Dog Bite Attorneys in Winston-Salem
Any dog can bite, regardless of breed, size, age, or gender, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Every year in the U.S., dogs bite more than 4.5 million people, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for their injuries. At least half of dog bite victims are children.
In North Carolina, if you or your child is attacked and injured by a dog, you may be entitled to pursue compensation from the dog’s owner.
North Carolina follows a one-bite rule for dog bites. This means if you were bitten by a dog that has never bitten before, you may not be able to recover compensation.
An exception under the law to the one-bite rules applies when a dog more than six months old is intentionally allowed to run loose at night by its owner.
If you have been bitten by a dog, call Comerford Chilson & Moser at (336) 568-8779.
What If I was Bitten by a Dangerous Dog?
The owner of a dangerous dog can be held strictly liable for any injury or damage the dog inflicts on a person, property, or another animal, as stated in the North Carolina General Statutes at Chapter 67. Strict liability holds defendants liable for the consequences of their actions, regardless of intent or mental state.
Under state law, a dangerous dog is defined as a dog that has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person without provocation; or has been determined by the county or municipal animal control authority to be potentially dangerous.
These considerations include:
- Inflicted a bite on a person that caused broken bones or disfiguring lacerations, or required hospitalization or cosmetic surgery
- Killed or severely injured a domestic animal when not on a property owned or leased by the dog’s owner
- Approached a person in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack when not on the dog owner’s property
What Are the Responsibilities of Dangerous Dog Owners?
Under North Carolina law, owners of dangerous dogs are required to take precautions against attack.
It is unlawful for an owner to:
- Leave a dangerous dog unattended on the owner’s property, unless the dog is kept indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or in another structure designed to restrain the dog; or
- Allow a dangerous dog to go beyond the owner’s property, unless it is muzzled and leashed or otherwise securely restrained and muzzled.
What Types of Injuries Do Dog Bites Cause?
Dogs that attack can cause serious injuries, particularly to younger children.
Dangerous dogs can cause bodily injury that may include:
- Bone fractures
- Tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Blood vessel damage
- Severe lacerations
Dog bites that puncture the skin can lead to serious infections. Severe dog bite injuries may require hospitalization and extensive treatment.
Commercial Vehicle Wreck Resulting in Death
Compensatory damages in a dog bite claim are designed to compensate you for the losses you have suffered. You may be entitled to claim compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional trauma. Additional punitive damages (designed to punish a defendant for wrongdoing) may also be awarded when the defendant’s conduct is particularly outrageous. An owner that allows a dangerous dog to run free may be subject to punitive damages.
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