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A dog bite can be an incident that changes the trajectory of your life. It can cause disfigurement and in the worst cases, death. During this tense time, you or your family may be facing life-changing medical decisions, snowballing health care bills, and a police investigation. If you or someone you know has suffered from this animal attack, contact an attorney for assistance understanding claims. A committed dog bite lawyer can help you in filing a Raleigh dog bite claim.

Steps in Filing a Claim

The first step in filing a Raleigh dog bite claim is to file the lawsuit. If the injured party lives in Raleigh, then the lawsuit would be filed in Wake County. They would name the owner of the dog and anyone else who may have responsibility, filing the lawsuit against them and serving the complaint onto the person. The party responsible for the injury would have 30 days to respond to the complaint with a formal answer.

Once a person files a lawsuit, then they can serve what is referred to as a written discovery on any of the defendants. That would include the homeowners,  owners of the dog, or any responsible party. As part of that discovery process, a person can ask questions about what they knew about their dog, what they knew about its history, whether anything like this had happened before, and exactly how the bite happened. During discovery, one can learn a lot of facts from the defendant or from the dog owner that help the case and could cause the defendant to want to resolve the issue out of court.

Factors Considered in Determining Liability

If the owner of the dog knew that their pet had been violent before or had bitten someone before, that would put them on notice that their dog had a violent propensity and could be dangerous. If they knew that the dog was considered a dangerous breed, sometimes that can require a heightened level of awareness. The specific facts of exactly how the dog bite occurred could impact whether or not the claim could be resolved before filing a Raleigh dog bite claim.

If there are multiple defendants in any sort of case, especially dog bite cases, there can be moments of finger pointing at one another. There might be two dogs that got into a fight and then injured someone, and that would be a question of which dog was the aggressor or if they both were the aggressor. It can get more complex in cases with more than one defendant because of how long it could take to parse the facts out. It would matter exactly what happened, which dog was the aggressor, or which owner had information about the dog.

Importance of an Attorney

Going to court can be both expensive and time-consuming, so if someone has very minimal injuries like some bumps and bruises that resolve in a few days, it may not make sense from a cost-benefit standpoint to file a lawsuit and incur those costs. An attorney can help work through the difficulty of filing a Raleigh dog bite claim.

It is important to note that there are no entitlements in a dog bite claim. If a person is significantly injured, they are going to have a more valuable claim or they are going to be seeking more money damages from a jury or from the insurance company that insures the owner of the dog.  It is crucial that you work with an experienced Raleigh dog bite attorney to understand the intricacies of filing the claim.