Asheville Dog Bite Lawyer
Excellent in every way. Lakota is easily the best lawyer I have ever worked with. Effective, efficient, honest, compassionate, friendly and fair.” Stephen B.
A dog bite injury can be terrifying, and the physical and mental effects are often devastating. A serious dog bite can cause infection, disfigurement, and even death. In addition to the physical harm, many dog bite victims suffer psychological and emotional scars that can last years. Your family may be dealing with intensive medical care, high medical bills, and a police investigation into your injury. If you or your loved one has suffered a dog bite, Asheville attorney Lakota R. Denton can help you navigate this challenging and stressful situation by seeking to ensure that you are properly compensated.
Over four million Americans suffer serious dog bite injuries each year. In and around Asheville, NC, dog bites are a common occurrence. This is due to the high percentage of dog ownership in Western North Carolina and our dog-friendly local culture. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Buncombe County, you may be able to recover compensation for a number of losses, including:
- medical bills,
- future medical bills,
- lost wages,
- permanent disability,
- loss of enjoyment of life,
- permanent scarring, and
- wrongful death.
The Responsibility of Dog Owners
A dog owner must know his/her dog’s nature, and protect the public from their dog if it has a history of biting or acting aggressively. This is true even if the bite happened a long time ago, or if the behavior was thought to be valid because the dog was provoked. North Carolina operates under the “one-bite” rule, meaning that once a dog has bitten someone, its owner is on notice and bears automatic liability for subsequent bites.
However, depending on the case and the circumstances, the dog owner may still be responsible for the injury if it is the animals’ first bite. A skilled and experienced dog bite attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and establish what liability the dog owner may have.
Factors Considered in a Dog Bite Case
Besides knowing their dogs’ history, owners also have a duty to care for their animals in a way that does not increase the likelihood that their dog will become aggressive. A dog is dramatically more likely to bite someone if it:
- has been kept outdoors for too long,
- has been kept in inclement weather,
- lacks adequate nourishment, water or shelter,
- has been abused or neglected,
- has been kept in an environment where it must compete with other animals,
- has been chained for too long,
- has been inappropriately restrained, or
- has been caged in a kennel that is too small, unclean or unsafe.
Animal abuse and neglect laws vary by state, but an owner’s behavior can cause the court to find that the owner’s actions or inactions caused the dog to develop biting behaviors. An experienced Asheville dog bite lawyer can investigate both the dog’s behavioral and health history, as well as the conditions in which it was kept. Contact us today to discuss your case, and find out how we can help.
Dog owners who keep historically dangerous dogs are more likely to be found liable for bites. If an animal has previously bitten without provocation, it is considered dangerous, as are dogs who have attacked or killed another animal, or have aggressively pursued their victim for more than 50 feet. In some jurisdictions, certain breeds are considered inherently dangerous. In these jurisdictions, owners of certain breeds of dog are considered on notice when they take ownership of the dog.
Contributory Negligence in North Carolina
North Carolina’s “Contributory Negligence” doctrine states that if a person was injured in part due to his or her own negligence, the injured person has no claim for damages against the person who caused the accident. Under this rule, a badly injured person who was only slightly negligent could not win in court against a very negligent defendant. Depending on where and how a dog bite took place, a victim’s actions may or may not impact whether they are able to recover compensation for their injuries. If a court determines that a victim’s own reckless or negligent behavior triggered the dog bite attack, he or she is barred from recovering any damages from the dog owner.
The contributory negligence doctrine states that actions like trespassing on private property, committing a crime when the bite occurred, or provoking the animal with torment or abuse can contribute to causing the bite. Because North Carolina still operates under the strict contributory negligence doctrine, an experienced Asheville dog bite lawyer can be essential for fighting any allegations that your actions directly contributed to your dog bite.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite, call attorney Lakota R. Denton today to discuss your case and to see how we can assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries suffered. Our consultations are always free.
Dog Bite FAQ’s:
Do I have to have an open wound from a dog bite in order to file a claim?
No. As long as a dog’s jaws come in contact with your skin, you may have a dog bite claim that an attorney can help you with. Dog bites often cause many scars that are not physical in nature. If you believe you have a dog bite claim, it is urgent that you contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. Most dog bite claims are unique. The unique nature of these cases and the complexity of injury resulting from a bite make this type of personal injury claim difficult to handle without an attorney.
Which kinds of dogs bite?
Any dog has the potential to bite someone. Certain breeds are thought to be more prone to bite, but all dogs are more apt to attack in certain circumstances, especially if aggression training, neglect or abuse are involved. Generally speaking, dogs are more likely to bite if they are surprised, guarding their territory or food, protecting an owner, in heat, provoked, or feel threatened.
If I’m bitten by a dog, am I automatically able to recover compensation?
Not necessarily. In order to make a claim for damages, you must be able to prove that you have actually been harmed by a dog owner’s actions. There are many factors to consider in a dog bite case. If you are suffering from injuries from a dog bite, it is strongly suggested that you contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. An attorney with dog bite claim experience will be able to help determine what kind of compensation you may be eligible to receive.
What can I do if I suffer a dog bite while at work?
If your dog bite occurred at work, you may be able to collect through workers’ compensation. If your attack occurred on another person’s property, you may have a claim under “premises liability.”
How long does a dog bite claim take to resolve?
Each case is different, and the amount of time a dog bite claim can take is often determined by the severity of the incident, along with other contributing factors surrounding the dog bite, such as the complexity of your injuries, the presence of witnesses, or pre-existing injuries. Some dog bite claims can settle in a few weeks whereas more serious or contested cases can take months or years to resolve.
Contact Attorney Denton Now to discuss your case and find out how an experienced dog bite lawyer can assist you.