North Carolina dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their pets if they know that the pet is dangerous.
Normally, in order for a dog owner to be held responsible for injuries caused by their dog, it must have exhibited some aggressive behavior, or have bitten or injured someone in the past, putting the owner on notice that the dog is potentially dangerous.
There are some circumstances, however, in which a dog owner will be responsible for injuries even if the dog has not had its “one bite.”
Dog Bites In North Carolina
If a dog over the age of six months is running loose at night and injures someone, the owner is responsible, regardless of whether the dog has shown any aggressive behavior in the past. This does not necessarily mean that the dog was out with its owner and not on a leash – the dog must be at large, and not under its owner’s control. The dog must also be an adult – over six months old. A bite from a puppy under the same circumstances falls under the traditional one bite rule.
A dog can be classified as potentially dangerous even if it has never bitten or acted aggressively toward a person. Dogs that are specifically kept or trained for fighting are automatically considered potentially dangerous, and the owner will be held responsible for injuries caused by the dog. A dog that has seriously injured or killed another domestic animal is also considered potentially dangerous, even if it has never injured or bitten a person.
There is no statewide dangerous breed law in North Carolina, but some localities label certain breeds of dog as potentially dangerous.
Violations Of Local Ordinances
Every city and county in North Carolina has their own animal control ordinances. Some have special rules for certain “dangerous breeds,” or even ban certain breeds altogether. Most have some type of leash law. Violation of local ordinances can cause an owner to be responsible for injuries caused by a pet, even if the pet has not had any history of aggressive or violent behavior.
When Is A Dog Owner Not Responsible For Injuries?
A dog owner will not be held responsible for injuries caused by a dog to a person who is willfully trespassing on the owner’s property. The owner is not responsible for injuries caused by s dog if the dog is being harassed, attacked, or provoked, or if the dog’s owner is being attacked.
North Carolina Dog Bite Attorneys
If you or a family member is bitten or injured by a dog, even a well-known neighborhood pet that has never bitten anyone, do not assume that you have no recourse. Seek the advice of an experienced dog bite attorney. The attorneys at Campbell & Associates have many years of experience handling dog bite cases in North Carolina. In a free, no-obligation consultation, we can let you know whether the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries. Call us today at 704-326-7243.