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Charlotte Law Blog

What Is a “One Bite Rule”?

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Dog Bites on Thursday, October 25, 2018

 

A dog bite can have consequences far beyond just ruining your day. While a dog is referred to as man’s best friend, it is also well equipped to do significant damage. A dog attack can leave you dealing with immense pain. You may even require medical attention, which will cost you financially. You don’t have to face the aftermath alone. A skilled dog bite attorney can help.

North Carolina dog bite laws can vary from county to county, and even city to city. A Charlotte dog bite attorney familiar with dog attacks will be greatly beneficial in knowing how the law applies to your dog bite injuries. If you were attacked by a dog in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, discuss you injuries with Randall & Stump, PLLC as soon as possible. A dedicated attorney will be able to sort through if you’re entitled to compensation, and how much. Call (980) 237-4579, or use the online contact form, to schedule a free initial consultation.

Meaning of the One Bite Rule

Under North Carolina law, dog owners are liable for their dogs’ actions in certain situations. Even if the dog did not actually bite you, you may be able to recover compensation, if you were injured while fleeing the dog. The doctrine of the one bite rule describes a situation where a dog owner is only liable for a bite if their dog has been declared dangerous. This means the owner is not liable for their animal’s first attack. However, that is not generally the rule of law in Charlotte and surrounding areas. In most situations, the dog owner is liable for a dog bite even if it hasn’t bitten in the past.

Establishing a Dog Bite Claim in Charlotte North Carolina

To recover damages for a dog bite you have to show that the dog’s owner was negligent. What qualifies as negligent behavior varies depending on the specifics of your case.

In some situations, the owner must have made sure the security around the dog is proportionate to its aggression. If the dog has not displayed any hostility towards people, it probably doesn’t have to be guarded very closely. If it has exhibited aggressive behavior, the owner’s duty becomes more involved. Some examples of aggressive behavior include:

  • Terrorizing a person somewhere other than the owner’s property;
  • Seriously injuring another animal on the owner’s property;
  • Killing another animal on the owner’s property; and
  • Biting a person and inflicting injury severe enough to warrant plastic surgery or hospitalization.

Exceptions to the One Bite Rule

Charlotte, NC and Mecklenburg County does allow certain exceptions to the one bite rule. If a dog is at least six months old, and the owner allows it to run at large, they may be liable if the dog injures you. For the purpose of the law, an animal is running large if it cannot be recapture without unreasonable effort.

In addition, if a dog has been declared potentially dangerous, the owner is not entitled to one bite protection. A dog can be declared potentially dangerous for showing signs of aggressive behavior. Certain breeds of dog may be considered potentially dangerous in Charlotte and surrounding areas, although this is more controversial.

A Lawyer Can Help You With Your Dog Bite Case

Talking to a lawyer will make it easier to understand dog bite law in Charlotte. Contact Randall & Stump, PLLC if you’re wondering whether you’re entitled to compensation after being injured by a dog. One of our attorneys can make sense of the complexity that is dog bite legislation. You shouldn’t face pain and medical expenses because of someone else’s pet; talk to a Charlotte dog bite lawyer today. Contact us online, or by calling us at (980) 237-4579.