deemed high-risk or may have specific clauses related to dog bites. It is crucial for dog owners to review their homeowners insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage and any exclusions that may apply.

How a Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help

A personal injury law firm that has proven experience handling dog bite and animal attack  cases, like Walton Law Firm, P.C., can provide invaluable assistance:

  • Case Evaluation: Assessing the strength of your case and advising on the best course of action.
  • Investigation: Gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and working with experts to build a strong case.
  • Negotiation: Dealing with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • Litigation: Representing you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.


Dog bites and animal attacks can have lasting consequences. Understanding your legal rights and taking prompt action can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury law firm can provide the support and expertise needed to secure the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite or animal attack, don’t hesitate to seek qualified legal assistance to protect your rights and interests.




portions of this post were written with assistance of ChatGPT

Do you have a personal injury case and want to speak to an experienced member of our legal team? Call the offices of Walton Law Firm today at 334-321-3000