What are our rights if our son was dog bitten while with a summer camp?

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What are our rights if our son was dog bitten while with a summer camp?

The camp did not notify us until we picked him up that evening. They did not get information from whom the dog belonged to or file a report. This took place at a state park. My son had to receive multiple rabie shots. I do feel they should have to pay for the costs,but also what is your opinion as to filing for neglect?

Asked on July 13, 2015 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When your son completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain his medical bills and medical reports.  Your son's personal injury claim filed with the insurance carriers for the camp and state (the state is liable because the incident occurred in a state park) should include these items.  Your son's personal injury claim should also be filed with the dog owner or the dog owner's insurance if there is any applicable insurance.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your son's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If the case is settled with the insurance carriers for the camp and state, and is settled with either the dog owner or the dog owner's insurance carrier (if any), NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit on behalf of your son against the above parties.

The causes of action (claims) in the lawsuit against the various parties would be as follows:

Camp: Negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable camp would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

State: Premises liability because the dog bite occurred in a state park (state-owned land).

Dog owner:  Negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

If the dog does NOT have a history of biting, the dog owner is liable for negligence.

If the dog HAS a history of biting, in addition to a negligence claim, there would also be a strict liability claim.  Strict liability is liability imposed whether or not due care was exercised.

You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because your son is a minor and a minor cannot file a lawsuit himself.

If the case is settled with some, but not all of the parties (camp, state, dog owner), only name the parties with whom the case has NOT settled as defendants in the lawsuit.

If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit on behalf of your son must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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