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Dog Bite Lawyer in Wilmington, NC

At Speaks Law Firm, we help victims of animal attacks by seeking compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
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(910) 341-7570

Do You Need a Dog Bite Lawyer in North Carolina?

If you have been injured by a dog bite, you may be experiencing a mix of pain, shock, and trauma, and you may feel unsure or hesitant regarding your next steps. Dog bite injuries can be catastrophic and even deadly. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are 4.5 million dog bites annually in the United States, and 20% of those bites become infected. Given these dangerous implications, you should speak with a dog bite lawyer if you have been the victim of a dog bite in North Carolina.

Despite how cute or harmless a dog may appear, the public is at risk when the animal is untrained, has irresponsible owners, or is genetically predisposed to aggression. Owners should be held accountable when their animals cause a bite injury, as failure to do so can also lead to additional dangerous bite attacks.

Understanding Strict Liability and the “One Bite Rule” in North Carolina

North Carolina follows a combination of the “one bite rule” and strict liability for dog bite injuries. This means a dog’s owner is not liable for a bite if they did not know the animal is dangerous. The owner can then be liable for a victim’s severe injuries once the dog has a record of dangerous behavior, regardless of any effort to prevent the attack. A dog is considered “dangerous” if it has a history of at least one unprovoked attack that led to a person’s severe injury or death.

The following scenarios are exceptions to the “one bite rule,” meaning strict liability would apply immediately:

  • The dog was loose at night when the bite occurred
  • The dog could be considered potentially dangerous because it had been trained for fighting
  • The dog followed the victim for more than 50 feet while growling and barking before the bite incident
  • The owner had knowledge that the dog could be dangerous because of its aggressive behavior in the past

Other relevant North Carolina dog laws include:

  • Dog owners can be liable for both injuries and property damage
  • Owners cannot leave a dangerous dog unattended unless it is secured or safely confined
  • Dogs considered “dangerous” must be leashed, muzzled, or restrained when not on the owner’s property

At no cost to you, contact our experienced dog bite attorneys at Speaks Law Firm today to schedule a free case review.

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The Speaks Law Firm proudly serves people throughout eastern North Carolina, including Wilmington, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Bolivia, Burgaw, Whiteville, Lumberton, Leland, Shallote, New Hanover County, Pender County, Brunswick County, Columbus County, and Robeson County.

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Why Choose Speaks Law Firm?

Accidents can happen at any time. You can be as careful as you can be, but you can never predict the action of others out on the road. When this happens, you need someone to speak on your behalf to fight for your rights. Speaks Law Firm is here for you.

  • Our People. Our team is our main differentiator. We hired each one for their solid background and experience in the field. This all-star cast of talented, dedicated, and accomplished legal professionals cares about your case. With over 20 years of experience, we will do our best to fight for your rights.
  • Our Process. We have built collaboration into our process. Our legal professionals were selected to work at the firm due to their experience. They work together to build your case and help you reach your goals.
  • Our Commitment. You need someone committed to fighting for your rights after an accident that places you in a vulnerable position. At Speaks Law Firm, our team works hard to provide our clients in Wilmington, NC, and the surrounding areas with sound legal service. We speak for you.
  • Free Consultation. Our lines of communication are open. You can set up a free consultation if you need to discuss your personal injury case and find the right legal option for your situation.

What to Do After a Dog Bite in North Carolina

It can be challenging to think clearly after sustaining a dog bite or an attack from another animal. The first priority is your health, so you should seek medical treatment right away following a bite attack. Dog bites can become infected quickly. You should request proof of the dog’s rabies vaccination.

While at the scene, try to document as much as you can about the incident. This includes information about the dog and the identity of the owner. Determine whether any witnesses saw what happened, and collect their contact information to corroborate your story. Also, be sure to take photographs of the injuries from multiple angles.

By reporting the bite to animal control, you can determine whether the dog has a record of violent behavior. This step will also create documentation to support your case, and it can also help others who may be injured by the animal. Contact an experienced North Carolina dog bite attorney at Speaks Law Firm for a free case evaluation.

Potential Barriers to Recovery for Dog Bites in North Carolina

There are exceptions to dog bite liability to be aware of, including:

  • Exemption for dogs carrying out official law enforcement duties
  • Lawful hunting and other working dog activities where another domestic animal sustained the injury
  • The dog was defending the owner against the bite victim
  • The injured party was trespassing or attempting to commit a crime
  • The injured party was abusing, tormenting, or otherwise provoking the dog

Many of these situations are fact-specific, so please don’t hesitate to contact our office to find out whether you have a personal injury claim.

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Homeowners Insurance Companies Often Pay Victims Compensation for Dog Bites

The Insurance Information Institute reports that homeowners’ insurance companies paid $797 million in dog bite claims in 2019. Approximately 85% of homeowners have insurance that covers a multitude of misfortunes, including dog bites.

Victims are sometimes hesitant to seek compensation for a dog bite injury because they don’t want to ruin a friendship or cause tension in the neighborhood. As you search for a dog bite lawyer, remember that it will typically be the insurance company, not the dog owner, that settles your claim.

When a dog or other animal has injured you or a loved one, being able to seek prompt medical attention without the fear of accumulating a mountain of medical bills is essential. Seek proper medical attention immediately, which will also contribute to the documentation of your injuries.

Delays Can Jeopardize Your Dog Bite Case

There are strict time limits that apply to how long you have to file a dog bite claim against an owner in North Carolina. Further, delays can cause evidence and memories to deteriorate. Consulting our lawyers for dog bites as soon as possible can keep your case on track and help you avoid mistakes.

Speaks Law Firm has a successful track record in securing compensation for dog bite injury victims. Put our experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a free case review with our legal team in Wilmington, NC.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Areas Do You Serve? (view full answer)
We are proud to protect the rights of our injured neighbors in Wilmington, Charlotte, and surrounding areas across North Carolina. If you were injured in an accident anywhere in North Carolina, we’re here for you.
Do I Need a Lawyer? (view full answer)
While a lawyer isn’t required, having an experienced personal injury law firm on your side will generally result in a substantially greater settlement for your claim. Additionally, an attorney can handle the hassles of your case and make the challenging legal process much easier for you and your family.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost? (view full answer)
Our attorneys at Speaks Law Firm are proud to work on a contingency-fee basis. This means our payment is dependent on whether we are able to secure compensation for you. We feel this is the best way to serve our clients because it enables them to acquire the full service of an experienced attorney without […]
Who Is Responsible for My Medical Bills? (view full answer)
North Carolina law places the cost of accidents and injuries on those who caused them. With this in mind, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills from the other party's insurance company. If you are unsure who was at fault in your accident, our lawyers can go over the event with […]

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Hours of operation

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Speaks Law Firm is recognized by National Attorney ranking services for excellence in the fields of auto injury and workers’ compensation in North Carolina.
Copyright © 2024. Speaks Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship