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Fayetteville follows the same complex laws concerning dog bite liability as the rest of the state. While a dog owner is not strictly liable for any injury caused by their animal, an injured plaintiff may still pursue damages if the dog has a history of violence. Furthermore, injured people may allege that the dog owner was simply negligent in allowing the dog to cause an injury.

Either path could allow individuals injured by others’ animals to collect compensation. This could include payments for medical bills, lost wages, and mental anguish. Building these cases is difficult, but you don’t need to handle it alone.

A Fayetteville dog bite lawyer may be able to help pursue these cases. A detail-oriented injury attorney can work to gather evidence of a dog’s violent past, connect a dog’s actions to an injury, and argue that a dog owner was negligent in allowing the incident to occur.

North Carolina Follows the One-Bite Rule for Dog Attacks

Fayetteville Dog Bite Lawyer

Fayetteville and the rest of the state use a modified one-bite rule when considering owner negligence in case of an attack. As such, a dog bite victim has two ways to demand compensation.

Proving That the Dog Was Previously Deemed “Dangerous”

The first is to prove that the government has classified a dog as “dangerous” and, as such, the owner has notice that their animal is a hazard. North Carolina Statute §67-4.1 defines a dangerous dog as one that has caused serious injury to a person in the past. To win in these cases, a plaintiff needs to provide evidence that a defendant had actual knowledge of a prior incident.

Alternatively, a municipal authority in Fayetteville may take the step of labeling the dog as dangerous if it has prior incidents of violence.

If the dog meets the definition of dangerous under the law, its owner is strictly liable for any incidents according to North Carolina Statute §67-4.4. A Fayetteville dog bite lawyer could help discover these key pieces of evidence.

Pursuing a Common Negligence Claim in Fayetteville

A second approach for injured plaintiffs to pursue damages is to argue that the defendant was negligent in their keeping of the animal. Unlike the one-bite rule concept, there is no requirement to prove that the defendant knew their animal was dangerous. Instead, the injured person must prove that the defendant failed to protect the injured individual when they had a duty to do so.

This only applies if the defendant had a duty to provide protection. A clear example of this is when the injured party is an invited guest onto private land. If a dog owner fails to exercise reasonable care and keep the animal contained in the backyard, and the dog causes injury to a guest, that owner may be liable.

What Damages Can You Recover After a Dog Attack?

The damages you can recover are specific to your injuries and losses. However, common damages after a dog bite include:

  • Medical bills, such as emergency treatment, prescriptions, hospitalizations, or cosmetic surgery
  • Costs associated with receiving psychological treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity if you needed to take a lesser-paying job or work fewer hours due to your injuries
  • Miscellaneous costs, such as hiring someone to help around the house or renovating your vehicle to accommodate a disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • The development of anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder

If you lost a loved one due to a dog attack, please accept our sincere condolences. Our team would be honored to support you in any way we can and help you seek justice for your loved one.

We know that you likely aren’t thinking of legal action at this time; however, a wrongful death settlement could help cover the losses and expenses associated with this tragedy. This would allow you to grieve and celebrate your loved one’s life without worrying about how you will make ends meet.

Recoverable expenses include:

  • Medical bills
  • Your loved one’s pain and suffering
  • Your loved one’s lost income
  • Loss of services, protection, care, and assistance
  • Loss of society, companionship, comfort, and guidance

What Dog Bite Injuries Are Compensable?

Dog bite injuries can be costly. We can help you fight for compensation for:

  • Disfiguring scars
  • Infections
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injuries
  • Broken bones

Dog bites often also cause emotional injuries. Our team can help you fight for compensation for the emotional effects of a dog bite injury.

What Can an Injury Attorney Do for Me?

A dog bite injury lawyer can handle every aspect of your case, including:

  • Gathering evidence to support your claim
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses
  • Communicating with all involved parties
  • Defending you against contributory negligence claims
  • Determining a fair value for your damages
  • Building a robust case against the dog owner
  • Negotiating for a fair settlement
  • Preparing and presenting your case in a Cumberland County court

We don’t want you to worry about a thing aside from recovering your injuries or caring for your injured loved one. For this reason, we handle all this on your behalf with no upfront costs. We only recover attorney’s fees if you recover compensation. There is no risk when you enlist our help.

What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?

The first thing you need to do after a dog attack is ensure your safety. Make sure you have gotten yourself and your loved one’s away from the dog who attacked you.

Document Your Injury and Collect Information

Once you have called emergency services, you can start taking photos and getting the dog owner’s information if necessary.

Be sure to ask the dog’s owner when the dog’s last rabies vaccine was to ensure you haven’t been exposed. You should also write down how the attack happened before you forget. This can help us prove it was an unprovoked attack.

Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Follow the treatment plan your doctor gives you. If you fail to do so, the insurance company can claim you are worsening your injury.

Document Your Recovery

Be sure to take photos and notes about how you are recovering. This might include weekly photos of your wound and daily journal entries about your pain and anxiety levels. This can help your lawyer support your claim for non-economic damages.

Speak to Your Attorney Before Giving  the Other Party’s Insurer a Recorded Statement

Soon after the attack, the pet owner’s insurance company will likely call you and request a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will ask leading questions, trying to get you to say something that may jeopardize your claim.

We recommend that you discuss the recorded statement with us before you agree to give one. We can prep you for any questions you may receive.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite?

One other aspect of the law to remember is the statute of limitations. This is a time limit that controls when a plaintiff can file a case in court. North Carolina Statute §1-52 states that this time limit is three years for all personal injury claims.

This may seem like a long time; however, recovering from a serious dog bite and building a strong case can take months. We recommend you get in touch with our team as soon as possible after you have received medical care.

Your Settlement Will Likely Come Out of the Dog Owner’s Homeowners Insurance Policy

Many people avoid filing a claim after a dog bite because they don’t want to sue the dog’s owner, someone they often know. However, it’s important to note that, in most cases, you will be filing a claim with their homeowners insurance policy; the compensation will not come out of the dog owner’s pocket.

A personal injury lawyer can also handle communication with the other party, so you’re never put in an awkward situation.

A Fayetteville Dog Bite Attorney Could Stand Up for Your Rights

The laws concerning when a dog owner is responsible for an attack are complex. Plaintiffs in these cases may only be able to collect compensation if they can prove that the defendant knew of their dog’s violent past. If the incident happened on private land, the plaintiff may be able to argue that the owner was negligent in failing to care for their safety.

Dog bites can cause serious injuries. Even a minor wound could become serious if it becomes infected. Other injuries may involve deep cuts, scarring, and even broken bones. An at-fault dog owner is responsible for any result following an attack. A Fayetteville dog bite lawyer could help you to collect compensation. However, remember there is a limited time to file a claim, so do not delay; let an attorney get to work for you today.

Call our team for a free consultation today: (919) 785-5000.