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A dog can make a wonderful pet and can help with home security, with hunting, or simply as a companion. However, with the joy that a dog can bring comes responsibility. Every dog owner must take steps to ensure that their animal does not harm other people or property. People who suffer injuries because of the actions of a dog have the ability to hold the owner responsible for their losses.

Even so, the laws in Rocky Mount that control when a dog owner is liable are complicated. A Rocky Mount dog bite lawyer could help to evaluate the actions of a dog owner, to discover what they knew about the animal, and to help plaintiffs to pursue their claims for their full value. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the legal options available to you.

Rocky Mount Laws Concerning Liability for Dog Bites

Many states now employ statutes that place strict liability on a dog’s owner following an attack. Others still rely on traditional one-bite laws that allow an owner to escape responsibility for a first instance. The laws in Rocky Mount are a complex combination of these two concepts.

The statute that deals with dog owner liability is North Carolina Statute §67-4.4. This law says that a dog’s owner is strictly liable for any damage caused by a “dangerous animal.” As a result, a dog owner may be automatically responsible, but only if a plaintiff can prove that the animal was dangerous.

Proving that a person’s dog is dangerous is a key part of any dog bite case. Evidence of an animal’s dangerousness can include:

  • Past attacks
  • Citations from the city or state showing the animal to be unruly
  • Instances where the dog has caused damage to property or other animals

A Rocky Mount dog bite lawyer could provide more information about the state’s dog bite laws and whether they apply to an individual’s claim.

Identifying Correct Defendants in Dog Bite Cases

It is always possible to hold the owner of the dog liable following an attack that meets the elements of the dog bite statute. However, many plaintiffs would benefit from a further examination of other potential defendants. One common theory that may be available to an injured person is that of premises liability. When the owner of the dog does not own the property where the attack takes place, such as in an apartment, the owner of the building may share liability. If the owner of the building knows that the tenant has a dog with dangerous tendencies and fails to take appropriate actions to provide protection to guests, that building owner may share responsibility.

Dog bite cases may also implicate a homeowner’s insurance company. Many policies provide protection against accidental injuries to guests. If a policy covers dog bites, it may be possible to file a claim against that policy. However, many policies specifically exclude dog bites, and others limit the breeds of dog allowable under the terms of the contract. An attorney in Rocky Mount could help to identify every possible defendant in the search for proper compensation.

Contact a Rocky Mount Dog Bite Attorney Today

Dog bites and other attacks can result in severe injuries. Even smaller dogs have teeth capable of breaking the skin and causing infections. Larger animals can knock a person to the ground, break bones, or tear at muscles. Owners who allow these bites to occur may be liable to provide compensation. It may even be possible to hold a property owner responsible.

A Rocky Mount dog bite lawyer is ready to help you. They can work to investigate the animal’s past and to learn what the owner knew about the dog. Armed with this knowledge, they can take steps to file claims for damages that demand payments for medical bills, emotional traumas, and lost wages. Be sure to schedule a consultation to get started on your claim today.