A dog bite attack can be a very traumatic experience that may cause severe and long-lasting injuries. In 2017, State Farm paid out $1.8 million to settle dog bite claims that occurred in North Carolina. That same year, North Carolina came in at No. 14 in the entire country for dog-related injuries.
What should you do after a dog bite attack?
- Seek Medical Treatment as Soon as Possible. Dog bites cause a serious risk for infection and a doctor should be contacted immediately for treatment. If the bite is serious and you or a loved one are in immediate medical distress, call an ambulance or go to an emergency room or urgent care facility as quickly as possible.
- Identify the Dog That Bit You. You or someone helping you should try to identify the dog that attacked you and determine how the dog’s owner can be located. Finding the owner is important because the owner is the person that is responsible, and the owner’s home insurance carrier is usually the company that pays for your injuries, loss wages, and pain and suffering.
- Report the Attack. Report the dog bite attack to your local county animal control agency or the sheriff’s department.
- Take Photos of your Injuries. Take photographs of all visible injuries, including all wounds and lacerations as soon as possible. Also, take pictures of the dog itself and of the place where the attack occurred.
- Contact a Reputable Law Firm with an Experienced Hickory Dog Bite Lawyer. After a dog attack, you may be facing significant pain, treatments, medical bills, and perhaps pressure from an insurance company to give statements or settle cheaply. Your chances of success increase dramatically through effective investigation and representation by a skilled dog bite attorney. Prompt action by a lawyer with knowledge of North Carolina dog bite law is necessary to preserve evidence, locate witnesses, and identify defendants. Hiring effective legal representation should therefore not be delayed.
- Do Not Give an Insurance Company Information About Your Dog Bite Incident or Injuries, or Sign any Document without Discussing it with Your Attorney. The insurance companies’ first interest is protecting themselves from claims. The information you give them will be used against you to defeat or minimize your claim. Also, do not attempt to settle the case yourself. You may have a right to certain types of compensation for damages you may not know exist, or not know how to assert. The value of your case, for example, increases as you receive treatments and incur expenses. Dog bites in particular often result in scars requiring surgical procedures. Those treatments can be alleged as damages to increase the value of your claim. It is important to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after the dog attack. In North Carolina, effective dog bite lawyers can seek full compensation for all of the damages you are entitled to recover.
You should seek the advice of a dog bite attorney in order to adequately protect your rights. If you are the victim of a dog bite attack, contact our Charlotte and Hickory personal injury attorney today at (888) 314-7127. Our office handles car accident cases throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and New York.