While some view dog bites as a comical topic, those who have been seriously hurt find nothing funny about their injuries. Dog attack injuries remain an epidemic that has even resulted in the death of helpless victims.
North Carolina in top 15 states with dog bite claims
While the overall rate of dog bite claims has decreased slightly in recent years, the rate has increased significantly in the state of North Carolina. According to a press release issued by State Farm, residents of North Carolina made 88 dog bite claims and received an aggregate of $1.2 million from State Farm in 2012. The state ranked thirteenth nationally in dog bite claims. This was a significant increase from 2011, when 64 claims were made, costing around $777,000 dollars.
North Carolina law covering dog bites
North Carolina, like a number of other states, generally follows the “one bite” rule, which means that the owner of a dog that has not been previously known to be vicious or dangerous cannot be liable for the actions of that dog if it is involved in an attack. However, a dog owner may be liable for injuries that the dog causes if the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog was likely to cause that kind of injury.
In the case of a so-called “dangerous” dog, North Carolina statutory law states that the owner is strictly liable in civil damages for any injuries or property damage the dog inflicts upon a person, his property, or another animal. A dangerous dog is defined as follows:
- A dog that killed or seriously injured a person without provocation
- A dog that was determined by the relevant county or municipal authority to be potentially dangerous
- A dog that was owned or trained for the purpose of dog fighting
If you or a loved one has been injured in an animal attack, you should seek compensation with the help of a qualified personal injury attorney. The experienced attorneys at Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C. will make sure you understand your rights and options and will assist you with your dog bite claim.