HAVE YOU BEEN THE VICTIM OF A DOG BITE?
We may be able to help you recover a monetary settlement if you have been bitten by another person’s dog. The law in North Carolina holds that a dog’s owner can be held responsible for damages resulting from a dog bite if:
- The breed of the dog is known for being vicious (pit bull for example); or
- The dog has previously bitten someone else; or
- The owner knew that the dog presented a danger to others before your bite.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Who is going to pay me for my dog bite injuries?
A: The owner of the dog is legally responsible for your damages. However, in most cases the owner’s insurance company will be paying your settlement. In many cases we are able to recover from a person’s homeowner’s insurance policy or general liability policy.
Q: What damages can I recover?
A: The law entitles you to recover for your medical bills, lost wages, prescriptions, mileage to and from the doctor, physical pain, mental suffering, permanent disfigurement (scarring) and future medical care. Additional damages may be available depending on the facts of your case.
Q: What should I do following a dog bite?
- Get medical treatment immediately! Dog bites can become infected very easily and dogs can carry diseases.
- Get the name, address and phone number of the dog’s owner if at all possible.
- Report the dog bite to Animal Control in the county where the dog bite occurred. This is very important.
- Take regular photos of your wounds so that they can be used in the settlement process. If possible, take pictures of where the attack took place.
- Write down how the attack happened. Details are important. You will want to specify date, time, location, etc. You will also want to keep a record of any witnesses to the attack.
- Do NOT speak with any insurance company about your case. An insurance adjuster may call and ask to record your conversation on tape “as part of the investigation”. Do NOT allow the insurance company to do this. The adjuster’s job is to find a way to deny your claim or to minimize what you recover for your injuries. Recorded statements are used AGAINST you at a later date. The insurance company will never use a recorded statement to help you in any way. Let your lawyer deal with the insurance company.
Q: Do I have to “sue” the dog’s owner to get paid for my injuries?
A: No, not necessarily. Most of our dog bite cases are settled outside of Court. In most instances, our extensive experience with dog bite cases allows us to prove our cases to insurance companies before having to file a lawsuit. If the insurance company denies liability for your injuries, a lawsuit may become necessary. This is fairly rare, but we are well equipped to litigate your case if a fair settlement is not possible.
Q: When should I hire a lawyer?
A. As soon as possible. Dog bite cases are very fact specific. Good cases can be ruined very easily if they are not handled correctly from the start. In addition, witnesses move, memories fade, evidence disappears and people make mistakes when handling their own cases. Don’t risk your rights by waiting.
Q: How do legal fees work?
A. Bradley Law Group is paid on a “contingent fee” basis. This means that we do not get paid a legal fee if you do not get paid for your dog bite. If we are successful in getting you paid, the law firm takes a fraction of the settlement at the end of your case as compensation.
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