Lewis & Feldman, LLC

Are Birmingham’s Most Trusted Attorneys


90% of animal bites in 2017 came from dogs, according to medical author Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM from medicinenet.com. The CDC estimates 4.5 million dog bites are reported, and some of those bites are serious enough to demand reconstructive surgeries every year. Dogs have rounded teeth and therefore the pressure of their jaws is what causes immense damage.

Many dog bites occur in the home or neighborhood of the owner of the dog. Jon Lewis represented a postal worker where two Great Danes jumped a four-foot fence and attacked her at her truck, requiring numerous stitches to her head and arm.

Many Alabama counties have enacted leash laws due to the many startling statistics about dogs. However, the leash laws are not enough to protect the public. There is also a “dogs running at large statute” adopted by most counties in the state.  See that and other statutes below.  Parents want to know that their children’s lives, and their own lives, aren’t at risk when they leave the house.

To prevent being bitten by a dog, take precautionary measures. Never approach or make loud noises around an unfamiliar animal. When meeting a new dog, let it smell you before petting it. If a dog knocks you over, cover your head and remain rolled into a ball without making eye contact with the dog. If bitten, wash the wound immediately and receive medical attention.

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, please schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation by calling the Birmingham personal injury law firm of Lewis & Feldman, LLC locally at 205-896-6410, toll-free at 888-705-3997 or complete our contact form. You can also email us at jon@LewisAndFeldman.com and dfeldman@LewisAndFeldman.com. We’re the dog bite lawyers serving Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood and the surrounding Alabama communities who can help you receive the justice you deserve.


Section 3-1-5

Permitting dogs to run at large; applicability of provisions of section in counties and certain cities or towns.

(a) Every person owning or having in charge any dog or dogs shall at all times confine such dog or dogs to the limits of his own premises or the premises on which such dog or dogs is or are regularly kept. Nothing in this section shall prevent the owner of any dog or dogs or other person or persons having such dog or dogs in his or their charge from allowing such dog or dogs to accompany such owner or other person or persons elsewhere than on the premises on which such dog or dogs is or are regularly kept. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $2.00 nor more than $50.00.

(b) This section shall not apply to the running at large of any dog or dogs within the corporate limits of any city or town in this state that requires a license tag to be kept on dogs nor shall this section apply in any county in this state until the same has been adopted by the county commission of such county.

(Acts 1915, No. 185, p. 259; Code 1923, §3221; Code 1940, T. 3, §5.)
Section 3-6-1

Liability of owner of dog for injuries to person bitten or injured while upon property owned or controlled by owner, etc.

If any dog shall, without provocation, bite or injure any person who is at the time at a place where he or she has a legal right to be, the owner of such dog shall be liable in damages to the person so bitten or injured, but such liability shall arise only when the person so bitten or injured is upon property owned or controlled by the owner of such dog at the time such bite or injury occurs or when such person has been immediately prior to such time on such property and has been pursued therefrom by such dog.

(Acts 1953, No. 320, p. 379, 1.)

Section 3-6-2

When person deemed lawfully on property of owner of dog.

For the purpose of this chapter a person shall be considered to be lawfully upon the private property of the owner of such dog when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws of the United States or the postal laws and regulations of the United States, when reading meters, when delivering milk, when making repairs to any public utility or service upon said premises or when on such property upon the invitation, either expressed or implied, of the owner or lessee of such property.

(Acts 1953, No. 320, p. 379, 3.)

Section 3-6-3

Mitigation of damages.

The owner of such dog shall, however, be entitled to plead and prove in mitigation of damages that he had no knowledge of any circumstances indicating such dog to be or to have been vicious or dangerous or mischievous, and, if he does so, he shall be liable only to the extent of the actual expenses incurred by the person so bitten or injured as a result of the bite or injury.

(Acts 1953, No. 320, p. 379, 2.)

Section 3-6-4

Construction of chapter.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as diminishing any right or liability for injury by dog bites now existing under the laws of this state.

(Acts 1953, No. 320, p. 379, 4.)