Am I due compensation for being bitten by a dog in NC?

Am I due compensation for being bitten by a dog in NC?

Dog bites can be a traumatic experience. Did you know that a dog bite could be considered a viable Personal Injury incident for which you may be due compensation in a personal injury case?

There are applicable Dog Bite Laws in NC. The owner of the dog is not automatically responsible for any injuries that occur because their dog bites someone. In general, NC subscribes to a legal doctrine known as the “One Bite Rule.” This rule is a lot like it rounds, in that if the owner had prior knowledge that the dog was likely to bite or otherwise cause harm, the owner may be held liability for injuries resulting from a bite. Thus, if a dog has bitten in the past or has had aggressive tendencies (preferably that are documented with an animal control report), this would help your claim in proving that the owner of the dog is liable for any resulting injuries from a bite.

There are 3 theories of recovery for a person who has been bitten by a dog in NC as listed below:

1. Strict Liability: The owner of a dog may be held strictly liable for all damages or injuries that were caused by a dog bite if the animal is a “dangerous dog” as defined by N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1. The statute will define in detail what “dangerous” means.
2. Negligence: Even if the owner is not held strictly liable because their dog is considered “dangerous” in NC, a bite victim may recover if the owners was negligent. The injured person must prove (1) that the animal was dangerous, vicious, mischievous, or ferocious or possessing a vicious propensity; and (2) the owner knew or should have known the animal had vicious propensities. Lee v. Rice, 154 N.C. Appl 471 (2002).
3. Negligence Per Se: If the dog owner has violated a statue or local ordinance, a bite victim may also recover under this theory, as the statute or ordinance is typically designed to protect the safety of others. Many State or local ordinances may apply under this theory of recovery.

The above information is only an overview of applicable laws that may provide a framework to consider should you or someone you know become a dog bite victim. Various factors may apply such as the age of the dog and whether the animal was running loose or on their own property. If you or someone you know sustained a dog bite, contact us at 704-370-1212 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney/Owner, Maggie Shankle. We would be happy to review your claim to see how we may be able to help!

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