Dog Bite Injuries
A dog attack can cause painful injuries that require expensive medical care and leave you permanently scarred or disfigured. You may also suffer psychological trauma from the attack, as well as a fear of dogs. At Burts Law, PLLC, our dog bite lawyer is passionate about helping injured victims seek justice and financial compensation from pet owners and other responsible parties. We can help you get your life back on track after a dog attack, North Carolina.
Why Burts Law, Pllc?
At Burts Law, PLLC, our North Carolina dog bite lawyer handles personal injury and wrongful death cases for people throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Since our founding, we have built a record for success, recovering damages for our clients. Our mission has been, and always will be, to meet the needs of our clients by striving for the best possible outcome in their case.
There are several reasons you may want to hire a qualified dog bite lawyer:
- Understanding the legal process: Dog bite cases can be complex, and it can be difficult to understand your rights and options. Our dog bite attorney has specialized knowledge and experience in this area of the law, and can help you understand the process for seeking compensation.
- Proving liability: To be eligible for compensation in a dog bite case, you must be able to prove that the dog owner was liable for your injuries. Our dog bite attorney can help you gather and present evidence to support your claim, including eyewitness statements, medical records, and photographs of the scene.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies may try to minimize the amount of compensation you receive or deny your claim altogether. Our dog bite attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
- Representing your interests in court: If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to court. Our dog bite attorney can represent your interests in court and fight for the compensation you deserve.
- Protecting your rights: Dog bite laws can be complex and confusing, and it’s important to have someone on your side who understands your rights and can protect them. A dog bite attorney can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
By hiring a Burts Law PLLC dog bite attorney, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve after a dog bite injury. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s important to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
North Carolina Dog Bite Laws
Whether or not you can hold a pet owner legally and financially responsible – liable – for your dog bite injuries will depend on the circumstances of your case and the laws in your state. Some states use a strict liability law, where the owner or controller of the dog is liable for injuries and property damage regardless of whether the owner was negligent or had reason to suspect that the dog was capable of biting someone.
Other states – including North Carolina – use a one-bite rule, which is based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence refers to an action or omission that a reasonable and prudent pet owner would not have committed in the same or similar circumstances. One-bite states hold that a pet owner will only be liable for a bite injury if the dog had a history of violence, and the owner was negligent in preventing a subsequent bite.
Please note however that some limited exceptions apply to this rule. If your injuries were caused by a dog bite and you were lawfully on the property where the attack occurred, the owner or controller of the dog may be liable for your injuries.
Who Is Liable For Dog Bites?
In most cases, the owner of the dog is liable for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by the dog. If someone else was controlling or keeping the dog, however, such as a dog walker or family member, that individual may be liable as well.
Who Pays After A Dog Bite?
One of the most common reasons why dog bite injury victims do not seek legal remedies is concern that the dog owner will suffer financial hardship as a result of the lawsuit – especially if the owner is a friend or family member. Note, however, that in most cases, it is the pet owner’s insurance company that pays for injury claims. A homeowners insurance policy generally covers dog bite injuries that occur on the owner’s property, as pets are technically classified as property.
If a dog bite injury occurs while the pet is sitting inside of a vehicle, the owner’s car insurance company will cover the claim. Some insurance companies sell policies that specifically cover dog attacks. If the pet owner took out one of these policies, this insurance can pay for bite injuries. If the pet owner does not have any insurance, however, he or she is individually liable.
Common Causes Of Dog Bites
Some of the most common reasons dog attacks occur are:
- A pet owner breaking a local leash law
- A dog running at large
- A pet owner failing to control a dangerous animal
- Someone trespassing on private property
- Someone trying to pet an unfamiliar dog
- Harming or provoking a dog
- Someone disrupting a dog while it is eating or nursing
What To Do After A Dog Bite?
If you suffer a dog bite injury , take the following steps to protect yourself physically and financially:
- Remain calm and get to a safe place.
- Exchange information with the pet owner.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the attack.
- Call animal control to report the dog bite.
- Get immediate medical care for your injuries.
- Write down what happened for your own records while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Document the losses associated with the attack, including your medical bills.
- Call the pet owner’s insurance company to file a claim.
- Do not give the insurance company a recorded statement.
- Talk to a dog bite attorney about your legal rights before accepting a settlement from an insurance company.
How Much Is A Dog Bite Case Worth?
How much a dog bite case is worth is directly related to the severity of the victim’s injuries and the extent of his or her losses. In general, dog bite cases involving serious injuries will be worth a higher amount than minor injuries. You or a loved one could be eligible to recover the following damages, depending on the case:
- Medical expenses and disability costs
- Losses of income
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional injuries
- Legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses
- Punitive damages
If you want to learn the value of your dog bite claim, schedule a free consultation with our dog bite attorney for more information. We will provide a thorough review of your claim to accurately estimate its worth. Then, if we accept you as a client, we can help you negotiate with an insurance company for maximum compensation.