Articles Posted in Dog Bite Injury

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

A dog bite case is a relatively common example of a personal injury claim. Though the claims may occur with some regulatory, few people understand much about dog bites legally, including how the cases are filed, what the law says and how they ought to be handled. To learn more about dog bite cases in North Carolina, keep reading.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What does the “one-bite rule” mean in NC dog bite cases?”

On May 18, 2015, a four-year-old Conover boy was bitten by his grandparents’ German Shepard. The dog was a trained guard dog who only listened to the command of the child’s grandmother. Unfortunately, the child’s grandmother was in the house at the time of the attack.

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Dog Bite Lawyer in Charlotte North Carolina.jpgWhile dog bites may not grab major newspaper headlines very often, it doesn’t mean they aren’t important to the victims and those insuring the victims. Animals still attack people, and the elderly and young children often serve as the primary victims of such attacks.

According to the CDC, every year there are roughly 4.7 million people who are bitten by dogs. Approximately 800,000 of those dog bites lead to a person seeking medical attention. Most shocking, about 16 people who are bitten by dogs also end up dying each year.

According to recent national data, it appears that dog bites are on the rise. State Farm Insurance paid out a total of $109 million for around 3,800 dog bite claims in 2011. In 2010 the total payout was $90 million for about 3,500 claims. Additionally, the Insurance Information Institute reports higher payouts with an estimation that insurance companies paid out a total of $479 million in 2011 alone. That represents a pretty substantial rise from 2010, when $413 million was paid out due to dog bite claims.

Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are the most vulnerable for such attacks. The second most vulnerable group is the elderly. The third group with the best chance of being attacked by a dog is, perhaps unsurprisingly, mail carriers. Though mailmen may seem very likely to be bitten by a dog, given the image seen on TV and in movies, the fact is that young children are some 900 times more likely to be bitten than a mailman.

When it comes to promoting dog safety for children, the ASPCA says that children should make sure to never do the following things:

• Stare into a dog’s eyes;
• Go up to a chained dog;
• Tease a dog;
• Touch a dog that is sleeping;
• Try to play with a dog that is eating;
• Run or scream if a stray dog comes up.

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Dog.jpgWBTV.com reports that the family of a 5-year-old girl who was mauled to death by a loose pit bull finally received their wrongful death settlement, more than one year after the girl’s horrific death. The attorneys for the family said that Makayala Woodard’s family received a $20,000 wrongful death settlement.

On January 12, 2011, Makayla and her great-grandmother were viciously attacked by their neighbor’s pit bulls. The great-grandmother’s name is Nancy Presson. She suffered serious injuries as she was attempting to pull the dogs off of Makayla. Both victims were taken to the Carolinas Medical Center. Soon after arriving at the hospital, Makayla succumbed to her injuries. Presson was treated for her non-life threatening injuries and then discharged from the hospital.

The owners of the dogs were brought up on criminal charges, but the homeowner’s insurance policy will only pay the $20,000 for the wrongful death settlement. A wrongful death claim exists when a person’s death has been caused by the negligence, wrongful act, or fault of another person. The key to the claim is that if the deceased person had lived, he or she would have been able to sue for his or her injuries. The purpose of the Wrongful Death Act in North Carolina is to give the legal beneficiaries the same financial benefit if the deceased person had not died.

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