Wilmington Dog Bite Lawyer

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Roughly 800,000 people are injured each year by dogs. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, North Carolina law can make your case challenging, both to actually receive a settlement check and to be paid the right amount of money.

Our Wilmington dog bite lawyers at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys can fight for you to get the money you deserve.

North Carolina Dog Bite Law

Some states make dog owners strictly liable when their animal bites and injures someone. North Carolina is not one of those jurisdictions. Dog bite laws in North Carolina can be somewhat complex, leading to legal issues with your case.

Here is what you need to know about holding someone liable for a dog bite injury in North Carolina:

  • If you can prove that the dog’s owner was violating state law and they were letting their animal roam around unleashed, you may be able to win your case because the owner would be negligent per se.
  • The standard law is that a dog gets “one free bite,” and the dog owner is only strictly liable when you have been bitten by a dangerous dog who has attacked and injured someone before or has been declared to be a dangerous dog.
  • You can also file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner under the common law rule of negligence.

North Carolina does allow the dog’s owner to defend themselves by claiming that you were contributorily negligent. In other words, the dog’s owner can claim that you did something wrong to provoke the dog, causing them to attack you.

Children Are the Most Vulnerable to Dog Bite Attacks

While anyone is at risk of being attacked by a dog and bitten, children are the most vulnerable. There are numerous reasons why dogs are more likely to bite children, and they include:

  • Children do not know how to properly approach a dog and detect signs that the animal is agitated.
  • Dogs are territorial animals, and they view children as a threat to their space.
  • Children are more on eye level with the dog, leading the dog to believe that they are a greater threat.

Unless the child has done something egregious, the dog’s owner does not get a pass simply because the dog attacked a small child.

While the insurance company may claim that the child provoked the dog, they are held to a far lower standard when it comes to dealing with an animal.

Compensation in a Dog Bite Case

You’ll see that insurance companies publish annual reports about the average compensation for a dog bite injury case in each state they serve. These reports have little to nothing to do with your case.

You should never be focused on an average number because it may cause you to leave money on the table. Your injuries could be far worse than the average claimant, and you never know how hard they may have fought before they signed a settlement agreement.

When you hire our experienced dog bite attorneys in Wilmington, we will leave no stone unturned to secure you the highest possible amount of compensation. Every dog bite injury settlement should reflect the victim’s own situation, as opposed to an average amount that is determined by people who have nothing whatsoever to do with them. In other words, your compensation can be considerable, and you should do everything in your power to fight for it.

Your dog bite injury compensation can include:

  • Medical expenses: Including the cost of plastic surgery or other reconstructive procedures to repair the affected area
  • Lost wages: Whether they are from the fact that the scarring has permanently affected the appearance or because you have missed work to deal with the injuries (parents may even be entitled to lost wages for a child injury because they had to take time off to care for their injured child)
  • Pain and suffering: You can be compensated for both the physical discomfort and the emotional effects of a dog bite injury
  • Emotional distress: dog bite injury victims may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, including a fear of being near dogs, for the rest of their lives.
  • Scarring and disfigurement: The scars from a dog bite injury can permanently change appearance. Scarring in more prominent and visible areas could result in higher compensation.

Child dog bite injuries often result in higher compensation, both because they are more severe and they would result in a longer period of time dealing with the aftereffects of the injury.

How a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Perhaps the most crucial thing in any personal injury case is having someone on your side who knows how to handle the insurance company. If you think that your case is clear-cut, the insurance company still will not make it easy for you.

No matter what the law is, insurers are going to try to find a way to add wrinkles to make it more difficult for you to get the money you deserve.

Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys know what insurance companies can do because we have been on their side of the table.

When you hire our dog bite lawyers for your case, we can do the following to help you:

  • Gather evidence that can prove the dog’s owner was negligent
  • Review your situation to determine the amount of your damages
  • Prepare the claim to file on your behalf
  • Negotiate compensation with the insurance company, communicating with them for you
  • If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, file a lawsuit on your behalf in court.

Even if liability is not going to be a fight, you still need an injury attorney. Without one, you would not know how much money to seek from the insurance company, and you may not have the wherewithal to fight them when they are trying to understand.

If your child was injured, you owe it to them to fight for every dollar that you can get because they will need it, both now and in the future. Trust the fight ahead to an experienced dog attack attorney.

Contact a Wilmington, North Carolina, Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys have gained a reputation in the local community by going the extra mile to get our clients full and fair financial compensation. It costs you nothing both to speak to an attorney and to hire one from our firm. We work on a contingency fee basis. To learn more about how we can work for you, schedule a free initial consultation by sending us a message online or by calling our office today at 910-405-7751.

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