Dogs are very popular pets across the United States, and most people routinely have positive interactions with the dogs they encounter every day. However, it is possible for any dog to cause tremendous injuries, sometimes unexpectedly and without any visible provocation. If you or a family member has been bitten or otherwise injured by another party’s dog in Newton, a dog bite attorney can help you determine how to recover from this incident.
The attorneys at Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, have years of experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases in Newton, including those arising from dog attacks. Our firm develops individualized legal strategies for every client we represent, and we have the experience to know what challenges you are likely to face as you seek accountability for your damages. The sooner you connect with our team, the sooner we can begin guiding you toward recovery.
Before you can recover any type of compensation for a dog attack or other personal injury, you must prove liability for the injury in question. When it comes to dog attacks, the state upholds a strict liability rule. This means that the owner of a dog is strictly liable for any and all damages the pet causes to another person. Your Newton dog bite attorney will be helpful in gathering the evidence you will need to firmly establish the dog owner’s liability for your damages.
It’s possible that the dog that bit you has already been classified as a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog. In that case, the owner of the dog is likely to face criminal charges for failing to prevent another attack. Whenever a dog bites someone, the dog owner must surrender the dog to Animal Control for no less than 10 days so the dog can be medically examined. This is done to evaluate the dog’s temperament and to rule out the possibility of communicable diseases.
North Carolina’s personal injury laws allow the plaintiff to seek full repayment of all the economic damages they sustained because of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct. Therefore, your claimable economic damages are likely to include the following:
After accurately calculating both immediate and future economic losses resulting from your dog attack, you might learn that your case is worth much more than you initially expected. However, your recovery does not end with your economic damages.
State law also allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover compensation for their pain and suffering. There is no limit to this side of your recovery, and a dog attack can not only cause very painful physical injuries but also be a highly traumatic experience. Your Newton dog bite attorney will help you determine a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to include in your claim based on the severity of the injuries you suffered and the likelihood that you will suffer long-term or permanent physical or psychological distress from the attack.
Your recovery may also be impacted by the dog owner’s actions. For example, if they owned a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog due to a prior attack, they are likely to face criminal charges for failing to restrain the dog appropriately. If they intentionally caused the dog to attack in any way, it can also lead to criminal prosecution. Whenever intentional misconduct results in a personal injury, a judge may award the plaintiff punitive damages to further punish the defendant. If the defendant is criminally charged, restitution to the victim could be a component of their sentence.
The vast majority of personal injury cases filed each year end in private settlement negotiations. The settlement process allows both the plaintiff and the defendant to avoid the time commitment, stress, and expense of litigation, but it requires both parties to compromise on a mutually agreeable resolution. Therefore, when you choose Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, to represent you in a dog bite injury case, we will do everything we can to create a compelling initial complaint that encourages the defendant to seek a settlement as soon as possible.
If for any reason, settlement is not possible for your dog bite injury case, your case will need to be resolved in litigation. This will take a long time to complete, potentially several months or more, and the final outcome rests in the hands of the judge overseeing the case. If your case must proceed to litigation, you can count on the team at Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, to represent you through all phases of your court proceedings. Our team has helped many past clients through very challenging civil claims, including many dog attack cases. We are fully prepared to represent you through whatever proceedings are necessary to ensure accountability for the dog attack you experienced.
A: The state’s strict liability rule for dog attacks means that the owner of the dog that bites you is fully responsible for any and all damages you incur from the attack. These may include your medical expenses and your lost income if you need time to recover and cannot work. Dog attacks are also traumatic, and North Carolina law allows you to hold the dog owner accountable for the pain and suffering you experienced.
A: A dog owner is strictly liable for any damages their pet causes to others. However, once a dog has bitten and injured a person or another animal, it is classified as a dangerous dog, and the owner must take extra steps to prevent the pet from harming anyone else. If they fail to do so, they can face criminal charges along with liability for the damages their pet causes.
A: It is possible for dogs to transmit certain diseases and illnesses to humans through their bites. If this applies to your situation, the owner of the dog that bit you is liable for the cost of any and all medical care you require to recover from the attack. This includes ongoing treatment for illness caused by the dog bite. Your Newton dog bite attorney can help you accurately calculate the full cost of all the medical care you require and add this amount to your personal injury claim.
A: In order for the state’s strict liability rule to apply in a dog bite case, the victim must not have provoked the attack in any way. Additionally, they must have been legally present at the location of the attack. Therefore, the strict liability rule does not apply if the victim attacked the dog or their owner or if the victim was intruding or trespassing on private property and the property owner’s dog attacked them.
A: Even if you are certain that fault for your dog bite injuries falls to the owner of the dog and they have no defense against your personal injury claim, it is always advisable to have reliable legal counsel to guide you through your case proceedings. Your legal team can handle all the procedural aspects of your case to ensure it proceeds without any delays, and they may also reveal compensation you didn’t know you could claim. In addition, you are more likely to win your case and maximize your case award to the fullest extent possible when you have legal representation.
The attorneys at Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, have successfully represented a wide range of personal injury claims in Newton and throughout Catawba County. We take time to learn each client’s unique story to provide truly personalized legal counsel in every case we accept. If you are ready to start working toward recovery from your recent dog bite injury in Newton, we can help. Contact us today and schedule your free initial case review with our team to learn more about the legal services we offer.