Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C. Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C.

Asheville Dog Bite Lawyers

You’re out with your spouse or significant other walking the dog on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. But your pleasant walk turns ugly when a bigger dog gets loose and comes after you and your pup. Injuries are suffered. 

Perhaps you were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. Their dog got a little nasty and bit you.

In either case, there are damages that have been suffered. A lawyer can help you get appropriate compensation. 

Call (828) 383-8414 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Strict Liability for Dog Bites in North Carolina

Those who have suffered from a dog bite have a legal advantage. North Carolina law uses strict liability for these cases. This means the simple fact you were injured is enough to form the basis of a lawsuit. 

Most personal injury cases, by contrast, require that the plaintiff prove that the defendant was negligent. But dog bites are different. Even if the owner of the guilty dog was acting perfectly reasonably, the mere fact the dog bit you means the owner can be liable for your injuries. 

There are exceptions to this rule. Trespassers not protected. You can’t walk on someone’s lawn uninvited, get bitten, and then file a lawsuit under strict liability. The same goes if the injured party antagonized the dog. Let’s say you’re at a cookout and start playing a little too rough with the host’s dog .If the host can prove that your actions incited the dog, then strict liability will not apply. Dogs that work for law enforcement are also protected. 

For the most part though,  if you’re bitten by a dog, you’ll probably have the protection of strict liability and be spared the burden of proving negligence in court .

Proving Causation & Damages

Causation — the fact that the dog bite is what caused your injury — might seem obvious. Causation will likely be straightforward, but other cases can be more complicated. 

Let’s say you're bitten and lost a substantial amount of blood, which in turn led to other medical problems, but you also suffer from hemophilia. The owner of the dog can make the case that your pre-existing condition was the primary cause for the blood loss. 

If a direct connection between the dog bite and your injury is established, you must then show the extent of your damages. Visits to an ER and follow-ups with your doctor certainly qualify as damages, and you can recoup those costs. If the injury caused you to miss work, that lost time can be documented and become eligible for damages. 

A more intangible part of damages is the pain and suffering the injury cost you. Perhaps you’re dealing with some post-traumatic stress when you see dogs. The simple loss of your time has a value as well. We all know the value of time can’t be truly quantified in dollars and cents, but that’s the only means the court has for helping to make you whole. 

Hensley Cloninger & Greer has over 30 years of experience with dog bite cases. We understand how to demonstrate causation and damages, and we fight hard for our clients. Let us help you. 

Call (828) 383-8414 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. 

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