Basics of North Carolina Dog Bites

Attacks by large, aggressive dogs such as Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers can not only cause immediate and serious injury but can also lead to unsightly permanent scarring. If you or one of your children has been injured by a vicious dog, it is important that you seek counsel both to protect your rights and assure that the animal’s owner is held responsible. More often than not, a dog becomes vicious, at least in part, due to the actions or omissions of its owner.

Recovering personal injury compensation following an attack by a Pit Bull Terrier or other vicious dog is not as easy as one might expect. Dog bite laws are different from state to state and even within North Carolina your rights somewhat depend upon local laws. For information regarding dog bites within Raleigh city limits, see our blog regarding Dog Bites and the Raleigh City Code. Setting aside local laws, the basic negligence action arising out a dog bite requires the victim to prove that (1) the dog was dangerous, vicious, mischievous, or ferocious and (2) the owner or keeper knew or should have known of the animal’s vicious propensity, character, and habits. For certain breeds, such as Pit Bull Terriers, the breed along may be sufficient to put the owner on notice of its vicious propensity.

Another important issue in dog bite personal injury actions is whether there is applicable insurance coverage. Most renters or homeowners do not have sufficient funds to pay several thousand dollars for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. As a result, it is important that the victim, or his or her attorney, is able to locate a source of applicable insurance coverage.


If you are able to successfully prove a dog bite claim, the recoverable personal injury compensation starts with medical and pharmaceutical expenses and lost wages. You or your child are also entitled to recover fair compensation for physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering. Dog bites are known to be particularly traumatic and can lead to a lifetime of apprehension or fear when around animals. You may also be entitled to damages for permanent scarring and, in some cases, punitive damages.


The Raleigh law firm of Maginnis Law represents victims of personal injuries throughout the state of North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Apex, and Fayetteville. Our representation includes the victims of serious dog bites. We handle such cases on a contingency basis, which means that you only pay attorneys’ fees when your case is resolved and we have recovered compensation on your behalf. If there is no recovery, you owe no fees. All consultations with the firm’s dog bite attorneys are free of charge.


To speak with a knowledgeable Raleigh dog bite lawyer, call attorney Shawn Howard at 919.480.8526 or attorney Edward Maginnis at 919.526.0450. You may also submit the facts regarding your dog bite injuries to our lawyers using our contact page. We regularly accept cases from Wake, Durham, Orange, Alamance, Johnston, Chatham, and Cumberland Counties.

Be Sociable, Share!

Request a Free Initial Consultation

I would be happy to discuss your issue with you, initially there will not be a charge.

continue reading»

Contact Me

I would love to hear from you. Call me at (919) 526-0450, or click here for a form»