Filing a personal injury claim stemming from a dog bite is a premises liability case that has its own category in many states. Some states have established a “one bite” exemption rule while others say that any dog bite puts the owner in a position of liability when certain factors exist. North Carolina is an example of the “one bite” rule for dogs and their owners. If a dog has bit someone else in the past, then they could be considered a vicious animal. However, dogs that bite only once are often merely reacting to a situation of feeling threatened in general, and owners are commonly not held liable. And the location of the attack can matter as well.
How Location Matters
The first step in obtaining financial recovery for a dog bite injury is notifying the owner of the incident immediately after seeking medical attention. It is essential to have the injury treated as soon as possible because the dog’s shot status is often unknown and internal injury can easily happen in vicious attack situations. If the attack happens on the dog owner’s property, chances are that they already know. If it happens on the victim’s property or a third party’s property, notification may be necessary. Additionally, as with other premises liability injury claims, the victim must be occupying the property legally in most situations. Public workers such as mail carriers are exempt from this requirement.
Extenuating Negligence
One particular issue with a dog bite injury is the health status of the dog in question. Dog owners who do not have their dogs vaccinated for rabies and other diseases could be found negligent in court and be liable for any extended injuries aside from the initial bite damage. Rabies treatment for humans is a serious medical treatment process that could result in a claim for extended general damages for ongoing problems and healing time. Depending on the vicious nature of the dog, any multiple bite attacks could actually stem from the dog’s vaccination status when they are fully rabid. Dog bite attorneys always focus on obtaining as much general damages as possible because the insurance company will be wanting a full medical release when the case is settled.
Negotiating with the Insurance Providers
The next step in financial recovery for a dog bite injury is dealing with the insurance company. Dog bite injury claims can be difficult with some dog owners, but those will liability insurance may be agreeable to filing the claim. However, that does not mean the insurance company will not investigate the injury accident and be difficult when issuing a decision on payment. There is a definite chance that a claims adjuster will be looking for any defense of personal contributory negligence they can find. If the injured claimant provoked the animal in any manner, the case could even be dismissed in court.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
It is important for all dog bite victims to remember that the North Carolina contributory negligence law which applies in auto accidents also applies in premises liability matters, so the details of how the bite happened can be vital to a successful claim. Both the dog owner and their insurance provider may attempt claiming the dog was provoked or felt threatened in some way. Our experienced dog bite attorneys understand the difficulties that victims can experience when pursuing financial recovery following a biting incident, and they can craft a case for whole damages based on the material facts. Anyone bitten by a dog in North Carolina should call our offices and let our dog bite attorneys conduct a complete investigation and assessment of your injury claim potential.
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