Articles Posted in animal bite

When a 13-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after he was attacked by a pit bull, his mother sought to hold several parties accountable. One of those was her landlord. The owner of the dog was both a tenant of the same rental property, as well as an employee who worked as an on-call maintenance and property management services worker. pit bull

This unique situation, weighed recently by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, meant that claims against the landlord could be predicated on two separate legal theories: Premises liability and vicarious liability/ respondeat superior. Premises liability refers to the duty of a property owner/ manager to ensure the site is reasonably safe for those who are there lawfully. Landlords owe a duty of care to both tenants and visitors. Vicarious liability with regard to the employer-employer relationship is predicated by the doctrine of respondeat superior, which is Latin for “let the master answer.” It holds that employers may be liable for the negligent actions of their employees – even if the employer wasn’t personally negligent.

In this case, plaintiff lived in her apartment with her 13-year-old son, who was invited by his neighbor’s girlfriend’s daughter to come swim in the neighbor’s pool. That neighbor was also the maintenance worker employed by the landlord. Landlord was reportedly aware his employee/ tenant kept a dog, but had no reason to believe the dog was dangerous. When the two young teens went into the fenced back yard where the pool was located, the employee/ tenant exited his rear door to the back yard, alongside his dog.  Continue reading

When it comes to dog bites and other animal attacks, North Carolina follows a theory of strict liability. What this means is that it does not matter whether the dog owner or controller used reasonable care to prevent the dog from injuring someone else. It also does not matter whether the dog had shown any prior evidence of violent

However, claims for negligence require plaintiff to prove the dog owner failed to act with reasonable care.

In some cases, it’s not even necessary to prove the dog bit the other person. For example, if the dog lunges at someone and the person falls and is injured, that person may seek to hold the dog owner liable for damages, even if the dog never actually bit the person or otherwise came in contact with them. Continue reading

Most people equate dog-related injuries with a bite. But the law in South Carolina – and in several other states – allows people to seek compensation for dog-related injuries that may be caused when a dog bites or “otherwise attacks” another

South Carolina Code of Laws section 47-3-110 states such damages may be sought when that “attack” occurred in a public place or in a public place at which plaintiff was lawfully and so long as the person injured didn’t provoke the dog. Our state follows the legal principle of strict liability when it comes to dog bites, meaning it doesn’t matter whether the owner knew or should have known the dog would bite or attack.

In the recent case of Grammer v. Lucking, the Nebraska Supreme Court grappled with this issue of whether a person could seek damages for a dog-related injury, even when the dogs in question never actually bit the plaintiff.  Continue reading

In North Carolina, dog bite injuries occur much more frequently than one might expect. One of the main reasons for dog or other animal bite cases is due to owners’ negligence in keeping others safe from dangerous animals.

dog-eat-dog-22-1271302-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from the Fayetteville Observer, Cumberland County commissioners gave preliminary approval to a new civil ordinance, which will require owners of a dog that bites someone severe enough to require medical attention to pay a fine of $500. This law passed six to one.

The sole county commissioner who voted in opposition to the new dog bite ordinance said he was concerned with one provision of the new law, which gives the director of Cumberland County Animal Control authority to revoke a dog owner’s permit to own a dog immediately, as opposed to suspending the permit pending a hearing to be held within 30 days of an alleged violation. While dog owners accused of a violation will still be given an opportunity to appeal the revocation, he fears this still constitutes a due process violation.
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Olier v. Bailey, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Mississippi, involved plaintiff who was injured when she was chased and attacked by defendant’s domestic goose.

Court records indicate plaintiff and defendant met though a gardener’s forum on the Internet. On the day of the incident, plaintiff went to defendant’s home to see some of her plants. Plaintiff had a sign warning people to beware of “attack geese” displayed in her yard. In addition to this warning sign, defendant allegedly told plaintiff she kept geese on her property. Defendant also had placed a row of five-gallon plastic buckets of water along the edge of her porch. These buckets served two purposes. They provided drinking water for the geese, and kept them from walking on the porch.

geese.jpgPlaintiff was trying to see a banana plant, which was in bloom, and walked past the water buckets. When she stepped over one of the buckets, a goose squawked at plaintiff. Plaintiff testified the large goose reached its neck forward in an apparent attempt to bite her. At this point, plaintiff got back on the porch. Defendant allegedly told plaintiff geese would not attack if she was present, and handed plaintiff a bamboo pole to keep the birds away from her.

When the two women were in the yard, defendant tried to lead the geese away from plaintiff, but they still approached her. She decided the bamboo pole was not going to help keep the goose away and dropped it on the ground. One of the geese bit plaintiff in the crotch and plaintiff turned to run away from the geese. When she turned to run, she tripped over a water bucket, which caused her to fall and break her arm.
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When dogs cause injuries to people, it’s clear their owners can be held liable for injuries, usually through homeowners’ insurance claims.
But what if they are renters? Charlotte dog bite injury lawyers know the owners of the dog can still be held liable, and it’s possible their landlord may be held liable as well.

However, as the recent New York Court of Appeals case of Stephens v. Covington shows, the circumstances under which a landlord can be held liable are narrower than the negligence theory applied to the owner.
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While we consider dog to be man’s best friend, it’s important to remember that dogs are not four-legged humans. Their methods of communication are different than ours — and especially of our children’s.

Dogs speak mainly through body language, which can be oftentimes overlooked or misunderstood by our youngest family members. It’s important that we talk with our youngsters and make sure they understand these movements and what they mean. Misunderstandings can lead to accidents, injuries and even fatalities.
Our Greensboro dog bite injury attorneys understand it’s important that our children understand how a pups thinks, how they’re provoked and how to stay safe around them. One of the best ways you can do this is to set a good example. Many times, children with mimic how their parents act with dogs, just as they mimic everything around them.

He are some simple safety tips for your child:

-Never leave your child alone with a dog. Always make sure they’re properly supervised. Supervision means being watched, not just standing in the same room.

-Make sure children know never to approach a dog that they do not know.

-Make sure there is somewhere your dog can go to get away from your child. This can help to relieve tension.

-Make sure children don’t play with dogs while they’re sleeping, eating or nursing.

-Before playing with a dog, make sure that you allow them to sniff you. This is how dogs get acquainted with who you are.

-Don’t expect children under the age of 6 to be responsible for a pet or to have a full understanding of the risks involved in handling a dog.

According to the American Humane Association, there are more than 4.5 million dog bites that happen every year in the U.S. Close to 1 million of those bites require medical care. More than 90 percent of fatal dog bite accidents involve male dogs, close to 95 percent of them which weren’t neutered. About 25 percent of all fatal dog bite attacks involve dogs that were chained at the time of the attack. More than 70 percent of these bites happen to a victim’s extremities, like the hands, feet, legs and arms. In a good majority of all recorded dog bite accidents, the victim was bitten on their own property and even knew the dog that bit them.

These aren’t cheap accidents either. According to the most recent statistics, the insurance industry dishes our more than $1 billion in these kinds of claims each and every year.

What’s worse is that about half of all of the recorded accidents occurred to those who were under the age of 12. More than 80 percent of the dog bites that were treated in the emergency room were for children under the age of 15. Of all the reported fatalities from these incidents, about 70 percent were children under the age of 10.

Make sure you’re keeping the conversation going about dog safety with your children. Make sure they understand how dogs act and what their movements mean. Understanding is the key factor in helping to prevent these attacks.
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Dogs are more dangerous than you think. As a matter of fact, recent statistics from State Farm Insurance show it paid out nearly $110 million for nearly 4,000 dog bite claims in just 2011, according the Mansfield News-Journal.

And that’s just that one insurance company. You can imagine what the total payout for these injuries were – A LOT! Loretta Worters, a spokesman for the insurance company, estimates that insurance companies nationwide dished out nearly $500 million throughout 2011 for dog-bite injuries in Asheville and elsewhere.
In 2010, State Farm paid out only about $90 million for these claims. Experts are trying to determine the reason for the increase. Every year, more than 4 million people are bitten by dogs. About half of these victims are children. Nearly 1 million of these victims had to seek medical attention following these accidents. To make matters even worse, nearly 20 die every year from dog bite injuries.

Our Asheville dog bite attorneys understand that some are at higher risks for these accidents than others. Children between the ages of 5- and 9-years-old and Postal Service workers are two of those groups. For just Postal Service workers, more than $1 million was dished out for these injuries. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can attack. Even the calmest of dogs can snap and can attack. It’s important to practice caution around all dogs, even the ones you know. Many dog bite accidents happen when people are bitten by familiar pups.

For these reasons, the third full week in the month of May is always used as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. During this time, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Postal Service and State Farm release various dog bite statistics and launch a number of dog bite-awareness campaigns to promote dog safety.

The average cost in 2011 for one is these injuries was nearly $29,000, said Martinez.

In the state of North Carolina, a dog owner faces misdemeanor penalties if a dangerous dog attacks someone and causes physical injuries that require medical attention or treatment in excess of $100. Owners also face strict liability in civil damages for any injuries or property damage the dog inflicts upon a person, another animal or a person’s property. If someone suffers from a dog bite injury and requires medical treatment, they’re required to report it to a health director and the dog must be confined for ten consecutive days for monitoring purposes.

A Dangerous Dog:

-A dog that, without provocation, inflicts serious injury or kills someone.

-A dog that has been determined by a Board by the county or municipal authority responsible for animal control to be dangerous because the dog has previously engaged in one or more of the behaviors.

-A dog that has been harbored or owned for any reasons pertaining to dog fighting. Any dog that has been trained to fight will be considered dangerous.
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A man in Henderson County has been forced to surrender his $50,000 collection of exotic reptiles – including poisonous snakes – in a move authorities hope will reduce the risk of animal bites in North Carolina.


Our Asheville animal bite attorneys applaud the actions of authorities, as this was clearly a serious injury waiting to happen.

The 51-year-old man was reported to have kept several dozen poisonous snakes and lizards in his mobile home.

It’s unclear how long the man had the snakes stashed, but law enforcement didn’t find out about it until the man was bitten by one of his own snakes and rushed to the hospital. That prompted an investigation by police, who found the reptiles packed into plastic containers throughout the man’s residence.

His attorney told The Associated Press that the animals – which included Gila monsters and vipers – weren’t a threat because they were stored safely inside his dwelling.

Law enforcement disagreed, and the animals were confiscated.

This case is especially troublesome when considering that North Carolina residents are more likely than anyone else in the country to be bitten by snakes. In fact, snake bites in this state are ranked at five times the national average, according to Chapter 14, Article 55, which clearly governs the possession of venomous reptiles, like the one owned by the Henderson County man. In his case, he was convicted of charges including possession of dangerous animals and failure to properly label containers of venomous snakes – both misdemeanors.

The snakes were sent to the state’s museum of natural sciences in Raleigh.

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by an exotic reptile or other animal in Asheville or anywhere in North Carolina, it’s critical that you immediately contact an experienced attorney.
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