No one ever wants to experience a dog attack. Unfortunately, it can happen even when you're taking the necessary precautions. If you or someone you know is ever the victim of a dog attack, it's important to know what to do afterward in order to ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy. Contact a dog bite lawyer from The Law Offices of John M. McCabe today.
During a traumatic event, it may be difficult to think of what to do next. However, it's important to remain calm and pursue the following steps to ensure your safety.
At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, we understand that the moments following a dog attack are filled with questions, uncertainty, and concerns about your physical and emotional well-being. Having legal knowledge on your side will help ease your worries and ensure that your rights are protected. If you have been injured in a dog attack, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
The state of North Carolina maintains strict liability for at-large dogs or dangerous dogs, which is defined on the North Carolina General Assembly site. In other situations, owner liability is based on negligence.
Strict liability for at-large or dangerous dogs means that the owner will be held liable for any damages the dog caused. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1, a dangerous dog is a dog that has killed or severely injured a person or is determined by an authority that they are potentially dangerous. A potentially dangerous dog is one that has inflicted a bite on a person that resulted in hospitalization, killed or severely injured another domestic animal, or approached a person when not on the owner's property in a vicious manner. Proving one of these criteria may be crucial for your dog bite case.
If the dog owner had prior knowledge of any vicious behavior, you may be able to prove negligence on the owner's behalf.
Unless the dog is considered a dangerous dog, then the one-bite rule may apply. This means that the owner may not be held liable if this is the first time the dog has attacked and does not have a history of being vicious. Speak to a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer to know your rights and options.
Victims of dog attacks may be eligible for compensation for damages caused. Damages may be recovered for:
The specific compensation you can recover will depend on the circumstances of the dog attack, the severity of your injuries, and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Victims have 3 years to file a claim. It's essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Dog attacks can happen suddenly and without warning. Knowing the early warning signs can help you take preventive measures and avoid a potential attack. Here are some common signs that may indicate a dog is feeling agitated or aggressive:
Growling and snarling are clear signals that a dog is unhappy or agitated. Take these vocalizations seriously and keep your distance.
Dogs often bark to communicate, but persistent, aggressive barking can be a sign of agitation or territorial behavior. If a dog's barking becomes intense and defensive, exercise caution.
An agitated dog may exhibit stiff and rigid body language. This includes a tense posture, raised tail, and forward-leaning stance.
Dogs will sometimes display aggressive posturing, such as raising themselves onto their tiptoes, to appear larger and more intimidating.
Dogs can be protective of their possessions, whether it's toys, food, or their sleeping area. Trying to take something from a dog that is guarding it can lead to an attack.
If you are aware that a dog has a history of aggression, either due to past incidents or reports from the owner, exercise extreme caution when approaching or interacting with the dog.
Remember that any dog, regardless of its breed or temperament, can exhibit these signs when feeling threatened or provoked. If you encounter a dog displaying one or more of these signs, the best course of action is to back away slowly and avoid making sudden movements or loud noises.
If you or someone you know is a victim of a dog attack, know you have options. Contact The Law Offices of John M. McCabe for a free consultation and explore your options today.