Dog Bite Injuries

Unfortunately, dog bites and attacks are a relatively common occurrence in North Carolina. The resulting injuries can be extremely severe and often result in expensive medical bills. If you have been injured as result of a dog attack, contact our office to speak with one of the experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our attorneys work tirelessly to provide you with diligent representation and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Dog Bite Cases are unique in that they often turn on whether or not the owner of the dog knew that the dog was dangerous, or if the dog was roaming in violation of a leash law. As result, if you are involved with a dog attack, it is imperative that you document as much of the circumstances surrounding the attack as possible.

For Dog Bite Victims:

If you have been attacked by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, as well as your pain and suffering. However, it is critical that you act quickly to ensure that your case is successful. Your first steps should include (1) seeking medical attention; (2) reporting the attack to animal control authorities; (3) recording the name, address, and any other information of the dog owner; (4) contacting any witnesses to the attack; (5) photographing the wounds daily both before and after treatment. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to speak with one of Charlotte’s Premier Personal Injury Attorneys who will fight to ensure you receive full compensation for your injury.

For Owners Of Dogs That Attack:

If your dog attacks someone, it is critical that you remain calm and take steps to protect others from further attacks. You should immediately ensure that the victim gets medical attention, then obtain names and contact information for any witnesses. In the meantime, you should secure your dog to prevent additional attacks, and consider taking your dog to a veterinarian hospital if it appears to be suffering from an illness. If your insurance covers such incidents, contact your insurance provider to discuss your coverage. If you are uninsured, or if the attack resulted in injuries beyond your coverage, contact an attorney to discuss your options.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What qualifies as a “dangerous dog” under North Carolina Law?

A: For a dog to qualify as a “dangerous dog” under North Carolina Law, it must have either killed or inflicted severe injury upon a human without provocation or demonstrated multiple dangerous propensities. A dog can also be designated a “potentially dangerous dog” if it has killed or inflicted severe injury upon a domestic animal on another’s property, attempted to attack a human on another’s property, or inflicted a bite on a human that broke the human’s bones or resulted in disfiguring lacerations.

Q: Are there any exceptions to an owner’s liability for dog bites?

A: Yes. Dogs which attack while being used for law enforcement purposes, hunting, or herding may qualify for immunity. Similarly, if dog attacks an individual trespassing on the owner’s property, committing a crime, or abusing the dog, the owner may also be shielded from liability.

Q: Can a dog be killed as result of an attack?

A: Under North Carolina Law, some circumstances provide for a dog to be killed if evidence shows that it is infected with rabies, killing livestock, or has killed a human.

Q: Can you be fined if your dog bites or attacks a human or another animal?

A: Yes. North Carolina Law provides for a series of fines and fees for the failure to properly control a dangerous dog.

Q: Can you be held criminally liable as an owner of an attacking dog?

A: Yes. North Carolina Law provides for criminal liability ranging from a Class 3 Misdemeanor to a Class 1 Misdemeanor for an owner’s failure to take adequate precautions against a dog attack.

Statutory Legal Basis:

The North Carolina Statute that governs dog attacks can be viewed here.