Anyone who was around an aggressive dog as a child can relate that it is terrifying for something so powerful to be near someone so small. An attack by a dog can cause severe injury, permanent disability or even death in certain cases.
Responsibility for domestic animals is complicated in North Carolina because there is no statewide ordinance or law requiring people to leash their pets. The guidance from Raleigh is for cities and other jurisdictions to legislate the issue on their own.
Dogs who belong to pet owners who don’t walk them on leashes or don’t keep them in fenced in areas can be dangerous for delivery people, children and others who are outside in their communities. It is the obligation of the people who have taken responsibility for animals to protect others from them.
Pet owners in North Carolina are never off the hook, however, as civil statutes make them strictly liable for any harm or damage done by their pets. It may also be a misdemeanor under criminal law to leave a dangerous dog in a position to attack someone, although the county’s animal control board must have already made a determination about the dog’s potential danger.
If someone has been injured by a dog, the victim or the estate of anyone killed by a dog can seek financial damages against the owner under North Carolina law. This can be helpful in a difficult time.
An experienced attorney can review your specific situation and help you decide if a dog bite or attack warrants a civil lawsuit.