Dog bites in North Carolina can cause serious consequences like sprains, fractures, scarring, crushed bones, torn muscles, lacerations and emotional trauma. If a dog attacks you and leaves you with these kinds of injuries, you may want to sue the owner for pain and suffering as well as compensation, but is it worth it?
Dog bite laws in North Carolina
North Carolina follows the “one bite rule” when dealing with dog attacks. This means that if a dog bites you but it has never been known to bite anyone before, the court will not hold the owner liable for your injuries.
Furthermore, the state also uses the contributory negligence rule. This means that the owner won’t be held liable for your injuries if you do something that makes the dog bite you.
When can you sue?
If you want to sue for dog bite injuries, you should prove that the owner was negligent by owning a dangerous dog and not taking measures to restrain it. You will be in a better position in court if you can provide evidence showing complaints by neighbors, the dog’s tendency to fight with other dogs or jump on people, threatening behaviors like growling and snapping, and previous bites.
Even if the dog has never been known to bite people before, you can sue if the owner lets the dog run at large at night, if the dog is older than six months, and it was unaccompanied by its owner when it bit you. In addition, if your dog bite injuries are serious, if the dog is known to be dangerous, or if there is a record showing that the dog was trained to fight, then you can sue.
You may be suffering serious losses because of your dog bite injuries, the medical costs to treat them, time off work due to recovery and other damages. It may be worth your time and effort to hold the owner accountable and fight for compensation.