Legal Considerations of Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in North Carolina

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does the “one-bite rule” mean in NC dog bite cases?”


Anyone who has been attacked by a dog knows that the experience is frightening. While man’s best friend is usually a source of comfort and protection, sometimes a dog loses control and attacks a misperceived threat, such as a mail carrier or guest visiting someone’s home

puppy-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-Dog-Bite-Lawyer-300x200If a dog has injured you in North Carolina, it is essential to understand how the state address injury cases like these. The information below is informational in nature. It is helpful to address specific questions about your case with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer immediately.


NC Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Lawsuits

The ‘term statute of limitations’ refers to the deadline for which you have to file a lawsuit. The time limit to file a dog bite injury lawsuit in North Carolina is three years from the date of the injury. If you do not file your suit by the statute of limitations, it is highly likely that a judge will dismiss your case against a dog’s owner.


Dog Bite Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina General Statutes address legal issues related to dog bites and owner responsibility. These laws are designed to protect both the dog owner as well as protect the public at large. The owner is liable for injuries if his or her dog:

  • Was considered dangerous by NC statutes, and;
  • Caused harm to an individual or personal property

The dog does not have to physically bite you for you to have a valid claim on your hands. For example, if a dog jumps on you and knocks you over, you may have a lawsuit if the fall caused an injury to your body. The most critical qualifier under this claim is that the dog be classified as ‘dangerous.’

North Carolina considers a dog to be dangerous if it:

  • Has previously injured or killed another person without provocation
  • Is owned for purposes of dogfighting
  • Is considered potentially dangerous by local animal control officers

The above information applies to dog bite injury cases from a general standpoint. However, every case is different. The only way to be sure if you have a valid claim is by discussing your case with an attorney licensed to practice in North Carolina.


Owner Liability for Dog Bites in North Carolina

North Carolina is what the law refers to as a strict liability state. Strict liability within the context of dog bite injuries means that the owner is liable for the claim whether or not he or she knew that the dog had a vicious nature. In short, a dog owner cannot defend him or herself in court by saying, “I didn’t know the dog would attack someone.”


Discuss Your Case With an NC Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Speaking with a lawyer may help you gain insight into the outcome of your case. Since recovering maximum financial losses is important for dog bite injury victims, finding the right attorney is one way to accomplish these goals. Your attorney will have the professional training and experience to advocate fiercely on your behalf in court.


Schedule a Consultation with Arnold & Smith, PLLC

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. You can schedule a consultation with one of our Charlotte, NC dog bite injury lawyers today by calling (704) 370-2828. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe, call us at 704-370-2828.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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