North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

Articles Posted in Dog Bite

It’s rare in many states that a severe dog bite injury on a child – especially if the attack was unprovoked – would not be compensable.
North Carolina’s dog bite laws are spread out over several different statutes.This state does recognize strict liability if:

  • The bite occurred while the dog’s owner intentionally allowed it to violate the state prohibition against running at-large (assuming dog is at least 6-months-old);
  • Dog was kept for purposes of dog fighting;
  • Dog was previously declared a “potentially dangerous dog” due to previous conduct
  • Dog without provocation killed or inflicted serious injury on a human

But even under these circumstances, there may be complexities in the case that are not immediately apparent.

That’s why it’s imperative to consult with an experienced Asheville injury lawyer who can review the circumstances, explain your rights and formulate an effective strategy for pursuing compensation.
Continue reading

Dog bite injuries can be both frightening and painful, sometimes resulting in severe and even lifelong injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites every year, with 800,000 people requiring medical attention. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was more than $18,000.
But when it comes to recovering damages for dog bite injuries in North Carolina, there is a high bar of proof for the injured.

In a general negligence case, a plaintiff must prove a duty of care, a breach of duty, proximately-caused injury and damages.
Continue reading

In 2013, officials reported 32 dog bite-related deaths in the U.S., with more than half of those being children and many others visiting or living temporarily with the dog’s owner when the attack occurred.

This is a serious considerations for all Carolina homeowners, but perhaps particularly so for those inviting a new dog into the home for the holidays.
North Carolina was one of the top two states for the number of dog bite fatalities in 2012, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated some 885,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments each year for dog bites nationwide. Victims incur an estimated $1 billion in medical bills and lost wages, according to the State Farm Times.

Many of these attacks may be covered by homeowners’ insurance. Some insurers won’t insure certain breeds of dogs, while others will decide it on a case-by-case basis. The Insurance Information Institute reports dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid out in 2013, costing nearly $500 million. The average cost per claim that year was $27,900 – a 45 percent increase over the last decade.
Continue reading

Asheville, North Carolina personal injury lawyers know how complex an animal attack case can be. While there is often no question that a defendant’s dog (or other domestic animal) caused harm to the plaintiff, North Carolina law provides three basic ways in which a person can be liable for injuries caused by his or her dog. The first method of proving liability in a dog bite case is under a theory of negligence. Basically, the owner of the dog owed a duty of care to the injured plaintiff, and the dog owner breached his or her duty of care. This is the same negligence standard used in most personal injury cases in the Carolinas.

angry-dog.jpgThe second way in which your dog bite lawyer could prove a case is through the North Carolina dog bite statute (Chapter 67 of the North Carolina Code). If the owner engages in certain dangerous behaviors such as allowing his dogs to run free at night or using a dog unlawfully in a hunt, he may be liable under this statute.

The third way to prove a dog bite case in North Carolina involves the issue of whether the owner of the dog knew or had reason to know that his or her dog had dangerous tendencies. This is what lawyers typically refer to as the “every dog gets one bite rule.” What this means is that if you own a dog, and that dog has never bitten anyone, you should have no reason to know your dog is likely to bite someone. However, once your dog has bitten someone, you should know that your dog has such tendencies, and you must take appropriate precautions to prevent your dog from biting other people. With this theory of proof, your personal injury lawyer must present evidence that the defendant knew or had reason to know that his or her dog was likely to bite another person.
Continue reading

Summer time means taking evening walks, weekends at the beach, and camping trips with the family–and with pets. With more dogs out in public, there is an increased chance of dog bites and animal attacks. This summer, it is best to be aware of the danger of dog bites to protect yourself and your children. If you are a dog owner, you should also be aware of children and other animals that could incite your dog.

A dog bite can cause serious injury, including lacerations puncture wounds, loss of limb, permanent muscle damage, facial scarring, and other lasting injuries. In addition to physical injuries, many victims will suffer from emotional trauma, requiring professional help. Our Charleston child injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting victims and raising awareness to prevent dog bites and injuries.


Children are at an especially high risk of suffering from dog bite injuries and animal attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the 800,000 Americans seeking medical attention each year for dog bites are children. Children are more curious and can be more threatening to animals, especially if their movements are erratic or if they face dogs at eye level.

If you have children, be sure to teach them how to safely approach animals to prevent injury. Many children do not realize how quickly a dog can snap a chain, jump a fence, or break away from an owner. It is best to keep your children safe by keeping them informed. Animal Care and Control advise to teach children to respect animals and their space. Children should never tease a dog, even if they are behind a fence or on a chain. Here are some other tips to prevent animal bites and dog bite attacks.

Children and adults should be cautious about strange dogs. You should always treat pets with respect and approach them with care. Always wait to ask an owner if they can be touched and approach them carefully. Some safety advocates advise allowing a dog to smell your hand before petting it.

Small children should never be left alone with animals. Even dogs without a history of bites can become agitated around children. Dangerous and deadly dog attacks have occurred in only a few months.

Know proper animal defense. You should always avoid unfamiliar dogs, but if you are approached, you should know how to protect yourself and your children. If you are approached, stay still. In most cases the dog will leave once it is able to determine that you are not a threat.

Never run away because dogs could see this as a threat and they are trained to run and chase. You should also never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. In these instances dogs may be irritable and sensitive and any unwanted advances could provoke a bite.

As a dog owner, you also have a duty to prevent bites this summer. Avoid riling up your dog or getting your dog excited. You should always use a leash when bringing your dog in public. Warn children and their parents if your dog is not used to being approached. Keep your dog healthy, keep up with vaccinations and make sure to spay or neuter your pet to prevent bad behavior.
Continue reading

Dogs may be mans best friend, but unfortunately they aren’t always so friendly. The American Humane Association estimates that around 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, approximately 800,000 of which are serious enough that the bite victim needs medical care. These dog bites cause more than $1 billion in insurance claims to be paid out. 1267447_muzzled.jpg

Our Charlotte dog bite lawyers know that the spring and summer season may be the times when people are most at risk of dog bites. Kids and adults tend to spend more time outside during the warm seasons where they may encounter dogs who bite, and dogs may also be more likely to be outdoors once the weather is warm. More interaction with dogs outdoors can potentially up the chances of bite incidents occurring.

Dog bites can cause lasting disfigurement, serious harm and sometimes death, especially when a child is bitten. Avoiding a dog attack and preventing a dog bite from occurring are very important and dog owners and individuals should all be aware of how to stay safe to minimize the risk of dog attacks from occurring.

Safety Tips for Dog Owners
Dog owners are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their dogs and can be held liable if a dog bite or a dog attack occurs. As such, dog owners should do everything possible to ensure their dogs don’t bite. Some tips include:

  • Keeping dogs on a leash at all times. Most areas throughout North Carolina have leash laws or ordinances requiring dogs to be leashed.
  • Ensuring your yard is dog-proof or that your dogs are kept in a secured area when let outdoors. You should never let your dog roam free since your dog could get hurt or hurt someone else.
  • Socializing puppies to new experiences. The best way to prevent a dog bite is to make sure your dog is not aggressive. A great deal of aggression is caused by fear, and you can help to make your dog more comfortable and less prone to fear by providing proper socialization as a puppy.
  • Keeping aggressive dogs contained. A dog that seems to present a bite risk should be kept away from areas where the dog might hurt someone. If the dog has to be in a public area, the use of a muzzle is appropriate.
  • Seeking behavioral training for bad behaviors. If your dog shows aggression or fails to be obedient to you, then you may wish to find a trainer who can help you to solve your problems before something bad happens.

By following these basic safety tips, you can help to ensure that your dog doesn’t hurt anyone.

Safety Tips for Individuals

Even the best trained dog could bite when provoked. As such, everyone has the responsibility to try to keep himself or herself safe from becoming the victim of a dog attack. Tips to do this include:

  • Refraining from approaching dogs you do not know. If you wish to pet or interact with a dog, ask the dog’s owner first.
  • Greeting dogs in a calm manner by holding out your hand to let the dog sniff it first. Avoid approaching dogs you don’t know head-on or overly aggressively as this can be seen as a threat.
  • Supervising your kids when they are interacting with dogs.
  • Leaving animals alone when they are eating and not taking things from dogs such as toys or food.
  • Remaining calm and still. If you shout or try to run away when confronted by a stray dog or a potentially dangerous dog, you can increase the chances of getting hurt since the dog may see you as prey.

While an individual who is bit by a dog can generally hold the dog’s owner accountable depending upon the circumstances, you cannot make a claim against a dog’s owner if you were bit after provoking the dog. Treat dogs with respect and you should hopefully be able to avoid a bite or attack.
Continue reading

We’ve recently been discussing the dangers and the risks for dog bite attacks. But did you know that there are very specific laws in the state of North Carolina that are designed to help to reduce the risks of these kinds of incidents?
If a dog attacks a person or damages property when they’re off of their own property, then the owner of the dog will be held liable for any of the damages, injuries or deaths that were sustained. They’re also liable to cover the costs of suit. If someone owns a dog and allows them to run at large, the owner may be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Our Charlotte dog bite injury lawyers understand that dogs are prohibited from running at large in the state. The bad news about this law is that it’s so restrictive because it only applies during the evening hours and to dogs that are a specific age. This creates a loophole for dog owners and puts everyone at increased risk. In most other states, dog are not allowed to run at large regardless of their age or the time of day. In the state of North Carolina, an owner can only be held liable if you can prove that they were in fact aware that their dog was out running at large. In many cases, without proper representation, the owner is let off of the hook and violations are void.

If the owner is found to be guilty of allowing the pup to run at large, then there can be some strict liability in the case if the dog has a history of this aggressive behavior and has previous injured another person or damaged properly, according to North Carolina dog bite law.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is critical for you to contact and experienced attorney. There are laws protecting you from negligent owners. In some cases, you may be covered by your own homeowner’s insurance policy. An attorney can help you to track down the paperwork you’ll need to back your case, including police reports, medical records and photographs. A lawyer can also help you to collect the items needed to prove the compensation that you deserve, including medical information.

Another thing that is commonly overlooked in these incidents is your credit score. What does your credit score have to do with a dog bite attack? When you can’t afford medical treatment and you’re awaiting compensation for your injuries, an attorney can help you to get creditors to hold off on late notices until you’ve collected compensation.

These kinds of suits can be awfully complicated. Make sure you have experienced legal representation on your side will help ensure your rights are protected should future medical complications arise as a result of a dog attack.
Continue reading

In a recent dog bite incident, a 10-month-old boy was killed. He was killed by his own family’s dog, according to Pilot Online.

Officials with the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Department report that the accident happened off of West Railroad Avenue at roughly 6:00 p.m. When they arrived, they found that the child had already been bitten a number of times. The pup was quarantined and was euthanized without the standard 10-day waiting period, according to Sheriff Eric Tilley.
The child was inside of the family’s home when the attack happened. We recently talked about these accidents on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog.

According to the child’s grandma, she and some of the other children were in the bathroom at the time. When she witnessed the attack, she tried to get the dog away, but was injured in the process. She was also treated for dog bite injuries. The family was not opposed to euthanizing the dog. Previously, an older boy inside that home was bitten by that same dog. The grandmother says she is still surprised by the incident though, saying that the family dog had never showed any kind of aggression toward the young child.

Our Charlotte dog bite injury lawyers understand how severe dog bite attacks can be. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are close to 5 million people who are bitten by man’s best friend each and every year. Safety advocates think that public education can actually help to reduce these risks. This is one reason why the third week in May is always used to host National Dog Bite Prevention Week. But it’s important that we are aware of the risks and the preventative measures year round!

Americans seek medical attention close to 1 million times each year because of dog bite accidents. Half of these Americans are young children. As a matter of fact, there are more than 385,000 people who require treatment in an emergency room every year in these incidents. Close to 20 people die.

Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are the most at risk for a dog bite injury. As a child ages, their risks for one of these incidents decreases. About 70 percent of the injuries sustained by these young individuals happen to the neck or the head region. Boys are typically at higher risks than girls, too.

Before bringing a pup into your home, you’re going to want to do your research. Talk with a professional about the breed of pup that is most suitable for the members of your family. Make sure that you don’t get one that has a history of aggression if you’ve got children in your home. Spend a lot of time with the dog before purchasing or adopting. You want to make sure that you and your family members mesh well with it.
Continue reading

As we recently reported, there were two devastating dog bite incidents in the Carolinas in recent weeks. Both incidents occurred to small children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 4.5 million people who are the victim of a dog bite incident every year. About 20 percent of these victims require medical attention. A large number of them are even forced to undergo reconstructive surgery because of a dog attack.
You’d be surprised to learn about how many children are involved in these incidents. Officials with the CDC report that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more likely that anyone else to suffer a dog bite injury that requires medical attention. Our Asheville injury lawyers understand that owning a dog, or even interacting with other dogs, can lead to a dog bite when you least expect it.

Before bringing home a new dog:

-Make sure you talk with a professional (a professional breeder, an animal behaviorist, a veterinarian) to learn about which breeds of dogs are the best fit for your home.

-Remember that dogs that have a history of aggression are not suitable for homes with children.

-Pay attention to your child’s reactions. If you notice that they’re fearful or apprehensive about your new dog, wait a while before bringing it into your home.

-Make sure you spend an adequate amount of time before bringing a dog into your home. You want to get a thorough feel for the dog’s personality.

-Make sure you get your dog spayed or neutered before bringing it home. This helps to reduce the tendencies for aggression.

-You never want to leave young children home along with your dog.

-Avoid playing aggressively with your dog.

-Teach your dog submissive behaviors.

-Make sure that you properly socialize your dog before bringing it home. Teach the dog submissive behaviors, like rolling over to expose the abdomen and giving up food without growling.

-Seek advice from a professional if you dog starts to display angry or aggressive behaviors.

There are special tips that you should consider when dealing with dogs and children! Review the following if there are young ones in your home!

Dogs and Kids: Safety Tips!

-Teach children never to approach a dog that they don’t know.

-Never run from a dog or scream near one.

-If frightened, don’t move! Act like a tree!

-If you get knocked over by a dog, just roll into a ball and lay down still.

-Never play with a dog unless a parent is watching.

-If you see a dog you don’t know wandering around, tell an adult immediately!

-Avoid making direct eye contact with a dog.

-Never bother a dog when it’s eating, sleeping or taking care of its puppies.

-Always let a dog sniff you before playing with it.

-If you get bitten, tell an adult right away!
Continue reading

A 10-month-old boy was killed recently after he was attacked by the family’s dog.

The recent accident happened just after 6:00 p.m. According to,at the child’s grandparents’ house in Hertford on West Railroad Avenue. Accident reports indicate that the child’s grandma was watching him play on the bed when the attack occurred. Without warning, the dog leaped in and suddenly attacked. The family’s dog was mixed breed and was named “Copper.” The grandmother attempted to restrain the dog and keep it from the young child, but she was unsuccessful.
Our Asheville dog bite lawyers are hesitant to continue on with the accident report as it gets pretty brutal. According to officers, the room was covered in blood. The grandmother said that she was in such shock that she could barely grasp what was going on. The family carried the young child to the front porch of the home where they tried to bandage up the wounds.

Two years prior, the family found Copper wandering the streets and decided that they were going to adopt him. The family reports that the dog attacked one time before, but was always gentle with the baby and with the rest of the family. No one is sure what made the dog attack this time around.

“If you have children and you have animals, make sure you totally understand the relationship you have with your animals and your pets,” said the family. The dog is going to be put down. According to local animal experts, the dog was an American Bulldog/Labrador mix.

This isn’t the only recent dog attack incident. A family in Rock Hill is trying to make sure that a dog that attacked their 10-year-old doesn’t do it to anyone else. This incident happened at the child’s friend’s house on Silverstream Drive. When the family’s front door opened, the dog ran out, jumped on him and started biting, according to

The young boy had to have seven stitches in his cheek. He also suffered from a number of scratches and a bloody nose. The father of the child isn’t happy because Animal Control has yet to seize the dog. Steve Stuber with local Animal Control says that they can’t seize the dog because of where the accident took place.

“If this happens on the dog’s property, it’s considered a provoked attack,” said Stuber.

For the dog to be seized, officers are going to have to prove that the pup is in fact aggressive and dangerous. Stuber says that isn’t likely in this case.

These are tragic cases. Oftentimes it’s a family pet or a pet of a close friend or a neighbor that ends up hurting a child or other family member. An experienced dog bite injury attorney can work in as amicable a manner as possible to file a claim against a homeowner’s insurance. But claims should always be made, even when an injury seems minor. Children may have a particularly difficult time getting over dog bite incidents emotionally, and infection, scaring and other issues can result in medical complications.
Continue reading

Contact Information