Goldsboro Dog Bite Lawyers
Being attacked by a dog can be a traumatic experience, especially for children and the elderly. These attacks can also result in serious injuries and, in the worst cases, even fatalities. Most dog owners will insist that their pet is not dangerous nor given to aggression. However, any dog, especially if provoked, can resort to attacking humans. Dog bites and even dog mauling have been reported in the press.
At Strickland Agner Pittman, we are well-versed in the laws pertaining to dog bites in our state and in how to represent the interests of clients who have suffered injuries of this nature. With years of professional experience and an insistence on close client-attorney interaction, we will fight for the compensation to which you may be entitled under the law for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of income.
Find out more about your case including if you have a valid claim by talking to a Goldsboro dog bite attorney in a free consultation at Strickland Agner Pittman. Submit your contact details online or phone us at (919) 893-0090 today.
Dog Bite Cases in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of the few states that operate on the “one bite” rule regarding dog attacks. This law means that, if the dog has never bitten anyone before, you may not be able to sue its owner for damages.
However, exceptions to this exist under another law that states dog owners may be liable for damages when:
- When the dog is over six months of age and
- Allowed to run at large in the nighttime
- Unaccompanied by the owner or some member of the owner’s family or some other person by the owner’s permission
Where a dog has a history of biting or has been labeled as a potentially dangerous animal, your likelihood of recovering compensation for your injuries and damages is higher.
Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases
For owners of “dangerous dogs,” strict liability generally applies. However, as the dog bite victim, you must prove that the dog was labeled as dangerous under North Carolina law N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1(a)(1).
This law defines a dangerous dog as follows:
“A dog that:
- Without provocation has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person; or
- Is determined by the person or Board designated by the county or municipality responsible for animal control to be potentially dangerous. . .”
A potentially dangerous dog is defined under this law to have:
- “Inflicted a bite on a person that resulted in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations or required cosmetic surgery or hospitalization; or
- Killed or inflicted severe injury upon a domestic animal when not on the owner’s real property; or
- Approached a person when not on the owner’s property in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack.”
Strict liability means that dog owners can be held responsible for their dog’s attack regardless of whether they acted without fault or negligence at the time of the incident.
Thus, you may be eligible for compensation after being attacked by a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog through legal action.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog
I'm not a medical professional, but if you or someone else has been bitten by a dog in North Carolina, it's important to seek medical attention promptly. Here are some general steps you may consider:
- Clean the Wound: Wash the wound with soap and water gently to remove dirt and bacteria. Avoid scrubbing, as it may cause further damage.
- Apply an Antiseptic: Apply an antiseptic solution or ointment to the wound to help prevent infection. You can use an over-the-counter antiseptic or follow any specific instructions given by healthcare professionals.
- Control Bleeding: If the bite is bleeding, use a clean cloth or bandage to apply gentle pressure to control bleeding. Elevate the wounded area if possible.
- Seek Medical Attention: Visit a healthcare professional or go to the nearest emergency room. Dog bites can lead to infections, and some may require stitches or other medical treatment.
- Report the Incident: Report the dog bite to local authorities or animal control. They may need information about the incident for public safety reasons.
- Get Information: If possible, obtain information about the dog and its owner. This may include the owner's name and contact information, as well as details about the dog's vaccination history.
How We Can Help
If you've been bitten by a dog in North Carolina, hiring a lawyer, such as Strickland Agner Pittman, can be beneficial for several reasons. Here are some potential reasons why seeking legal representation may be important:
- Understanding Your Rights: We can help you understand your rights as a victim of a dog bite in North Carolina. Having a lawyer can ensure you are aware of your legal rights and options.
- Navigating Legal Processes: We can guide you through the legal processes involved in filing a personal injury claim related to a dog bite. This includes paperwork, deadlines, and any court procedures that may be necessary.
- Determining Liability: We can investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog bite to determine liability. This involves identifying the owner of the dog and assessing whether negligence or other factors contributed to the incident.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: We can handle negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. Our experience in dealing with such matters allows us to advocate for fair compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- Building a Strong Case: We can help gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case to support your claim. This includes documenting the extent of your injuries and any other relevant information.
- Maximizing Compensation: Our goal is to help you obtain the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. This may involve negotiating a settlement or, if necessary, pursuing a lawsuit to seek damages in court.
- Peace of Mind: Having legal representation can provide you with peace of mind during what can be a challenging and stressful time. We are here to support you and handle the legal aspects of your case.
We highly recommend that you contact Strickland Agner Pittman to book an appointment with one of our experienced dog bite lawyers to determine your options in these matters.