Dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend, but it is important to acknowledge the fact that dogs are capable of inflicting severe injuries unexpectedly. When a dog attack occurs in Valdese, NC, the owner is likely to face some level of liability for the victim’s damages. However, it is important to understand North Carolina’s personal injury laws and the special rules that apply to dog attacks.
If you or a family member recently suffered injuries in a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation from the dog owner. Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, can provide the legal counsel you need for your impending case. We have successfully represented many past clients and can apply our resources and experience to your recovery efforts. You have a limited time in which to seek compensation for your damages, so it is important to secure legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible to preserve your ability to recover compensation.
In the state, a dog owner does not face strict liability for the damages their pet inflicts on a person the first time their dog bites someone. The state enforces a One Bite Rule, meaning that if a dog unexpectedly attacks another person unprovoked, the owner is only liable for the victim’s medical expenses unless it is proven that they were negligent in their handling of the dog. However, after one biting incident, the dog is classified as potentially dangerous, and the dog’s owner will need to follow specific rules and make every effort to prevent it from attacking anyone else in the future. If they fail to do so, strict liability applies.
To file a dog bite claim, the victim must prove that they were legally present at the location of the attack. This means they cannot have been trespassing on the dog owner’s private property. Additionally, they must not have provoked the attack in any way, such as abusing the dog or being aggressive toward the dog’s owner. Once they prove these facts, they can proceed with claiming compensation from the dog owner based on the dog’s classification and the scope of their injuries.
When strict liability applies, the victim has the right to seek full compensation for all damages they incurred from the attack. Additionally, the owner of the dog could face criminal penalties if they were negligent in their handling of the dog or failed to comply with previously instated orders for managing a potentially dangerous dog. Ultimately, dog bite claims can be confusing, and the victim is likely to have many difficult legal questions concerning the aftermath of the attack. Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, can provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need in this situation, and our goal in every case we accept is maximum recovery for our client in the most efficient manner possible.
A: While many states enforce a strict liability rule for dog attacks, the state upholds the One Bite Rule. This means that a dog owner cannot be held strictly liable for damages their dog inflicts on others unless the owner has prior knowledge that the dog is potentially dangerous. Essentially, after one bite, the dog owner is strictly liable for any further harm their pet inflicts on others.
A: North Carolina law requires a dog be quarantined for 10 days after it has bitten someone. During this time, the dog will be medically examined to ensure it does not carry communicable diseases and is not excessively aggressive and a further danger to others. In most cases, the dog is returned to its owner after the quarantine. However, if the dog is found to have an incurable disease that poses a public safety risk or is determined to be unreasonably dangerous, a judge may order the dog to be destroyed.
A: If a dog injured you unprovoked, you could seek compensation for your medical expenses from the dog’s owner. However, if the dog was already classified as dangerous and/or the dog owner was negligent in their care and handling of the dog, strict liability applies, and you can seek full compensation for all damages resulting from the attack, including your pain and suffering. Your Valdese dog bite attorney can provide an estimate of the total damages you may be able to recover from the defendant.
A: Technically, no, you are not legally required to hire legal representation to help you recover from a dog attack. However, legal counsel can make handling your case much easier, and you will be more likely to secure maximum compensation for the damages you suffered. Your attorney can help you meet all the procedural requirements for your case and uncover all the damages you can claim from the defendant, enhancing your case award.
A: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only collect fees from clients after they win their cases and take a percentage of the total amount recovered for the client. Some attorneys use hourly billing, so clients pay more when their attorneys spend more time working on their cases. Make sure you understand a potential attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation.
Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, offers compassionate and responsive legal representation for a wide range of personal injury claims in the Valdese area, including those arising from dog attacks. We will take time to thoroughly review the details of your experience and help maximize the compensation you obtain from the owner of the dog that bit you. If you are ready to see what an experienced Valdese dog bite attorney can do for your recovery, contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.