A dog bite injury can happen in seconds. You are walking down a street. A dog runs from a neighbor’s yard toward your young child. She is bitten by a dog. Or maybe, you are in a park with your dog. A passerby loses control of his big dog. You are knocked down and your dog is bitten. You are the victim of a dog bite injury. However the attack happens, a dog bite attack can take its toll.
After a dog bite, you will need medical treatment. The county’s animal control officers will investigate. You may have lost wages while you recover from your injuries or attend medical appointments. You may suffer from emotional distress, including nightmares and flashbacks of the event. You may be left with some permanent disability from the injury, or with scarring. Your property may have been damaged. When you have been injured, you often need the assistance of an experienced dog bite attorney to help make you whole again.
A recent case, Smith v. Rorie, shows how seriously dog bite cases are taken by North Carolina juries. The parents of a boy attacked by a pit bull had a hard time finding an attorney willing to take their case. But then an experienced dog bite lawyer represented them. After hearing the evidence at a trial, the jury found that $500,000 was fair compensation for the boy who was mauled by his neighbor’s pit bull. The young boy, now 10, received serious facial injuries in the attack. Years later, he still had the scars from the attack.
The county’s animal rules required pet owners to keep dangerous animals in secure enclosures. But the owners of the dangerous dog kept the animal chained outside, even during bad weather. At the trial of the case, the lawyers showed that the owners had neglected the dog. Because the dog owners did not properly secure the pit bull, both the owners of the dog and their landlord were responsible for damages.
The boy’s dog bite lawyers argued that the owners’ behavior made the dog more dangerous and caused the attack. The pit bull was aggressive, often snapping and growling. An expert testified that pit bulls are known as a dangerous breed.
The Smith case shows what dog bite lawyers do to prove their cases and get compensation for their clients. Because dog owners are liable for injuries caused by their dangerous animals. If a dog owner knows that his dog is aggressive and dangerous, the dog owner is on notice that the dog can injure or even kill a person.
Some people think that “the first bite is free,” so a dog owner is not on the hook for a dog who attacks the first time. But if the dog is known to be dangerous, like the dog in the Smith case, the first bite isn’t free. And the landlord could be responsible too.
At Copeley Johnson & Groninger we understand the nature of dog bite cases and do not shy away from fighting on behalf of our clients. If you or a family member has suffered from an injury by a dog, call the dog bite lawyers at Copeley Johnson & Groninger. Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC is committed to protecting the rights of people in dog bite attacks. Contact Valerie Johnson or Leto Copeley today by calling 919-240-4054 or completing this form.
A certified workers’ compensation specialist, Valerie represents state employees, union members, police officers, and all types of North Carolina workers. She also teaches trial skills to third year law students at the University of North Carolina School of Law and has taught workers’ compensation law at Wake Forest University. Listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of workers’ compensation, Valerie was admitted to the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2011.