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Dog Bite Wrongful Death North Carolina Attorney

Many dog owners are simply not responsible. They do not properly train or restrain their dogs, and allow their dogs to be a menace to the people who live in their community. In the most tragic of circumstances, these dangerous dogs can get loose and maim and kill human beings. This happened recently on August 9, 2018 when two dogs were loose in the Lake Tillery subdivision in Montgomery County and killed a 66 year old neighbor of the dogs’ owner. Often times the dogs involved in these attacks are pit bulls and the victims are young children and the elderly. They simply cannot defend themselves against a large, vicious pit bull. If you have lost a loved one because someone failed to properly restrain their dog, the Raleigh dog bite wrongful death attorneys of Maginnis Law may be able to assist with your case. We are experienced in handling dog attack cases and know how terrible the circumstances of these cases can be. Often times the nature of the attack is so vicious, and the photographs so disturbing, that it is difficult for family members to discuss and participate in the case. Our attorneys have dealt with these situations, and have been through the difficulties of complex dog bite cases, and can help ease the burden on your family as you seek justice for the loss of your loved one. To speak with our lead wrongful death attorney, call attorney Shawn Howard at 919.480.8526.


Dog bite wrongful death claims in North Carolina are complex. As with any wrongful death case, an attorney evaluating a pit bull or other dog attack resulting in a death must look at 3 primary issues. The very first to be addressed is usually insurance coverage. This is because in many cases, there simply is no insurance coverage to compensate the victim and the irresponsible dog owner does not have any assets. The typical coverages that can be available include homeowners’ insurance coverage and renters’ coverage. If a landlord is legally liable because he failed to remove a dangerous dog from his property, it is possible a business policy may apply.


The next issue our lawyers will evaluate is whether the owner of the dog is potentially 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. We have had multiple six figure settlements for injured North Carolinians where there was no evidence of a prior bite. If your loved one has been lost because of 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.


A wrongful death lawsuit can never bring back a loved family member. What it can do is force the negligent dog owner to compensate for the financial losses and emotional harms caused by his or her irresponsibility. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18.2, the damages recoverable in a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit include compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering of the deceased, his or her medical expenses, and the funeral expenses. The “beneficiaries” of the Estate can also recover the present monetary value of the reasonably expected “net income” of the deceased family member. Just as importantly, the “beneficiaries” can recover for the emotional and day-to-day loss caused by the family member’s death. The wrongful death statute indicates that the negligent party can have to money damages for the loss of the deceased’s “services, protection, care and assistance” as well as his or her “society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice.”


The Raleigh wrongful death attorneys of Maginnis Law are experienced in handling complex liability cases such as those involving wrongful death dog bite claims. We represent the families of those wrongfully killed on a contingency fee basis – meaning that you owe no attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. We also offer free consultations so that you can see whether our lawyers will be a good fit for your case. We handle cases across North Carolina and will travel to meet with you to discuss the case.

If your loved one has lost their life because of a dog owner’s failure to properly restrain his or her dog, Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury attorney, Shawn Howard, may be able to assist you in recovering compensation. Shawn has been admitted to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his work in the field of wrongful death. If you would like to speak with Shawn, you can call him directly at 919.480.8526 or use the Maginnis Law contact page.