Buncombe County Animal Attack Attorney
A dog bite injury can be terrifying, and the physical and mental effects often are 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.
Our Asheville dog bite injury lawyer can help you navigate this challenging and stressful situation by seeking to ensure that you receive proper compensation.
In and around Asheville, dog bites are a common occurrence. This is because of the high percentage of dog ownership in Western North Carolina and because of our dog-friendly local culture. If you suffered a bite from a dog in Buncombe County, you may be able to recover compensation for a number of losses, including:
- Prior medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Permanent scarring
- Wrongful death.
In addition to compensation for these economic losses, an Asheville dog bite lawyer can also obtain compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in some extreme cases.
How Our Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers in Asheville, NC, Can Help You
A dog owner must know the dog’s nature and must protect the public from the dog if it has a history of biting or acting aggressively. This is true even if the bite happened a long time ago and the animal is a recue animal. North Carolina courts use the one-bite rule, meaning that once a dog bites someone, its owner is on notice and bears automatic liability for subsequent attacks.
However, depending on the case and the circumstances, the dog owner may still be responsible for the injury if it is the animal’s first bite. A skilled and experienced Asheville personal injury lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case and establish what liability the dog owner may have.
Lakota Denton has a proven track record in this area. Our team uses proven methods to obtain lie-changing results in dog bite and other personal injury cases.
Our Dog Attack Lawyer in Asheville Will Represent Your Best Interests Against the Insurance Company
When you suffer an injury in a dog bite incident where you need medical care, the insurance company representing the dog’s owner may contact you soon after the attack. Insurance adjusters often promise to walk you through the process and help you receive the settlement you deserve and discourage you from partnering with an Asheville dog bite lawyer.
Understand, however, that the insurance company is a for-profit entity. The insurance company representative’s primary goal is to maximize profits for the insurer, which means paying as little as possible in claims for victims. The insurance representative works for the insurance company, not for you. On the other hand, our dog bite lawyers in Asheville will work for you alone. We will always have your best interests in mind.
Allow Our Asheville Dog Bite Attorney to Take Over Your Negotiations with the Insurer
Once you hire us, we begin working for you immediately. We start by taking over the negotiations with the insurance company. By our meeting with the insurer on your behalf, you will have more time to focus on your recovery and on your family. You won’t have to field constant calls from the insurer, asking the same questions over and over. Insurance companies may try to trip you up, seeing whether you might change your story slightly about how the dog bite attack occurred.
Our dog bite attorneys level the playing field, using our experience to counteract the insurer’s techniques. Our dog bite lawyers in Asheville will always work toward your best possible settlement.
Allow Our Asheville Dog Bite Lawyer to Work Through Contributory Negligence Situations
North Carolina’s contributory negligence doctrine states that if a person suffered an injury due in part 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 impact whether compensation is possible for injuries. If a court determines that a victim’s own reckless or negligent behavior triggered the dog bite attack, the victim cannot recover 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 against any allegations that your actions directly contributed to the dog bite.
We Regularly Consult with Some of the Best Personal Injury Lawyers, Learning New Techniques
We fight to ensure that our clients receive fair and reasonable treatment from insurance companies. We do not allow insurers to treat our clients disrespectfully. Attorney Lakota Denton consults with some of the best personal injury lawyers in Asheville and around the country, striving to learn cutting-edge theories and trial strategies that increase the value of our clients’ cases. He travels the country attending seminars and conferences with some of the country’s most preeminent trial lawyers, so that his clients can receive the full benefit of his experience and ongoing education.
Common Questions for Our Dog Bite Lawyers in Asheville
When a sudden dog bite turns life upside-down, our Asheville dog bite lawyer is always available to bring some clarity to your situation.
Do I have to have an open wound from a dog bite in order to file a claim?
No. The law in North Carolina requires victims to have a physical injury, not a serious physical injury. This physical injury could also be emotional trauma. A stressful situation, like a dog bite, alters brain chemistry. This imbalance can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms include hypervigilance, depression, anger, and flashbacks.
Which kinds of dogs bite?
Statistically, rottweilers and pit bulls cause most of the serious injury dog bite attacks in North Carolina. Additionally, most dog bite victims are young children. However, any dog can bite anyone at any time. Mostly due to the high infection rate, any bite can cause serious injury.
Many dogs attack people because they feel threatened or because the victim makes a sudden move. These conditions may explain the attack, but they don’t excuse it. Usually, sudden moves and even aggressive teasing are not contributory negligence in North Carolina.
If I’m bitten by a dog, am I automatically able to recover compensation?
Unfortunately, no. An Asheville dog bite lawyer must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Lack of evidence could be an issue in these cases, especially since the victim is usually the only witness. Furthermore, not every owner mistake is a lack of care.
Common defenses in dog bite claims include assumption of the risk, which is a voluntary assumption of a known risk. This defense usually involves a “Beware of Dog” warning sign. Provocation could be a defense as well.
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 an award 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 depends on the severity of the incident. Contributing factors surrounding the dog bite can play a role, too, such as the complexity of your injuries, the presence of witnesses, or pre-existing injuries. Some dog bite claims settle in a few weeks, whereas more serious or contested cases can take months or years to resolve.
Our Asheville Dog Bite Lawyer Begins Working on Your Claim Immediately
Dog attacks and bites are scary situations. You may have no idea that a dangerous dog escaped from its yard. Suddenly, you are in significant pain, leading to missed work and a long recovery. Dog bites are more common than you may think, as the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 4.5 million dog bites occur annually in the United States. About 20% of dog bites result in the victim’s needing medical care and treatment.
If you suffered a bite that resulted in injury, you will have medical costs and potential lost wages. You could be in line to receive compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. For a free consultation to discuss your case and to find out how our experienced Asheville, NC, dog bite attorneys can assist you, call us at 828-333-5996 or go online now.
Lakota R. Denton, P.A. – Asheville Office
36 Orchard St, Asheville, NC 28801