Getting attacked by a dog is a scary experience that can sometimes lead to injuries and psychological consequences. Luckily, most states have excellent statutes pertaining to dog bites and the liability of pet owners when it comes to the safety of others. Whether you have been bitten or just attacked by a dog, you will need to speak to a South Carolina dog bite lawyer. A lawyer will assess the situation to determine whether you are entitled to financial compensation. For this purpose, the difference between a dog attack and a dog bite will have to be established.
Consult a Greenville Dog Bite Lawyer to Understand Your Legal Options
South Carolina regulations pertaining to dog attacks and bites are featured in S.C. Code Ann. 47-3-110. According to this regulation, a dog owner is responsible for all damages and injuries when a person is attacked on public property or when they are lawfully on private property.
The statute states that if a person is bitten or attacked by a dog, that person can hold the owner or the dog keeper liable. As you can see, the South Carolina definition of responsibility is rather broad and it does not focus solely on dog bites.
The only situations that are excluded from the statute focus on provoked attacks and criminal activity. A person who is not lawfully on private property and who gets attacked by a dog cannot hold the owner accountable for injuries and damage.
In some states, there are regulations that enable a person to hold a dog owner liable whenever measures are not taken to restrict a vicious or dangerous animal. A vicious dog is one that has already attacked a person in the past. Luckily, such restrictions do not apply in South Carolina. Even if an attack occurs for the first time, the dog owner will be held liable for the consequences.
When Can a Pet Owner be Sued for a Dog Bite in SC?
Now that the regulatory framework has been established, let us take a look at some of the instances in which you can sue a Greenville dog owner.
The strength of the case is typically correlated to the extent of damages. Thus, a dog attack that does not result in injuries can be pursued in court but the compensation will not be as significant as the compensation awarded to a person suffering permanent disabilities stemming from a dog bite.
In some situations, it will be a lot easier to prove damages. A puncture wound caused by the teeth of the dog is visible. It can be documented. Pictures, video clips and medical records presented in court will serve as actual evidence of damage. Based on this evidence, the court will determine the types of compensation that the victim will be entitled to in the aftermath of the accident.
Based on this information, a dog bite lawyer in Greenville will help you determine if pursuing legal action is going to be worth it. Very often, you may have experienced some damage as a result of a dog attack. A lawsuit, however, will necessitate financial resources, time and effort. The end result is not always going to justify everything that will go into the process.
The situations that make it a good idea to sue a dog owner are the ones that result in serious injuries, turmoil and suffering. A puncture wound that causes nerve damage, for example, is definitely worth pursuing. In that situation, the bitten person will be entitled to compensation for medical bills, property repair and replacement, lost wages incurred during time off because of medical treatments, permanent disability, emotional distress and the costs of getting household help due to an inability to handle chores in the aftermath of the attack.
Steps to Undertake When You Get Attacked by a Dog
Going back to the original question – you can sue a Greenville dog owner for an attack that causes damage and for dog bites that result in injuries. To build a strong case, you have to do a couple of things in the aftermath of an attack.
For a start, get medical treatment for the dog bite. Even if you do not believe that your injury requires stitches, you should see a medical professional. Due to the shock and adrenaline rush, it is possible to suffer serious injuries without feeling pain in the beginning.
All of the damage and the injuries have to be documented. Take this information to a Greenville dog bite attorney and together, you will determine whether the dog owner can be held liable for the pain, suffering, injuries and damage.
Consult with a Greenville, SC Dog Bite Attorney Today
To sue for dog bite injuries in Greenville, SC, you should choose an attorney that has experience in these types of South Carolina legal cases. Reach out to the personal injury attorneys Brumback & Langley today to discuss the specifics of your case and find answers to your questions.