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Being attacked and bitten by a dog can be a terrifying and traumatic experience. While owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs in check, they do not always do so. Injuries, whether mild or severe, can be painful and leave permanent scarring and tissue damage on the victim.

If someone’s dog harmed you or a loved one, you deserve someone who will fight for your best interests. At Whitley Law Firm, our team is committed to providing exceptional legal representation for severely injured North Carolinians. We aim to provide compassionate, whole-hearted care to every person we represent. This combination of skill and kindness is the foundation of our practice and a unique benefit of working with us. We call it the Whitley Advantage.

If you have been the victim of a dog attack, you should consult with a Kinston dog bite lawyer who has experience in these types of personal injury cases. You can call us at (919) 785-5000 now to get started.

Monetary Damages in Kinston Dog Bite Cases

Our attorneys can help you pursue a claim or lawsuit to recover your losses from the attack. Those recoverable damages can include these categories:

  • Medical expenses. The costs of the ambulance, emergency room, hospital stay, doctor’s visits, surgery, plastic surgery, physical therapy, and pain management are but a few examples of the healthcare bills that your case could include.
  • Ongoing medical bills. Many dog bite victims need ongoing or follow-up treatment. Scar revision surgery and physical therapy may be required for long-term improvement.
  • Lost wages. People with severe injuries often miss time from work while recuperating. If you did not get paid your usual paychecks during that time, you can add lost wages to your dog bite claim. You can also recover compensation for future lost wages if you are unable to work at the same job as before.
  • Pain and suffering. The experience of getting attacked by a dog causes painful injuries. The discomfort can continue for quite some time and cause great emotional distress.
  • Disfigurement and other personal losses. Many dog bite victims suffer scarring on their faces, hands, and arms. It can be distressing to suffer these changes in appearance. Other types of non-economic damages can include chronic pain, depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the loss of enjoyment of life.

We cannot speak to the exact types or amount of compensation you might recover until we speak to you and investigate your Kinston dog bite case. We perform a thorough investigation of every dog bite injury claim we handle.

When is a Dog Owner Liable for a Dog Bite?

A Man Walking His Dog Pet in the Park

North Carolina is a mixed statutory state, meaning there are several factors a Kinston dog bite attorney must consider regarding liability. Statutory liability holds a dog owner or keeper strictly liable in a dog bite case if the dog:

  • Injured a person or another domestic animal in the past
  • Was owned or trained for dog fighting
  • Approached a person who was not on the owner’s property in a vicious manner

Even if these conditions do not apply to the case, the owners could still be held liable. Your attorney would need proof that the dog was dangerous. Perhaps the animal had been labeled dangerous by authorities in the past. An attorney could use this as evidence of the owner’s negligence.

These laws do not apply if the dog bite victim was trespassing on the owner’s property or if the victim was abusing, harassing, tormenting, or otherwise provoking the dog. Furthermore, the statute does not apply if the victim was attempting to commit a crime (such as breaking and entering) at the time of the attack.

Proving Negligence if Statutory Liability Does Not Apply

If there does not seem to be a statutory liability case, the victim of a dog bite may be able to prove that the owner was negligent.

The owner of a dog that is not considered dangerous or aggressive and attacks another person may be liable for negligence if they have breached their duty to the safety of others. This means that the dog owner did not take the safety precautions that a responsible owner or handler would have in a similar situation. This can sometimes be more difficult to prove in court.

In a negligence per se case, a dog owner may be liable for damages inflicted on a victim if they broke other animal control laws in Lenoir County, such as allowing an animal to run at large.

Given the complexity of the laws regarding dog bites in North Carolina, it may be in a victim’s best interest to have a dog bite attorney in Kinston help them through the process.

Evidence We May Use to Support Your Case Against a Negligent Dog Owner

During our investigation, we will gather evidence to support your case, including:

  • Incident reports
  • Physical evidence, such as torn clothing
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photo and video evidence
  • Medical records

Unfortunately, many valuable pieces of evidence are time-sensitive. If there is surveillance footage, it may be recorded over in as little as one month. The sooner you contact an attorney from our firm, the sooner we can start collecting important evidence.

Our team has been handling these cases for decades and knows what to look for.

How a Dog Bite Attorney from Whitley Law Firm Can Help

A dog bite can cause serious physical and emotional injuries. The pain and suffering that results from a dog attack should not be underestimated when the scarring and possible tissue or ligament damage may lead to long-term pain and disability.

At the Whitley Law Firm, we work tirelessly to get you every dollar of compensation that you deserve for your dog bite case. We treat our clients with care and compassion. You can call us today at (919) 785-5000 for a free initial consultation. If you have been the victim of a dog attack, contact a Kinston dog bite lawyer who will help you reach a life-improving settlement or verdict.