Dog owners in North Carolina are strictly liable for dog bites. This means that if a dog causes an injury, the dog owner is liable whether or not they knew that their dog was dangerous. In some other states, dog owners are usually only liable for bites if their dog has bitten before.
Arguments the dog owner can make
A dog owner might not be liable for a dog bite if they can argue that the injured person was at fault. If the injured person did something to intentionally provoke the dog or the dog was defending its owner against a violent attack, the injured person may have no case against the dog owner.
Another argument that dog owners can make after a dog bite is that the injured person was a trespasser on their property. This argument may only work, however, if the injured person was flagrantly trespassing in order to break the law. A door-to-door salesman, for example, may be able to file a personal injury claim if a dog bites them on someone else’s property.
Every situation is different
There are many different factors involved in each dog bite incident. Since dogs have such a strong protective instinct, they can sometimes get provoked by mistake. An injured dog bite victim would not be responsible for provoking a dog if they did so unintentionally. Other factors that can come into play are whether the dog owner warned the victim about their dog. If there were no signs on a property or warnings about the potential danger, the dog owner would likely be liable for bites.