Dog Bites and the Raleigh City Code | Wake County Animal Attack Attorney
North Carolina has a high standard for establishing that the owner of a dog is responsible for injuries caused by the animal. A plaintiff must show “(1) that the animal was dangerous, vicious, mischievous, or ferocious, or one termed in law as possessing a vicious propensity; and (2) that the owner or keeper knew or should have known of the animal’s vicious propensity, character, and habits.” This knowledge can be as a result of the prior behavior of the dog or as a result of its breed, such as a pit bull. Local ordinances can also be used to assist in establishing that the owner negligently. The Raleigh City Code has particularly strong language worth referencing if you have been bitten within Raleigh city limits. If you would like to discuss your claim, and the applicable Raleigh City Code provisions, you may contact the Raleigh dog bite attorneys of Maginnis Law. Our lawyers can assist you in recovering fair compensation and can be reached at 919.480.8526.
Generally, the Raleigh City Code provides that dog owners have a legal duty not to permit or negligently allow their animals to run at large. If they have done so, and their dog subsequently injures someone, the City Code can be used to argue that they breached that legal duty. The breach of a legal duty is an element that must be established in any negligence claim. Using the City Code in this fashion is particularly important if you do not know whether the dog exhibited any previous vicious behavior and it is not a pit bull terrier or other breed known to have vicious propensities.
The City Code also provides that “[i]t shall be unlawful to own, keep, or harbor a public nuisance animal within the city.” A “public nuisance animal” includes, but is not limited to, any animal or group of animals which is repeatedly found at large, is vicious, or by virtue of its type is offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare. It is debatable whether the Code, thus stated, would declare that the keeping of any breed of vicious dog, such as a pit bull terrier, is unlawful, but it is certainly worth arguing in any negligence litigation.
There are a number of additional laws pertaining to tethering of animals and other aspects of dog ownership which can potentially be utilized in litigation. For instance, in a recent case our firm alleged that by violating City Code provisions relating to providing adequate food and water, the defendant rendered its otherwise vicious dog even more so. If you have a claim against a dog owner arising out of a Raleigh dog bite, it is certainly worth reviewing Division 2, Part 12, Chapter 3 of the City Code.
The law firm of Maginnis Law assists people with a variety of personal injury claims, including those related to dog attacks. We offer our assistance on a contingency basis, that is, we do not require any attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a financial recovery on your behalf. All consultations are offered free of charge. We handle cases in the courts of Wake, Durham, Orange, Alamance, Johnston and the surrounding counties.
To speak with a Raleigh dog bite lawyer, call a Maginnis Law attorney at 919.480.8526 or send a confidential email inquiry via our contact page. Our firm regularly assists clients in the greater Triangle area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Garner, Morrisville, Wake Forest, Clayton, and Holly Springs.