Dog may be man’s best friend, but occasionally that friend turns on us. Though they may mean no harm, dogs can cause serious damage to humans if the pets’ owners have failed to train or control them properly. Children are particularly vulnerable.
After suffering a dog bite injury, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Medical treatment is of course the primary concern. As soon as possible after being attacked by a vicious dog, it is also a good idea to speak with an experienced dog bite attorney in Goldsboro. In North Carolina, if a dog owner’s negligence caused you harm, you are protected by law and may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
The Goldsboro firm of Strickland, Agner & Associates is here to help. Our personal injury lawyers represent individuals injured in dog attacks. We have helped many injury victims recover the compensation they deserve.
Call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.
Dog Bites and the Injuries They Cause
Any dog can become vicious under the right conditions, even a trusted family pet. Dog bites can be extremely serious, leading to severe injuries, infections, permanent disfiguring scars, or in the most terrible cases, the tragic loss of life.
Each day, 1,000 people in the U.S. receive emergency care for a dog bite. Nearly half of dog bite injuries are to the arm or hand area, the most common type of injury. The second and third most common types are to the leg/foot and head/neck. These account for around a quarter and just over a fifth of all dog-bite injuries respectively.
If a dog’s teeth puncture the skin, the main concern is infection. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it must be determined whether the dog has been vaccinated, particularly for rabies. Those with a suppressed immune system may suffer serious damage from a dog bite. In the worst cases, specific infections associated with dog bites can be difficult to resolve medically, or the victim may require the amputation of a limb that has been seriously damaged in an attack.
Most dog bite injuries are caused by a dog the victim knows, such a pet belonging to family, friends or neighbors. Work-related dog bite injuries are also common among people who deliver mail, newspapers, food, packages or other items to homes.
The people most in danger of dog bites are children. The injury rate is highest for children between the ages of 5 and 9. Unfortunately, when the victim is a small child, the injury is more frequently to the head or neck, leading to disfiguring scars or worse. In children, dog bites can cause skull fractures or permanent damage to eyes and ears.
North Carolina’s Dog Bite Laws
Victims of dog bites have legal options in North Carolina. If the dog bite resulted from negligence on the part of the dog’s owner, that person may be held liable. Negligence is when a person fails to fulfill a duty of reasonable care to those around them. In the case of dog bites, that could mean failing to keep an aggressive dog leashed and controlled, or allowing a dog to escape an enclosure and stray into a neighborhood in which children or adults may encounter the animal. Even leashed dogs can lunge and viciously attack.
In North Carolina, a dog owner is held responsible for the actions of a dog with known vicious tendencies. Like many other states, North Carolina has a “one-bite rule.” This means that if the owner had no reason to believe that the dog would behave aggressively, he or she may not be held legally responsible for a dog bite injury. If, on the other hand, the owner knew the dog had attacked before but still allowed the dog to be near people in a public place, the owner may be considered negligent for failing to protect others from harm.
Sometimes, owners may be liable even if they have never witnessed their dog bite a person. This may be the case if the breed of dog is generally known to be aggressive towards humans or if the dog has previously exhibited aggressive behavior.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Claims seeking compensation for dog bite injuries are a form of personal injury case. Given that dog bite injuries are most often caused by a dog the victim knows, you may be reluctant to sue the friend, relative or neighbor who owns the dog. First consider, however, that many homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bite injuries. In that case, a settlement will be paid by an insurance company – not directly by the person you know.
Secondly, consider the severity of the injuries you have suffered. Dog bite injuries can lead to expensive medical bills, pain and suffering, and many other consequences, both financial and emotional. Dog bites can lead to trauma, permanent scarring and illnesses in child victims. If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve full compensation for what occurred.
How Our Goldsboro Injury Lawyers Help Dog Bite Victims throughout North Carolina
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite in North Carolina, the experienced lawyers at Strickland, Agner & Associates want to help. We can evaluate your claim, file the necessary documents within time limits allowed under state law, gather the evidence and handle every detail of your claim.
Dog bite injuries are painful and traumatic. Let us work on your behalf to get fair compensation for your suffering. We have the skills and experience with personal injury cases to negotiate maximum settlements with insurance companies.
We collect no fees until you receive compensation. Contact us now to for a free claim evaluation with no strings attached.
- DogsBite.org: Dog bite statistics
- CDC: Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001
- WebMD: Dog Bites
- Animal Legal and Historical Center (Michigan State University): West’s North Carolina General Statutes Annotated