If you’re attacked by a dog, it can be devastating. Not only will you be in pain, but you may also need medical treatment. The other thing is that you may end up afraid of dogs for the rest of your life. Children tend to be more traumatized by a dog bite than anyone else. And, sadly, more than half of all dog bite victims in South Carolina are children.
Every year, about 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog in this country. This works out to be about one dog bite for every 69 people. Of these millions of dog bite victims, more than 800,000 end up needing medical attention. It’s also important to remember that not all dog attacks are reported. Of course, if the victim needs medical attention, it’ll be reported. Or, if the police are called, they’ll prepare a police report. But this means that the actual number of dog attacks could be a lot more than the 4.7 million reported by the CDC.
If you’re bitten by a dog, you may have a potential claim against the dog’s owner. It really depends on the circumstances. Since South Carolina doesn’t follow the one-bite rule, some people think it’s harder to hold a dog owner responsible. However, that isn’t the case. South Carolina uses a strict-liability rule when it comes to dog bites. If you’re injured by a dog bite, you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Greenville right away.
Your Greenville Injury Lawyer Doesn’t Have to Prove the Dog Was Vicious
In states that follow the one-bite rule, all you have to prove to get damages is that the dog’s owner knew their dog had bitten someone before. Or, you can prove that the owner should’ve know their dog was likely to attack you. In South Carolina, they don’t follow this law. Instead, they apply strict liability to these cases.
Strict liability means that any dog owner is responsible for any injuries caused by their pet. They aren’t required to know that their dog had a propensity to bite people. For example, in a one-bite rule jurisdiction, you would have to show that the dog’s owner knew their dog was likely to bite someone. You would have to submit proof that their dog had bitten someone before. Or, you can submit evidence that they knew their dog didn’t get along with strangers and had tried to attack people before. In South Carolina, you don’t have to do this.
South Carolina’s Dog Bite Statute Does Have a Few Requirements
It’s important that you understand that not dog owners are not always responsible for your dog bite injuries. The law does impose strict liability. However, it also carries other requirements. For example, you have to show that you were in a public place when the bite took place. This could include a park, pet store or even a public sidewalk. You will also not receive compensation under the statute if the defendant can prove that you provoked the attack. If you were growling at the dog or poking it with a stick, your case won’t fall under the statute. The law doesn’t protect people who choose to harass a dog and then act surprised when the dog bites them.
Trespassers Cannot Sue Under South Carolina’s Dog Bite Statute
The South Carolina dog bite statute only applies to people who are attacked in a public place. It also protects people who are bitten on private property as long as they had permission to be on that property. If you’re a trespasser, this law is not going to protect you.
Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina
If you or your child are injured in a dog attack, you should call our office right away. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to damages. To get your damages, your lawyer will need to file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. If this claim is paid – great. You’ll get your check within a week or two. If your claim is denied, you may have no choice but to file suit against the owner. Your Greenville injury lawyer can do this for you.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. You can sit down with a lawyer who knows the law in South Carolina dealing with dog bites. They know what possible defenses the dog owner will raise in court.
The initial consultation is free and you won’t pay anything until your case is settled.