Dogs are known as “man’s best friend,” and for the most part, that is a true statement. But, sometimes dogs are not trained to be sociable around humans. If a dog is in an unfamiliar situation or it feels threatened by people, it may decide to bite. If you have been bitten and injured by a dog, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the owner.
“Dog bite lawsuits can be tricky cases to handle in North Carolina,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Ballantyne personal injury lawyer. “There are several factors that must be met by the plaintiff before the judge can award in their favor.”
This week’s blog is dedicated to outlining the basics of a dog bite lawsuit in North Carolina.
The Basics of NC Dog Bite Law
A person who is bitten by a dog must prove one of two things in order to be eligible for compensation from the responsible party:
- The dog must be considered a “dangerous dog” as outlined by North Carolina law.
- Injury or damage to property must be proven to be caused by the dog.
The law is not limited by bites. The owner of a legally “dangerous dog” can be responsible for other types of injuries. For example, if a dog run towards you, jumps and knocks you over, you may sustain injuries from the fall. You may be eligible for compensation in this instance. It should be noted, this only applies if the dog is considered dangerous.
What is a Dangerous Dog?
A dog that is deemed dangerous by the State of North Carolina is one that:
- Is owned or trained for the purpose of fighting
- Has killed or injured another person without provocation from that person.
- Has been labeled as “potentially dangerous” by a local animal control center.
North Carolina is a Strict Liability State
Strict liability means that, in North Carolina, even if the owner took measures to prevent the dog from injuring others, they are still liable for injuries caused by their dog. This also means that criminal penalties can be placed on owners who are aware that they have a dangerous dog, but fail to leash or confine their dog to their property.
Have You Been Injured By a Dog? Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
If someone’s dog has attacked you, it is important that you get the name of the owner and the medical history of the dog. The medical professional that treats you will want to know if rabies vaccines should be administered.
After you have received care, call a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Thomas D. Bumgardner has years of experience practicing personal injury law in North Carolina and consultations are always free. To set up a meeting to discuss your options, please call (704) 870-4779.