According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. Most dog bite victims are young children between 5 and 9-years-old. Dog attacks can lead to severe physical and emotional damage.
In fact, one in five victims of dog bite attacks will require medical attention for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog due to the negligence of the owner, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It’s important for dog bite injury victims to have their claims reviewed by an experienced North Carolina dog bite attorney.
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Steps To Take After Suffering A Dog Bite
Due to the complex nature of the dog bite laws here in N.C, it can be quite difficult to sue the owner of an attack dog, unless the attack has occurred within specific boundaries described in the law.
However, if you are a resident of North Carolina and have been either attacked by a dog or the victim of a dog biting incident, taking steps to document the incident shortly after the attack can help strengthen your lawsuit.
Some suggestions include:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Find out if the dog that caused the injury has been vaccinated for rabies.
- If possible to do so safely, take a picture of the dog that attacked you.
- Try to find out if the dog has a history of being aggressive and if they have attacked others in the past.
- Take photographs of your injury and file a report with your local animal control center or police department. Be sure to write down the time you called and the name of the person you spoke to about your injury.
- Write down the names of any witnesses who saw the attack and take a photo of the place where the attack occurred.
- Do NOT provide any information to an insurance agent or company, without consulting an attorney
- Report the dog attack to local authorities
This last point is quite important, as by reporting the bite attack to police, it establishes a documented record of the event and when it allegedly took place.
NC Dog Bite Laws & Insurance Companies
Dog bite laws vary by state, county and city, so it is important to have the help of an experienced North Carolina attorney who understands the animal bite laws in your area.
Insurance companies will often ask dog bite victims to sign a “release” which will eliminate the injured party’s right to seek compensation for their injuries. Some insurance providers will also ask victims to sign a medical authorization to obtain their medical records and bills. It is important that Winston-Salem & Greensboro injury victims do not sign any documents without first speaking to a North Carolina dog bite attorney – as these kinds of actions may have a negative effect on your lawyer’s ability to collect proper compensation.
It must be noted that any information that you provide to an insurance company can and will be used against you in a court of law. Insurance companies and their damage assessors are NOT your friend. They are highly skilled at their jobs and are trained to obtain confidential information from you, when you are in a vulnerable position.
By employing the services of a skilled law firm, they will be able to act as a barrier against those questions, and will often prefer that you just re-direct any insurance-related inquiries directly to them.
How Our North Carolina Dog Bite Attorney Can Help You
At Lewis & Keller, formerly Mike Lewis Attorneys, we believe that every North Carolina resident deserves access to legal counsel, regardless of their financial situation, so we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid until we obtain a favorable outcome for your claim.
We have an investigator on staff to help prepare your case, and can apply our many years combined legal experience towards your litigation. Our skilled team of attorneys have won over $10 million in successful settlements and verdicts for our clients, and are prepared to fight for your rights in a court of law.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to North Carolina dog bite victims – and for your specific dog bite attack case, simply contact us today!
Alternatively, to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, please complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.