Have You Been Bitten By A Dog?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are about 4.7 million dog bites every year in the United States. While incidents can involve people of all ages, many do involve children. Dog bites can result in serious injuries and in some cases, even death as well as emotional distress. If you are involved in a dog biting incident in the Wake Forest, NC area it’s important to know your legal rights.
Attorney Hank Doyle brings nearly three decades of experience delivering results-oriented personal injury legal representation in Wake Forest to clients both large and small. Here are some of the questions you may have about dog bites that we can answer:
- What rights do you have as a victim of a dog bite?
- What exactly are dog owners responsible for?
- How long is too long to wait after a dog bite?
- How can a North Carolina dog bite lawyer help you?
Because dog bites are challenging situations, it’s important to receive the proper guidance and representation.
Responsibilities of Dog Owners
Dog owners assume many responsibilities, but the most important is keeping your dog under control at all times. This means the following:
- The dog respects and recognizes others' personal space at all times.
- The dog does not struggle with crowd control or being in highly-populated environments.
- The dog has identification tags in case of an emergency.
- The dog is spayed and neutered, which will help mellow he/she out.
By having full control of your dog(s) at all times, dog bites are less likely to occur.
Dog Ownership Negligence
Dog bite cases are no different than other personal injury cases. Victims must prove any negligence on the owner’s behalf. Negligence can be complicated. In dog bite-related attacks, an owner may be accused of being negligent if:
- The pet owner lets his/her dog run freely with no leash.
- The pet owner fails to keep his/her dog in a secured area.
- The pet owner’s dog is clearly invading others’ personal space with reprimanding.
Being aware of these situations and what constitutes negligence and what does not can help you better protect yourself as a dog owner or a victim of a dog bite in Wake Forest.
Dog’s Likelihood to Bite
Although a dog may lash out unexpectedly, owners usually have a good idea of their dog’s nature. A dog’s likelihood to bite can be influenced by many circumstances. Some of the most common types of evidence that have been used to determine if a dog had a propensity to bite would include:
- Past dog attacks (see North Carolina’s one-bite law)
- Overuse of cages or chains to restrain the dog
- Previous verbal warnings by the owner about the dog’s behavior
- A ‘Beware of Dog’ sign that is posted, or lack thereof
Be sure to check out our Personal Injury FAQ page to learn more personal injury-specific details.
Distress After a Dog Bite
- Contacting anyone who may have witnessed the incident
- Taking photos of the incident scene and injuries
- Documenting specific injury details and any medical bills associated with them
- Insurance and liability issues
- Proof of lost earnings for any work absences caused by the incident
- Accessing the dog that bit you
When you are involved in a dog biting incident, it’s important to seek legal representation to assure that your rights are not being violated and you are receiving the compensation you deserve.