Rutherfordton Dog Bite Lawyers

Tough representation for children and adults bitten by animals in NC

For many Rutherfordton residents, dogs are a “person's best friend.” For many people though, the reality is that dogs do bite. Dog bite injuries can cause disease, puncture wounds, scarring, and even death. In many cases, the owner of the dog knew, or should have known, his/her dog had a propensity to bite.

At Price, Petho & Associates, our team has the experience and resources to help if you need a Rutherfordton dog bite attorney by your side. We do more than just investigate how the dog bite happened. We examine why the dog bit you or a child, and why the owner of the dog should have known that breed of dog, or that particular dog, was dangerous. We work with your doctors to fully understand all the consequences, physical and emotional, of living with your injuries.

How can we help?

What are North Carolina’s dog bite laws?

In some states around the country, jurisdictions operate under a “strict liability” dog bite law, which means that a dog owner will be held liable for any bite injury regardless of whether the dog has bitten anybody in the past. However, North Carolina does not operate under this type of system.

In the state, we operate under a “one bite rule.” This means that dog owners will generally only be held responsible for dog bite injuries if their dog has previously bitten somebody in the past, or if the dog has been labeled a “potentially dangerous” animal. Many breeds of dogs are known to be dangerous. Many owners are aware of complaints about their Fido, Sparky, or Rover.

That being said, dog owners in North Carolina will be held strictly liable for any injuries inflicted by a dog bite if the owner “intentionally, knowingly, and willfully violates” laws regarding dogs running at large in North Carolina.

Why do dog bites happen in Rutherfordton?

Spruce Pets states that some of the reasons dogs bite are:

  • To defend themselves, a puppy, or their territory.
  • If they are frightened or surprised.
  • If they are injured or not feeling OK.

Many dogs who bite have been previously abused.

Children are often victims of dog bites because they fail to appreciate that dogs may bite – especially if a child gets too friendly. Postal workers are at constant risk of being bitten by a dog.

What types of injuries do dog bite victims suffer?

Dog bite injuries can be severe. According to Pet Pedia, “there was a 300% increase in dog attacks during the Covid-19 pandemic.” The information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that approximately 800,000 people seek medical care for dog bites each year across the US. Nearly half of all US households have a dog.

At Price, Petho & Associates, our Rutherfordton premises liability attorneys regularly help clients who sustained the following types of injuries in these cases:

  • Significant blood loss
  • Broken bones in the hands
  • Amputated fingers
  • Severed arteries, veins, muscles, or ligaments
  • Significant lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Infections
  • Diseases

In addition to these traumatic injuries, it is common for dog bite injury victims to sustain significant emotional and psychological trauma because of what happened. This is particularly true for children who are bitten by a dog. Data shows that approximately 50% of all dog bite injuries happen to children.

How do your lawyers advocate for dog bite victims in Rutherfordton?

The “one bite rule” makes dog bite cases a challenge – but far from impossible. Our personal injury lawyers use various strategies to show a dog had a propensity to bite, and that the dog owner was aware of the propensity. These strategies include:

  • Examining the history of ownership of the dog from birth to the date of the bite.
  • Questioning whether there are any records of complaints about the dog by members of the neighborhood, by the police, by local veterinarians, animal control, and other sources.
  • Examining any video surveillance.
  • Questioning the owner about his/her care and treatment of the dog.
  • Reviewing whether any previous lawsuits have been filed.
  • Identifying the breed of the dog and reviewing whether the breed is an indicator of a propensity to bite.

We also speak with physicians who treat dog bite victims to inquire if there is anything about the bite injuries that indicates a propensity to bite.

How long do I have to file a dog bite claim in Rutherfordton?

Personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the bite. Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the bite.

The best course of action is to speak with our experienced Rutherfordton dog bite attorneys as soon as possible. If the dog is dangerous, the owner and the public need to be placed on notice. We need to investigate how the bite occurred while everyone’s memories are fresh, and before any videos are erased or overwritten. It’s also critical that you seek medical help immediately.

How much is my dog bite accident claim worth?

Our Rutherfordton dog bite lawyers demand that responsible owners pay all the damages North Carolina permits including payment for all your (or your child’s):

  • Medical bills – current and future
  • Any lost wages and benefits – current and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium for married victims
  • Loss of life’s pleasures
  • Scarring and disfigurement

In the most egregious cases, we demand punitive damages. In cases where a victim succumbs to his or her injuries, we file wrongful death claims.

Do you have a dog bite lawyer near me?

Our Rutherfordton office is conveniently located at 224 N Main St. Rutherfordton, NC. Our firm also has offices in Charlotte and Rockingham. We meet dog bite victims at their homes or in a hospital when necessary.

Call a Rutherfordton dog bite attorney today

If you or somebody you love has been injured after being bitten by a dog in or around the Rutherfordton area, contact the team at Price, Petho & Associates as soon as possible. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling various types of dog bites and other animal attack claims. We have the resources necessary to fully investigate the claim, stand up to aggressive insurance carriers, and help secure maximum compensation for our clients. When you need a Rutherfordton dog bite injury attorney, please call 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form. The initial consultation is free.