Dog Attack Results in Death of a Sheriff’s Deputy and Injuries to an 8-Year-Old

Police are currently investigating a dog attack that caused the death of a sheriff’s deputy. The same attack caused injuries to the deputy’s son. When police arrived at the scene, they found two people with dog bite injuries. The woman died at the scene, and the child was treated at the hospital. The boy went door-to-door to neighbors after he was bitten, asking for help for him and his mother.

Officers who arrived had to shoot the dog. The dog who attacked the child and his mother did not belong to them. A man at the scene stated that the dogs belonged to him and his girlfriend. Investigators found that animal care had been called to the home a few days prior due to two loose and aggressive dogs. Law enforcement officers reported finding two dogs in front of the home where the incident occurred. They also found a third dog in the backyard and a broken fence.

What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Dog Attack in North Carolina

Unfortunately, dog bite incidents like the one discussed above are far too common. Every year, millions of people become injured in dog bite incidents, some of which are fatal. When dog owners fail to use reasonable care to restrain their dogs, especially when they know they are violent, devastating dog bites can occur. Younger children are at a higher risk for dog bite injuries, but anyone attacked is at risk of developing rabies, a severe infection, or tetanus. Knowing what steps to take after a dog bite incident can help you protect yourself and your rights.

Seek Medical Attention

If a dog or someone you know has attacked you, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. The wound must be attended to by a medical professional quickly. Even if the wound is not bleeding profusely, obtaining medical care is still essential as it can help avoid infection. For example, if the victim has not received a tetanus shot in the past five years, they will likely need a shot to prevent tetanus.

Contact Your Local Animal Control Agency

It is wise to contact your local animal control office to report the incident. The dog will often need to be quarantined and potentially euthanized. The dog may or may not have been vaccinated against rabies. If not, the dog could continue threatening other animals and people in the area. If you know the dog’s owner, you may want to contact the owner to obtain his or her contact information. Victims should wait and allow the authorities to take the next step if the owner is unreachable or unwilling to discuss the pet.

Strict Liability for Dog Bites in North Carolina

North Carolina has a strict liability rule for dog bites. Injured plaintiffs do not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent in recovering compensation. Instead, the owner is liable whether or not they used reasonable care to prevent the dog from harming someone. In other words, in North Carolina, the dog owner is responsible for the dog’s action even when there is no history of aggressive behavior on the part of the dog. There are a few exceptions to this general rule. The animal’s owner might not be strictly liable in the following cases:

  • The dog was an on-duty police or military dog
  • The victim was trespassing on private property and was not legally on the premises
  • The dog was securely confined when the victim was bitten
  • The dog was protecting its owner from being attacked

North Carolina also follows the “one bite rule,” in which the owner is not liable if a dog has never been vicious or dangerous before. However, the one-bite rule does not apply if the dog was running loose at night without the owner, the dog was potentially dangerous, or the owner was aware the dog could be dangerous.

The Importance of Securing Quality Legal Representation

If a dog has injured you or someone you love, it is crucial that you work with a skilled attorney. Fighting a personal injury can be frustrating and confusing, especially as you try to heal from your bite injuries. If your loved one died in a dog attack, an attorney could help you hold the negligent owner accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation.

There are strict deadlines for filing claims for compensation in North Carolina. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are prepared to help you understand your rights and options and pursue the total and fair amount of compensation you need and deserve. Contact the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation.

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