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Dog Bites

Although you may not hear much about dog bites or attacks in your area, they’re much more common than you may believe. North Carolina was one of the top two states in the U.S. for the number of fatal dog attacks occurring in 2012. It comes as no surprise that many people are looking for a dog bite lawyer.

Dog bites are the fifth most frequent cause of emergency room visits for children, and according to the CDC, 368,000 people visit the hospital because of a dog bite injury each year.

Dog bites and attacks can lead to scarring, nerve damage, serious injury, emotional issues, and even death. Let a dog bite lawyer from Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran help you resolve your claim or lawsuit as quickly as possible while you concentrate on recovery.

What is the “one-bite rule?”

North Carolina is one of 18 states that currently use the “one-bite rule,” which means that an owner of a dog that has not previously acted dangerously cannot be liable for the actions of his or her dog if it’s involved in a bite or attack. But after that dog has been involved in a single incident of biting or attack, it is labeled “potentially dangerous” and its owner is responsible for all future dog bite incidents.

A dog can be labeled as “previously dangerous” if it:

  • Has terrorized a person while off its owner’s property
  • Has killed or seriously injured another animal while on its owner’s property
  • Has bitten a person which resulted in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations that required plastic surgery or hospitalization

Are there exceptions to the “one-bite rule?”

Even if the dog that bit you has not previously acted dangerously, a dog bite lawyer may still be able to obtain fair ruling and even compensation in a dog bite case. A less serious option is to put a dog owner on notice. If the dog has hurt you, and its owner had an indication that the dog had dangerous tendencies, that owner could be liable even for the first bite.

Here are some questions to ask about your specific attack:

Was its owner aware that the dog was a danger to others?

For example, if a dog has been trained to fight, a dog bite lawyer can likely prove that the dog’s owner should have known that the dog was dangerous.

Can the dog be labeled as potentially dangerous even if it had not specifically been involved in a previous dog bite case?

  • If the dog had followed you for more than 50 feet, barking and growling, it could be labeled a dangerous dog.
  • If the dog has bitten, injured or killed another domestic animal, it could be labeled a dangerous dog.
  • If your dog bite lawyer knows that neighbors or others have complained to the owner that a dog has threatened someone, the dog could be labeled as dangerous.

Was the dog running alone at night?

Dogs older than six months are not allowed by North Carolina law to run at large at night, and any damage done by that dog (to another person or to another person’s property) would be the owner’s responsibility.

What damages can a dog bite lawyer help recover?

If you qualify for compensation under the laws of North Carolina, your dog bite lawyer may help you file a lawsuit to recover expenses such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income, both from treating the immediate injury and from any future income lost if you become disabled
  • Pain and suffering, including a new fear of dogs; this is especially valid in cases where children may continue to have nightmares after the attack
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property damage

How do I take legal action after a dog bite?

The dog bite lawyers at Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran will take every step possible to bring the responsible party to an accountable position, and help you obtain a financial settlement to help cover the costs of your expenses.

It will not cost you anything to come in for a consultation. At Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran,  all personal injury consultations are given free of charge.

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