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When is a dog’s owner responsible if it bites a person?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Most people smile immediately when they see a dog. There is a reason that people call these four-legged creatures man’s best friend. They are often enthusiastically affectionate and playful, which means that dogs can lift the spirits of even someone having a terrible day.

Unfortunately, not all dogs are kind and happy animals. Even those that are usually nice may snap and hurt someone else with little warning. Dogs can cause mental trauma, disfiguring wounds, function-limiting injuries and even death.

When is a dog’s owner responsible for the injuries their animal inflicts on another person in North Carolina?

North Carolina usually puts the responsibility on the animal’s owner

In some states, the victims of a dog bite would need to prove that the owner knew the animal was dangerous or that it had attacked a person before. These one-bite rules may leave those hurt by animals without legal recourse.

North Carolina does not have a one-bite rule but rather applies strict liability to animal ownership. Someone who owns the dog should train it and make sure that it doesn’t run free and endanger the public. They will be responsible for the injuries and property damage their animal causes in all but a very few situations.

If the person attacked openly provoked the dog or committed a crime like trespassing immediately prior to the attack, the owner may not be liable for the injuries they suffered then. In most other cases, the animal’s owner will ultimately be responsible.

Understanding premises liability laws and dog owner responsibility rules laws help those injured by a dog in North Carolina.