Dog bites and attacks can be traumatic. Not only could you endure physical injuries, but the psychological trauma of the experience could be life changing. If you or your child were seriously injured in a dog attack, you may be able to hold the dog’s owner accountable.
Find out how to move forward with your case when you contact a Shelby dog bite lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for help. Schedule your free consultation today and learn more about what your dog bite damages could be worth.
Common Dog Bite Injuries in Shelby
Dog bite injuries are far more common than you might think. Generally, you only hear about dog bites when the dog is accused of being particularly vicious or causing particularly traumatic injuries.
However, the type of injury you are diagnosed with will not determine whether you have the authority to file a dog bite lawsuit in Shelby. The severity of your injuries is what will determine whether you have grounds for a claim.
Some types of dog bite injuries occur more frequently than others. Some of the dog bite injuries you may be able to sue for include:
- Emotional trauma including depression, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychological damages
- Broken bones, back injuries, herniated discs, and loss of limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, concussions, neck injuries, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and contusions
- Spinal cord injuries, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and paralysis
These are just a few of the potential injuries you could be diagnosed with following a dog attack in Shelby. If you suffered another type of injury not listed above, that does not necessarily mean you cannot file a claim. You can find out what your options are when you contact your attorney.
For a legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Shelby, call 828.286.3866
Dog Bite Laws in North Carolina
Before you can move forward with your dog bite claim, you need to understand how the state’s dog bite laws work. In some states, dogs must have previously shown that they are likely to attack or bite through acts of violence or bites. This is the main dog bite law in North Carolina, with exceptions for certain circumstances. If a dog has not previously bitten or attacked, the dog’s owner may be able to avoid or reduce their own liability.
However, per NC Gen Stat § 67-4.4 (2021), North Carolina follows strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites from inherently dangerous dogs. Here, dog owners will always be held accountable for the injuries their dog causes when the dog owner fails to maintain control of their pet. This means you may be able to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner when you suffer life-changing injuries as a result of their negligence.
To prove that the dog’s owner was negligent, your attorney will need to show that the four following elements have been met:
- The dog’s owner owed you a duty of care, whether that be because they were walking their dog on public property or invited you to their home.
- The dog’s owner breached their duty of care by failing to maintain control over their pet in any way.
- The dog owner’s breach in their duty of care was the cause of your injuries or damages.
- You suffered damages that have had an impact on your life emotionally, financially, physically, or psychologically.
Shelby Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
Dog Owner Liability Exclusions
Dog owners may be able to reduce their liability if the person who was injured was trespassing on their property. After all, a dog owner does not owe a duty of care to someone who is not invited on their property.
Dog owners may also avoid liability when the injury victim is accused of provoking the dog into acting aggressively or violently. This could include throwing things at the dog, screaming or yelling at the dog, attempting to get a negative reaction out of the dog, hitting, kicking, or scratching the dog, or otherwise engaging in aggressive or violent conduct towards the animal.
How to Recover Your Damages in Full
If you hope to get the most out of your Shelby dog bite claim, you should be prepared to file an insurance claim and bring your case to court. The majority of dog owners will have insurance in place to protect them in the event of a dog bite or attack. This might include:
- Business insurance
- General liability insurance
- Renter’s insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
However, when you file a claim with the insurance company, you may be limited by what you can recover based on how much coverage the dog’s owner purchased through their insurer. If your damages are greater than the policy coverage limits, you may need to be prepared to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
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Types of Compensation You Could Be Awarded
You might be surprised to learn that you have the right to be compensated for every loss. Sure, you might have assumed that you could recover compensation for your medical expenses, but you may be surprised to find that you can also be compensated for a variety of other types of economic damages and non-economic damages as well.
Some of the different types of losses you could be awarded in your Shelby dog bite claim include:
- Costs of mental health counseling due to emotional trauma
- Future medical expenses as needed
- Your diminished earning potential
- Loss of companionship, love, support, guidance, and protection
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement, skin scarring, or dismemberment
Reach Out to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Shelby Today
Your dog bite injuries may take their toll on your life. However, with the compensation you deserve, you may be able to ease your financial burden and begin to move forward.
Get help holding the dog’s owner accountable for the actions of their pet when you contact a Shelby dog bite lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free consultations to dog bite victims across Shelby and nearby cities. Claim yours by completing our quick contact form or calling our office today.