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Many people have dogs, and most people love their dogs and are responsible dog owners, and yet, an estimated five million people are injured as a result of dog bites each year. Dog bites happen for many reasons, but when they are the result of an owner’s negligence, you are entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses.

A dog bite is a personal injury that can cause extreme pain and suffering, and if you or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite, the most important way to protect yourself is to know your rights. Since dog bite laws differ from state to state, it takes an experienced legal professional to keep up with all of the local ordinances relating to dog ownership and liability.

Working with a Southern Pines dog bite lawyer can protect your rights and help ensure that you receive a fair compensation for your losses.

Dog Bite Laws in Southern Pines

NC law defines three categories of recovery for dog bite victims: strict liability, negligence, and negligence per se. Strict liability means a dog’s owner can be held strictly liable if injuries were incurred from “a dangerous dog,” which is defined as a dog that without provocation, killed or inflicted severe injury on a person, is determined by the county or municipal authority to be potentially dangerous, or is a dog owned, trained or kept primarily or in part for dog fighting.

There are four exceptions:

  • Dogs involved in a lawful hunt
  • Dogs used by law enforcement officers to carry out their official duties
  • Dogs working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog on the property of and under the control of its owner or keeper where injury was to a species appropriate to the work of the dog
  • If the person was injured while trespassing, committing or attempting to commit a crime, or was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog

Potentially Dangerous Dogs

Dogs classified as “potentially dangerous dogs” include a dog that:

  • Inflicted a bite on a person, resulting in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations that required hospitalization or cosmetic surgery.
  • Killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal off the owner’s property.
  • Approached a person in a vicious or terrorizing manner with an attitude of attack, when not on the owner’s property.

Under the negligence theory, you do not have to prove the defendant owned the dog, but must prove the defendant was keeping and harboring a dog he knew was vicious. Also, if the owner or keeper violated a statute or local ordinance, you may be eligible to file a claim under the theory of negligence per se, which imposes a duty on dog owners to promote the safety of others.

Finding Out How A Southern Pines Dog Bite Attorney Can Help

A Southern Pines dog bite lawyer can assist you in understanding the many state laws and local ordinances that govern dog bites in the state of North Carolina, as these can be very confusing, and establishing liability is critical, which requires a knowledgeable legal professional.

Your attorney can defend your rights and help ensure that you are adequately compensated for your emotional trauma, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and any other financial losses you have incurred. We are here to give you the legal support you need. Call us today.