No one ever expects to be suddenly attacked by a dog. However, canines are animals, and just like other animals, are unpredictable. Even though dogs have been domesticated, they still react on impulse. If you have been seriously injured in a dog attack or bitten by a dog, you may be able to hold the dog‘s owner accountable.
Explore your legal options further when you contact a Lincolnton dog bite lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. Schedule your free consultation today and find out more about what the dog bite claims process may bring.
When to Sue for a Dog Bite Injury
You may not be sure whether you should reach out to a lawyer to file a claim following a dog bite or attack. However, there are some ways you can tell you may have grounds for an insurance or civil claim.
First, consider whether the dog’s owner was negligent. If the dog’s owner did not exercise care over their animal, they could be held accountable for the dog’s actions. Proving negligence will be essential if your attorney hopes to recover compensation for your damages.
However, negligence is not the only factor that comes into play when discussing grounds for a dog bite claim. You must also have suffered substantial injuries or damages. If you or your child suffered emotional trauma, physical injuries, or extreme financial implications due to your dog bite injuries, you might have an insurance claim or a lawsuit on your hands.
When you are not sure whether you have the right to sue, your best option is to contact a dog bite lawyer in Lincolnton for help. Your attorney can analyze the details to determine whether you have a case. If so, you can learn more about how much you could be awarded once we go over your damages in further detail.
North Carolina Dog Bite Laws
You might be surprised to learn that every state has different laws in place that determine how dog bite cases are handled. Some states allow dogs a second chance. These states follow the “one bite rule”. If a dog has not previously bitten, the dog’s owner may be able to reduce or escape liability for their dog’s actions.
North Carolina is a “one bite rule” state except for certain exceptions. Per NC Gen Stat § 67-4.4 (2021), North Carolina follows a strict liability system for dog owners in certain circumstances.
Are Dog Owners Always at Fault?
Dog owners are commonly found liable for dog bite victims’ injuries. However, there are some instances in which they may be able to escape liability. These include:
- When the injury victim has provoked the dog into acting aggressively or biting
- When the injury victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property or committing a crime
North Carolina has pure contributory negligence laws in place that will restrict an injury victim from seeking compensation if they are partially responsible for their injuries.
Expect the defendant to attempt to blame you for causing your injuries. In this way, they may be able to avoid liability. Your attorney will be by your side to ensure fault is accurately assessed in your Lincolnton dog bite claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims in Lincolnton?
Under North Carolina Gen Stat § 1-52, dog bite victims have a maximum of three years to get their claim filed before the statute of limitations expires. If you do not get your lawsuit filed before the statute of limitations runs out, you will no longer have the right to have your case heard in the North Carolina civil court system.
Should you attempt to pursue your dog bite claim at a later date, the defendant will file a motion to dismiss your case. Sadly, the judge will have no choice but to grant their motion, as the statute of limitations is binding. If you hope to avoid this becoming an issue in your dog bite claim, get help from an attorney as soon as possible after the incident.
What Are Your Dog Bite Damages Worth?
Dog bite injuries have been known to turn a victim’s life upside down. In addition to the financial toll of the incident, the emotional trauma and physical damage of the dog attack can be life changing.
Fortunately, North Carolina personal injury laws state that you have the right to be made whole. You should be repaid for every loss you suffered in a dog attack. To ensure you are awarded fair compensation for your damages, your lawyer will need to go over all of the ways your life has been affected by your dog bite injuries.
You may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages, some of which include:
- The chronic physical pain you are stuck dealing with following your injuries
- The emotional trauma, suffering, and mental anguish of what you have been through
- Your co-pays, prescription medication fees, transportation costs, ambulance bills, and future medical treatment and care
- Your inability to continue participating in activities you once found pleasure or joy in, or a diminished quality of life
- Your loss of emotional support, guidance, protection, love, advice, society, and companionship
These are only a few of the different losses you may be able to recoup as part of your dog bite claim in Lincolnton. Find out how much your insurance and civil claims could be worth today when you contact our office for a free consultation.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer in Lincolnton for Help Today
Your dog bite injuries may have a substantial impact on your life. Get help recovering the compensation you will need to cover your costs and ease your financial burden.
Reach out to a Lincolnton dog bite lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC to review your options for financial recovery. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you call us or complete our convenient contact form.