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.
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:
Other relevant North Carolina dog laws include:
At no cost to you, contact our experienced dog bite attorneys at Speaks Law Firm today to schedule a free case review.
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.
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.
There are exceptions to dog bite liability to be aware of, including:
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.
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.
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.