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Can I Sue Someone if Their Dog Bites Me? 

 Posted on February 24, 2023 in Personal Injury

raleigh dog bite injury lawyerAlthough most dogs are beloved family pets that never harm anyone, dog bites remain a serious problem in North Carolina. Dog attacks can happen in the blink of an eye, making it difficult to react and know what to do once the attack is over. If you or someone you love has been seriously hurt by a dog, it is important to understand that you may be able to take legal action against the dog’s owner to recover damages for your suffering and medical expenses. Furthermore, taking quick action is often necessary to protect others from the dangerous dog in the future. Read more to learn about dog bites and dangerous dog laws in North Carolina. 

Dog Bite Injuries

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they are also animals that can act in unpredictable ways. In a matter of just a few seconds, a dog can cause serious injuries, especially to small children. Common dog bite injuries include, but are not limited to: 

  • Lacerations to hands, arms, face, and neck
  • Disfiguring cosmetic damage, including scarring
  • Nerve damage 
  • Torn ligaments
  • Serious bleeding
  • Infections
  • Broken or fractured bones 

What is a Dangerous Dog? 

Every state defines “dangerous dog” a little differently, but in North Carolina, a dangerous dog is one that has already, without provocation, seriously hurt or killed someone else. Furthermore, dogs used for dog fighting or those simply trained for dog fighting can be designated a dangerous dog, whether or not they have already attacked someone. A “potentially dangerous dog” is a dog that has injured someone badly enough to require hospitalization or cosmetic surgery, one that has seriously injured or killed another animal, or one that has approached someone who is not on the dog owner’s property in a way that appears the dog is about to attack. Sometimes even when someone is on the dog owner’s property, but is allowed to be there, premises liability laws can hold the dog owner responsible for a dog attack. Whether a dog has been designated a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog can affect a dog owner’s liability. 

Although there can be exceptions, usually once a dog has bitten or attacked someone unprovoked, the owner is liable in the future for any bites or attacks by their dog. This places a significant responsibility on the owner to restrain the dog and to make sure it never has the opportunity or ability to attack someone. If it does, the dog owner can be sued. However, there are other circumstances under which a dog’s owner can be sued, even if the dog was not designated a dangerous dog, so it is important to speak with an attorney who can examine the specific facts in your case. 

Call a Raleigh, North Carolina Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Being bitten by a dog can be scary and you may be reluctant to hold the dog’s owner responsible, especially if it is a friend or family member. But in addition to the potential for recovering necessary damages to help you pay for your own injuries, you may save someone from serious injury or death in the future by taking action now. Call Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC today at 1-844-YO-PELEO to schedule a free consultation with a Wake County, NC dog bite injury attorney and learn more about your options. 






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