The Alabama dog bite law is one of strict liability, meaning that if your dog bites someone on your property, you are liable for those injuries. The Alabama dog bite law is provided below:
Alabama Code Section § 3-6-1. Liability of owner of dog for injuries to person bitten or injured while upon property owned or controlled by owner:
"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."
However, if your dog bites someone not on your premises and poor Fido did not pursue someone from your premises, then in order to establish liability, the plaintiff must prove the defendant's knowledge of the dog's vicious tendencies. This is commonly referred to as the "one free bite rule." Thus, if a dog has never bitten anyone before, and there is no other evidence to suggest the dog is vicious and liable to bite a human, then no liability exists. The "one free bite" rule is a common law rule and is still in effect in Alabama.