Each year across the United States, over 4 million dog bites occur, and 1 in 5 of those become infected. Whether through the negligence of the owner or a dog escaping a fenced area, a dog bite or attack can result in serious injury and ramifications for the dog’s handler.
Younger children are at a higher risk for dog bites and related injuries, and most of these incidents occur at home. However, anyone who is attacked is at risk for contracting rabies, tetanus, or infection at the wound site. Ultimately, a dog’s owner is responsible for the actions of their pet and claims responsibility in the case of injury to others.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
If you or someone you love have been attacked by a dog, whether one in your neighborhood or at a family member’s or friend’s house, there is action you should take immediately.
- Seek medical attention: If you or someone you know is seriously attacked by a dog, the wound needs to be attended to by a medical professional. Uncontrolled bleeding and fever are two indications that the wound needs a doctor’s attention. If the person who was attacked has not received a tetanus shot in the last 5 years, medical attention is also a good idea.
- Contact local animal control: If the dog involved in the incident is unfamiliar to you, or seems to be acting strangely, making contact with local animal control authorities should be considered. The dog may or may not have been vaccinated against rabies, and if not, could be a threat to other people and animals in the area.
- Speak with the dog’s owner: If it possible, make contact with the dog’s owner to get some information. This may not always be an option; for instance, if the owner is unwilling to have a conversation regarding his or her pet or is unreachable, victims should wait and allow the authorities to take that step.
Dog Bite Laws in North Carolina
According to North Carolina law, most dog bite cases have a negligence standard, which means fault must be shown, or at least knowledge of a dog’s dangerous tendencies, on the part of the owner if liability is to be assumed. The person who has been injured needs to have proof that the owner did not take sufficient care of the dog and that this insufficiency caused harm to someone else. This applies not only to dog bites but to other injuries caused by dogs, as well.
Securing Quality Legal Representation
If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog or suffered a dog bite, you need to secure the services of an experienced and trusted attorney. Fighting a personal injury such as this one can be frustrating and confusing, and you need someone by your side to explain the process and get you the treatment you deserve. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you during this time.