Animal Attack Attorneys in Burlington, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Surrounding Areas in NC
Not all dogs are cute and cuddly. Some are downright dangerous and aggressive. When a dog bites a person or an animal, the injuries can be considerable. Dog bites can cause deep lacerations, crushed bones, scarring, torn muscles, neurological/psychological damage, infections, and even loss of limbs. These injuries can require extensive, time-consuming treatment.
North Carolina’s “One Bite” Rule
The doctrine of strict liability is applied in North Carolina regarding dog bites when it involves dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs. This means that the owner of an animal that’s either been identified as a dangerous breed or been involved in a dog bite incident is liable for civil damages for any bite or property damage their dog causes.
However, the “one bite” rule means that dog owners aren’t automatically held liable for a dog bite if it’s the first incident. In order to hold the owner liable, it’s necessary to consider the specific factors of the incident. For instance, was the dog running around without a leash or left unattended? The courts will also consider other factors, such as the owner’s knowledge of the animal’s aggressive behaviors, whether the owner facilitated or encouraged an attack, etc.
Contact Smith Giles at (336) 652-5910 to learn more about North Carolina’s “One Bite Rule” and how it relates to your claim.
FAQs About Dog Bite Injuries in North Carolina
What can you do if your neighbor’s dog attacks you?
Document everything! Keep a record of your injuries that includes photographs, medical records, and a personal injury diary. You should also keep a copy of all communications with your neighbor. You can provide this information to your attorney, who can submit these records to the court as evidence of your claim.
Do you need an attorney for a dog bite injury?
North Carolina’s laws are not straightforward when it comes to liability for dog bite injuries. An attorney can help guide you through the nuances of the law and ensure that you are properly represented in your claim.
Does workers’ compensation cover dog bite injuries?
Dog bites are a common risk that landscapers, mail carriers, plumbers, electricians, contractors, and many others face regularly. In North Carolina, workers who suffer a dog bite while on the job may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
Should I file a police report when I suffer a dog bite?
Everyone who suffers a dog bite should file a police report. This creates a formal record of the attack that you can use to support your claim.
Can dog owners face criminal penalties for bites caused by their animal?
In North Carolina, if the cost of treatment exceeds $100, the owner can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If the owner has knowledge of the animal’s aggressive behavior or otherwise contributed to causing the injury, they can be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of $200 and up to 20 days in jail.
What compensation can you pursue in a dog bite injury claim?
Dog bite victims can pursue compensation for lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Are there times when a dog owner is not liable?
There are limited circumstances when dog owners are held blameless. These include when the animal is engaged in a lawful hunt or law enforcement activities, or when the injured party was trespassing.
Contact Smith Giles PLLC at (336) 222-7735 for more about dog bite injuries in North Carolina. Our attorneys will answer your questions and help you determine the best strategies to pursue your claim.