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Dog Bites in North Carolina Apartment Complexes and Coverage Through Renter’s Insurance


Many apartment complexes allow tenants to keep dogs, including of dangerous breeds such as pit bulls and rottweilers. If a dog attack occurs in a North Carolina apartment complex, the injured party may have a claim both against the owner and keeper of the dog, as well as the apartment complex itself. The Raleigh attorneys of Maginnis Law are experienced in handling dog bite claims and have handled numerous such cases arising out of bites at apartment complexes and other multi-family housing communities. To speak with our lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, regarding your claim, call the firm at 919.480.8526 or visit our contact page.

The negligence or strict liability claim against the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog is subject to the normal rules of dog bite claims. For more information on pursuing these claims, you can visit our main page on dog bites here. One important thing to know if you or your child has been injured in an apartment complex dog attack case is that there may be insurance coverage when, in other cases, there sometimes is not. Many tenants do not realize this and so will attempt to negotiate a small settlement with the dog owner without the involvement of insurance. Fortunately, though, many apartment complexes now require that tenants purchase renter’s insurance through companies such as Geico, State Farm, and others. Most renters insurance policies in turn provide a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. This means that if the renter’s dog caused you or your family member damage, and the renter can be held legally liable, the insurance company has to pay a settlement or verdict up to the maximum amount of the policy. This can make a huge difference in trying to get your life back on track after a serious attack.

Another interesting aspect of apartment complex dog bite claims is that under certain circumstances, the apartment complex itself can be held liable for your physical harms and financial losses. The seminal case on this subject in North Carolina is Holcomb v. Colonial Associates, L.L.C.. What Holcomb and other cases like it indicate is that if the landlord is aware that his or her tenant is keeping a dangerous dog, and the landlord has a contractual right to remove the dangerous dog, the landlord can be held legally liable if the dog attacks an innocent victim. It is essentially a negligence case because the landlord failed to protect the community when it had a right to do so.

The lawyers at Maginnis Law offer free consultations to all victims of serious dog bites, including those that take place in apartment complexes. If we are able to assist on your case, we will do so on a contingency fee basis – meaning that you owe no attorneys fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation, call attorney T. Shawn Howard at 919.480.8526.

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