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North Carolina Dog Bite Child Personal Injury Claims


While the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, the truth is that there are many folks who just shouldn’t own a dog and especially not a pit bull. Unfortunately, those individuals’ failures to properly train, monitor, and restrain their dogs can sometimes result in harm to others, including children. Some of the most common victims of dog bite attacks are the elderly and young kids. These are the groups that are least able to defend themselves against a powerful, angry animal. If your child has suffered injury because of another person’s failure to restrain their dog, including a pit bull, the Raleigh attorneys of Maginnis Law may be able to help you recover compensation for your child. To speak with a Maginnis Law attorney now, contact our main line at 919.526.0450.

INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR DOG BITE INJURIES

Dog bite claims can be challenging in North Carolina. Like with most personal injury claims in North Carolina, there are 3 essential topics that our lawyers cover during consults for a child dog bite case. The first is insurance coverage, because the simple truth is that in the vast majority of cases, if there is no insurance, there can be no meaningful recovery. The truth is that most owners of vicious dogs, and especially pit bulls, simply do not have the money to pay for the harm caused by their animal. The most common type of coverage that may be applicable is homeowners’ insurance. Therefore, one of our first questions tends to be whether the person owning or keeping the dog owned their own home or lived with someone who owned the home. Aside from homeowners’ coverage, we will also typically investigate whether there is applicable renters’ insurance. In some cases, the owner of the dog will illogically refuse to provide insurance information and you will have to file a lawsuit to allow a Judge to force the dog owner to provide the information.

LIABILITY IN DOG BITE CASES

The next issue our Raleigh dog bite attorneys will address at any initial consult meeting is whether the owner of the dog is potential liable. The law in North Carolina for dog bite cases is complex and evolving. While many websites and attorney pages purport to say what the law is on dog bites in North Carolina, the reality on the ground is much different. Many of these websites describe North Carolina as a “one bite” state – meaning that there is no liability unless the dog had previously bitten another person, putting its owner on notice of its vicious propensity. However, Maginnis Law has had success in claims where, under this traditional view of North Carolina law requiring a prior bite by the dog, there would not be liability. There are many municipal codes in North Carolina that heighten the duty of dog owners, including the codes in Raleigh and Durham, and these can be used to show negligence. Similarly, many insurance companies will pay compensation on dog bite claims even without evidence of a prior bite – especially if the dog is of a breed known to have a vicious propensity, such as a pit bull. If your child has suffered serious injury because of a dog attack, you should consult with a knowledgeable dog bite litigation attorney, even if you do not have evidence the dog has previously bitten anyone.

RECOVERABLE DAMAGES FOR CHILD VICTIMS OF DOG ATTACKS

When a child is injured, two different claims are created. The first claim belongs to the parent. This claim is primarily for medical bills related to the injuries until the time the child reaches age 18. The second claim is usually more substantial and involves reasonable compensation for the child’s physical pain, mental suffering, permanent injury, loss of use of part of the body, and permanent scarring, if these exist. Some claims will only involve pain and suffering and scarring, while the more severe attacks will result in some permanent injury or loss of use. The child is also entitled to any estimates for future medical bills once they reach the age of 18.

CONTACTING US FOR A FREE CONSULT

Like most attorneys handling dog bite claims, the North Carolina lawyers of Maginnis Law can handle many dog bite claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay no attorneys’ fees unless and until we recover a settlement or verdict for you or your child. The firm offers a reduced attorneys’ fee for all claims involving a child, including dog bite cases. Additionally, the firm provides a free consultation to all families of the victim of a dog bite. If necessary, we can travel across the state of North Carolina to meet with you to discuss the case.

If your child has suffered serious injury, including permanent scarring, because of someone else’s failure to properly train and restrain their dog, Raleigh attorney Shawn Howard may be able to help you and your child recover fair compensation. He has successfully represented many victims of vicious dog attacks and is familiar with the unique psychological impact the attack and the physical scars can leave. To speak with Shawn regarding your North Carolina dog bite claim, call him directly at 919.480.8526 or use the Maginnis Law contact page to send a private inquiry. Our firm handles pit bull cases throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Greenville, New Bern, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte.

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