In 2018, a reported 36 people were killed by dog bites in the United States. This number may sound low. However, it doesn’t include the hundreds of people who are bitten by a dog but survive their attack. In South Carolina, a lot of people spent time outdoors. The weather in Greenville is rather mild for a good part of the year. This means that people are more likely to walk their dogs in the city parks and sidewalks. This puts the citizens of Greenville at risk of a dog attack.
If you or your child are bitten by a dog, you should talk to a Greenville personal injury lawyer. These cases are not as straight forward as you may think. Most people assume that, if they’re bitten by a dog, they’ll be automatically entitled to damages. After all, who should be responsible for the dog’s attack if not the dog owner? It’s not as if you can blame the victim for their injuries. However, in Greenville, South Carolina, it’s not a black and white issue.
South Carolina does follow what’s commonly referred to as the “one bite rule.” This means that, in order to collect damages from a dog’s owner, you need to show that their dog has bitten people before. Even if you can show that their dog has attacked others in the past, there’s no guarantee you’ll be entitled to damages. This is why it takes an experienced personal injury lawyer in Greenville to prove your case.
How Does the One-Bite Rule Work in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, a dog’s owner is only liable for injuries caused by a dog bite, the plaintiff must show that the dog has bitten people before. This can be shown in a variety of ways. You may know the dog’s owner. If you’ve heard stories about their dog attacking people before, let your Greenville injury attorney know. They can review the local court records to see if anyone has sued the defendant before. They can also look to see if the defendant has been cited for letting their dog walk without a leash. This may lead to other information about their dog attacking someone in the past.
Even if you can show that the dog has bitten people before, that doesn’t automatically guarantee you damages. In South Carolina, you must prove that the dog’s owner was negligent. Thankfully, your Greenville personal injury lawyer knows how to do this.
How to Prove Your Dog Bite Case in Greenville
It’s not enough to show that the dog that attacked you has attacked other people in the past. You also have to show that the dog owner could’ve prevented the attack. To collect damages in a dog bite lawsuit in South Carolina, your personal injury lawyer must show the following four (4) things:
- The dog’s owner knew their dog was vicious. Or, they should have known the dog was vicious.
- Had the dog’s owner taken reasonable steps, they could’ve prevented the attack
- The defendant didn’t do enough to prevent the injury
- You didn’t taunt or provoke the dog
These cases are typically treated like any other negligence case. The dog’s owner does owe you (and other people passing by) a duty of care. It’s their responsibility to make sure their dog doesn’t bite people. However, they won’t be held liable unless your attorney can prove that the owner did nothing to prevent the attack.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina
If you or your child are attacked by a dog in Greenville, call our office. While most people survive a dog attack, that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer serious injuries. If this is the case, you’ll have medical bills to pay. You may have even missed time from work to recover from the attack. You may be entitled to damages. However, these cases can be harder to prove that many people think. That’s why you should call and talk to an experienced dog bite lawyer in Greenville.
When you call our office, schedule your free initial consultation. This gives you the chance to sit down with someone who knows the law in South Carolina. They’ve also likely handled cases like yours in the past. They can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They can also let you know what your odds of winning are. The consultation is free and you don’t have to pay your lawyer until your case is settled.