The first thing you should do after suffering a dog bite is to seek medical attention. You need to make sure your wounds are properly treated and disinfected and that you are evaluated for more serious complications.
Once you’ve received medical treatment, you should learn more about your legal options. North Carolina has several laws that apply to dog bite injuries and the liability of dog owners for these injuries.
Dangerous Dog Laws
North Carolina has strict liability laws for the owners of dangerous dogs that injure people, property, or other animals. A “dangerous dog” is a dog that has been deemed dangerous by a local or county authority. These local authorities can classify a dog as potentially dangerous after it has bitten a person, seriously injured or killed another animal when not on the owner’s real property, or approached a person in a threatening manner when not on the owner’s property.
This has been referred to as the “One Bite Rule”. Once a dog has bitten someone, the owner is on notice that the animal may be dangerous. Your attorney can explain how this law affects your case and help determine whether the dog in question had been deemed dangerous.
In addition, North Carolina law imposes strict liability on an owner of a dog over six months of age who is allowed to run loose at night, but only if the owner intentionally, willfully, and knowingly violates this law.
Other Dog Bite Injury Issues
Like other personal injury cases, dog bite lawsuits are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. You’ll also need to determine whether any insurance coverage is available for your injuries, such as a homeowner’s policy of the dog owner.
The dog owner also has the ability to present defenses. Some possible defenses to a dog bite case would be that you were willfully trespassing on the owner’s property when the dog bite occurred, or that you provoked the dog before you were bitten. Your attorney can explain how these defenses could impact your case during your consultation.
You have the right to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other damages resulting for a dog bite injury. Set up a consultation with a North Carolina personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Don’t face the insurance company alone. Our personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the insurance claims process and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to schedule a case evaluation.