Dogs truly are man’s best friend. Many breeds are perfect for our children, and others make great companions at work. While we may think our dogs would never cause harm to anyone, the truth is that all dogs are descendants of wild wolves. That means that in certain circumstances, our dogs will act aggressively, either in self-defense or in defense of their alpha (a.k.a. their owners). When that happens, you or a loved one could suffer severe injuries and, in rare instances, death.
There are approximately 4.7 million dog bites every year, of which about 800,000 result in the need for medical attention. While that may seem like a lot of bites that need medical attention, it’s only 19% of all bites. However, when dog bites are severe enough to warrant medical attention, they can result in deep lacerations, disfigurement, infection, and more.
If a dog has bitten you in either North or South Carolina, you have legal options, especially if that dog belongs to someone. You can hold the dog owner responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional damage, and more. This lawsuit will most likely be against the owner’s home insurance provider, which means the insurance company’s team of lawyers will come to court against you.
Don’t face the legal process alone. At Auger & Auger, we have represented thousands of injury victims over the last 26+ years. We know what it takes to fight the insurance company both in and out of court to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (855) 969-5671 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a dog bite attorney.
Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. In rare instances, they may be trained to fight. More often, dogs bite because they are scared or in a stressful situation, such as being backed into a corner or having a child play with them too roughly.
In addition, if they feel threatened or feel like their puppies or owner is threatened, they may bite or otherwise attack in an attempt to provide protection. Dogs may also bite if they are startled or not feeling well. If the dog in question is a puppy, they may not realize how sharp their teeth are when playing.
All of these situations involve the actions of humans or other animals that push the dog to defend itself. Though some dogs are naturally more aggressive than others, the right training can all but eliminate that behavior. That doesn’t mean, however, that a dog won’t bite unprovoked. No matter the reason for the bite, you may be entitled to compensation if you’re injured by a dog attack.
It’s a common myth that big dogs bite the most often. However, this isn’t the case. Bigger dogs have much stronger jaws, but unless they are trained to be attack or defense dogs, they are usually more docile. However, bigger dogs are more likely to be used for such jobs, making them disproportionately more likely to bite someone. Smaller dogs, on the other hand, feel threatened more often due to their size and are more prone to bite.
In addition, dogs that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to bite than dogs that are fixed.
The dog breeds that are most prone to biting include:
North and South Carolina have different laws regarding dog bites, including who can be held liable and when a lawsuit can be brought forward. South Carolina follows a “strict liability” law regarding dog bites. This means owners can be held liable for injuries, even if the owner didn’t know the dog would bite someone.
However, under South Carolina law, the owner can only be held liable if:
“Otherwise attacked” means you don’t just have to be bitten by a dog to seek compensation. For example, if someone’s big Great Dane comes sprinting across the park and knocks you over, causing fractured bones, you can seek compensation.
Unlike South Carolina, under North Carolina law, you must show that the dog that injured you or caused damage to your property was a known “dangerous dog.” A “dangerous dog” is one that:
There is more than one way to be hurt by a dog bite or attack. Here are some examples of potential injuries you could have from a dog bite:
Different Levels Of Dog Bite Severity
Dog bites are classified into six levels. The first two generally don’t result in any significant injury, but the dog’s owner should still be made aware of the incident so they can take steps to correct the behavior. Any kind of biting in dogs should be taken seriously and addressed in training.
Here is a more detailed explanation of the three situations in which a dog will be labeled a “dangerous dog” under North Carolina statutes:
It is often difficult to tell whether the owner is the responsible party or not, so your best option is to check with a dog bite lawyer. However, here are a few exceptions in which the owner will usually avoid liability for the dog attack:
Bites are not the only way dogs can cause harm, although they are probably the most common. As mentioned above, dogs can do considerable damage if they jump on you and knock you over. Broken bones, lacerations, and damage to any property you might be carrying are all potential injuries. There may also be other, less common situations where a dog harms a person. If you’re unsure who is responsible after an injury involving a dog, talk with a lawyer to learn more about your options.
Dog bites in the Carolinas are common and can cause severe injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered major or fatal injuries because of a dog bite, we can help. The dog bite lawyers at Auger & Auger have been helping dog bite victims for over 26 years. We know what needs to be proven to get you the compensation you deserve, and we know what evidence must be shown.
If you’re hesitating because you’re unsure if you can afford our services, don’t! We don’t charge a dime unless we win your case; our payment comes from the compensation we win on your behalf. Call us today at (855) 969-5671 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a dog bite attorney.