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Durham Dog Bite Attorneys

Exploring the scenic trails of Eno River State Park or simply strolling through the charming streets of your Durham neighborhood is always a delight. It’s the perfect backdrop to enjoy quality time with your pet in our beautiful climate.

However, even in such an idyllic setting, unexpected incidents like dog bites can occur, which might lead to severe medical and legal complications. If you or someone close to you experience a dog bite or attack, know you’re not alone. You can receive compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

Contact the friendly and knowledgeable team at Riddle & Brantley in Durham, North Carolina. Our experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in Durham here to discuss your situation and help you understand your legal options.

Why Choose Our Skilled Durham Dog Bite Attorney?

Dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite can be a real headache, what with all the legal stuff to figure out on top of the physical and emotional toll it takes. This is where having a sharp dog bite lawyer from Riddle & Brantley makes all the difference.

Our crew knows the ins and outs of North Carolina’s dog bite laws like the back of their hand, boasting a pretty impressive track record of winning cases. We’re all about diving deep to collect evidence, chat up witnesses, and put together a rock-solid case for you. Our end game? Making sure you get every penny you’re owed for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other losses.

Picking the right lawyer is super important for dog bite cases, and that’s where Riddle & Brantley really shines in Durham.

Here’s the rundown on why we should be your go-to:

  • Experience: We’re not newbies. With more than thirty years in the game, we’ve seen it all and won a lot, which means we know exactly how to navigate the legal maze in Durham.
  • Compassion: We get it. Dog bites can throw your life into chaos, affecting you and your loved ones on all levels. We’re here with a sympathetic ear and the support you need every step of the way.
  • Resources: From medical experts to sleuthing investigators, we’ve got a whole arsenal of pros ready to strengthen your case.
  • Results: We’re talking big wins and hefty compensations that have helped countless folks get back on their feet after a dog bite. (See disclaimer below.)

Why Riddle & Brantley Is a Great Choice

Choosing us for your dog bite case means setting yourself up for success. We leave no stone unturned, from digging into the incident’s details to pulling together all the evidence and talking to key witnesses. We’ll even bring in the experts if we have to, all to make your case as strong as possible.

Everyone’s situation is unique, so we tailor our approach to fit you just right. Our knowledge of dog bite laws is top-notch, and we’ll pull out all the stops to defend your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

The Personal Toll of a Dog Bite

Dog bites aren’t just about the physical marks they leave; they can deeply affect your life in many ways. From serious injuries like deep cuts, broken bones, and scars that might stick around, dealing with these injuries often means going through a lot of medical care—think surgeries, physical therapy, and ongoing treatments to get back on your feet.

But the journey doesn’t stop with physical healing. The impact of a dog bite goes beyond skin deep. It’s common for people who’ve been through such a scary experience to feel a lasting fear of dogs or to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental and emotional battles are real and tough, and overcoming them might mean seeking out therapy or counseling.

Acknowledging and addressing the visible and invisible effects of dog bites is essential. Healing is about more than just the physical wounds; it’s about caring for your mental and emotional well-being, too.

Durham Dog Bite Laws

In North Carolina, the laws surrounding dog bites operate under a strict liability framework. This framework places accountability on dog owners for any harm their dogs cause through biting or attacking someone, irrespective of the owner’s awareness of the dog’s propensity for aggression.

This liability does not apply in all circumstances, for instance, if the injured party was trespassing or had incited the dog. To be eligible for compensation following a dog bite incident, the injured party must demonstrate that:

  • They were bitten or attacked by the dog.
  • They were legally present at the location of the incident.
  • They did not provoke the dog into attacking.
  • They incurred injuries due to the dog bite.

Understanding and fulfilling these criteria are essential steps toward securing compensation for victims of dog bites in North Carolina.

Why You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

It’s not uncommon for folks who’ve experienced dog bites to think about handling their legal claims all by themselves. But taking on insurance companies and finding your way through the legal maze without a pro by your side can be really overwhelming, and you might end up with less compensation than you’re truly entitled to.

When you bring a Durham dog bite lawyer from Riddle & Brantley on board, you’re giving yourself a major advantage. We’re well-versed in the tricks of the trade that insurance companies might try to pull, and we’re not afraid to fight tooth and nail to ensure you get the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries and any other losses.

Dunbar Bite Scale

The Dunbar Dog Bite Scale is a handy tool that sorts dog bites into six categories based on how serious the injury is and the dog’s actions. This scale is super helpful for getting a clear picture of a bite situation so we can handle it the right way.

Let’s break down what each level means:

  • Level 1 – Aggressive Behavior: Here, the dog might growl, snap, or lunge without actually making contact. It’s all bark and no bite, but it’s a sign the dog feels threatened or scared.
  • Level 2 – Minor Injury: The dog makes contact but only causes slight harm. Think scratches or shallow bites that don’t need a doctor’s visit.
  • Level 3 – Superficial Bite: This time, the bite breaks the skin and could lead to bruising or puncture wounds that might need some medical attention, though the injuries aren’t usually too bad.
  • Level 4 – Multiple Bites: Things get more serious here, with the dog delivering multiple bites, deeper wounds, and more severe bruising. A trip to the doctor is definitely in order.
  • Level 5 – Maiming: The injuries are grave, potentially resulting in the loss of a limb or severe tissue damage. These injuries demand extensive medical care.
  • Level 6 – Fatality: The most tragic outcome, where the bite leads to the victim’s death.

Understanding these levels helps us figure out the next steps, whether legal action or working on behavior changes for the dog.

Proving Fault and Negligence

Getting to the bottom of who’s at fault and proving negligence plays a huge part in dog bite cases. It’s all about showing that the dog’s owner didn’t do their part in keeping their pet under control, and that’s why you ended up getting hurt.

Negligence can look like a few different things – maybe the dog was wandering around without a leash, wasn’t held back properly, or maybe the owner didn’t give a heads-up about their dog’s not-so-friendly side.

Our team of savvy lawyers will dive deep into the details of your situation, collecting all the evidence we need to make a solid case for fault and negligence.

What You Need

To amp up the strength of your dog bite claim, collecting and keeping all the proof you can is key. Here’s what you’ll need to lay a solid foundation for your case:

  • Medical records: These are gold for showing just how serious your injuries are and the kind of treatment you’ve had to undergo. It paints a clear picture of the impact on your life.
  • Photographs: Snap some shots of your injuries, where the bite happened, and anything that points to negligence, like a busted fence or missing “Beware of Dog” signs.
  • Witness statements: If anyone saw the bite go down or was around when it happened, their accounts could bolster your claim.
  • Veterinary records: These can be a window into the dog’s past behavior. If this wasn’t their first rodeo showing aggression or biting someone, those records can help prove it wasn’t just a one-off.
  • Police reports: If the cops showed up, grabbing a copy of their report can add an official layer to your story.

Teaming up with our seasoned Durham dog bite attorneys armed with this kind of evidence, you’re setting yourself up for a stronger case and a better shot at getting the compensation you deserve.

Compensation in Dog Bite Cases

If a dog attacked you in Durham, you may recover compensation for:

  1. Medical expenses: This includes emergency medical treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, medication, and future medical costs related to your injuries.
  2. Lost income: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, including future lost earning capacity.
  3. Pain and suffering: Dog bites can cause significant physical and emotional pain. Compensation for pain and suffering aims to provide financial relief for the distress you’ve endured.
  4. Emotional distress: If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or PTSD because of the dog bite, you may be eligible for compensation for emotional distress.
  5. Property damage: If your personal belongings, such as clothing or accessories, were damaged during the dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repair or replacement.

Our experienced Durham dog bite lawyers will assess the full extent of your damages and get the maximum compensation after an injury.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites in Durham

There is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a dog bite lawsuit in North Carolina. You have three years from the date of the dog bite to file a claim, in most cases, but it’s best to consult with a Durham dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss any critical deadlines.

The Claims Process

Stepping through the legal hoops after a dog bite can feel like a giant maze, especially when you’re already dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath. The claims process has quite a few steps to it, but teaming up with a savvy Durham dog bite lawyer can really tip the scales in your favor.

Kicking off your claim starts with rounding up all the evidence you can. We’re talking medical records, photos of your injuries, statements from anyone who saw what happened, and any other bits of info that back up your story. At Riddle & Brantley, we’ve got a crew of sharp investigators ready to help snag all the evidence needed to beef up your claim.

With your evidence in hand, the next move is to build a solid case by pinning down liability. This part is all about showing that the dog’s owner dropped the ball, maybe by ignoring leash laws or not keeping their pet properly contained.

Our team at Riddle & Brantley is pretty seasoned in dog bite cases and has all the know-how to line up the proof that the dog owner was at fault.

Then, it’s time to dive into negotiations with the insurance company. These guys usually try to play hardball to keep their payouts low, but having a clued-up Greenville dog bite lawyer in your corner evens things out. We’re here to champion your rights and chase down every cent you’re owed for your injuries, any medical bills, lost earnings, and for the pain and hassle you’ve been through.

How Much is My Claim Worth?

Wondering about the worth of your dog bite claim is totally natural. Figuring out its value, though, can get pretty intricate since it leans on a bunch of different factors.

We’re talking about how serious your injuries are, your medical bills, any wages you lost out on, the pain and suffering you’ve been through, and if you’re staring down any long-term or permanent issues because of the bite.

In Durham, the laws around dog bites are designed to look out for folks like you, making sure you get a fair shake when it comes to compensation. Bringing a seasoned Greenville dog bite lawyer like the folks at Riddle & Brantley onto your team can really up your chances of landing the compensation you rightly deserve.

Remember, you don’t have to face a dog bite alone. Let our experienced Personal  Injury Lawyer in Durham handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on your recovery. Call us today at (919) 778-9700 for your free consultation and take the first step toward obtaining the justice and compensation you deserve.

Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers

100 E. Parrish St.
Suite 200
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 728-1770

By Appointment Only.

Click here for directions.

Hours of Operation*

Monday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Wednesday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Thursday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday – 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Saturday – 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday – 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM