Other states have a law known as “One-bite-rule,” which favors dog owners and gives a hard time to victims who seek compensation for their damages. “One-bite-rule” means that if the dog’s owner did not know that the dog had the tendency to attack and bite someone, they could not be held liable for injuries.
In South Carolina, there is no such rule. The dog’s owner will be held liable for injuries, even when they claim they did not know the dog’s aggressiveness. However, if the victim was trespassing or provoked the dog, the claim will not be successful.
Dog bite victims should know their legal options. It is crucial to seek advice from a South Carolina personal injury attorney when you think about filing a dog bite lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer with experience in such cases may also consider other aspects when evaluating your case. If you or someone you love are victims of a dog attack, you should speak with a dog bite lawyer the soonest. Dog bite lawyers are specialized to help people hurt by a dog.
The medical expenses to treat dog bite injuries are often very high because of the injuries’ nature.
Large dogs like rottweilers or doberman can easily knock down a child or an older adult. When the victim hits the ground, the following three injuries are most often the result:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Facial and other scars
However, in many cases, serious injuries occur just by the motion.
Next, dog bites can cause deep wounds that sometimes affect internal organs and cause bleeding. These surface injuries usually require reconstructive surgery, which is the most expensive part of the process.
Dog bites most often cause infections that usually lead to pain and redness. Bacterial severe infection is Pasteurella infection that depending on the victim’s immune system, can be life-threatening. Other bacterial infections can be MSRA and Clostridium tetani.
These infections have to do with medical negligence. Therefore, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a separate legal claim.
A dog bite’s violence can create emotional trauma known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Especially children suffer from flashbacks, nightmares, and abnormal fear of all dogs. This type of injury is a chemical imbalance caused in the brain. The logical and emotional reactions are not balanced anymore. These symptoms can be permanent and only eased through rehabilitative therapy.
Evidence of Negligence
The plaintiff has to prove in court that the owner knew the potential of the dog to attack. The victims can use the following evidence to support their claim:
- Previous attacks against people or other animals
- Barking loudly
- Showing teeth
- Aggressive jumping
Furthermore, the victim must prove negligence. Letting a child play next to a dangerous animal can be considered negligence. Most dog bite incidents occur in a friendly environment, and most of the victims are children.
The defendant may claim there was a warning sign in the yard; however, children have limited comprehension skills. Even if children read a sign, that does not mean they understand what it means.
The defendant will also try to blame the child and claim that the child provoked the dog. Legal provocation is equivalent to torture, and this isn’t easy to prove. It means that a child must have caused such physical pain to the dog that the dog needed to defend itself. Teasing or unexpected movement can not be considered as provocative.
Who is Liable For a Dog Bite?
If the dog owners are more than one, the person attacked can sue any one of them.
The responsible person of a dog could be:
- The owner of the animal
- The person who ordinarily keeps the dog
- The registered owner of the dog
Any of the above people could be sued for the damages caused by their dog, even if they have given the dog to another person to keep. If the owners do not have insurance covering their dog’s damages, they will be personally responsible for paying the victims’ compensation.
Get Legal Advice
If you or someone you love suffer dog bite injuries and you need to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Greenville, SC, call us at Brumback and Langley Law Firm for your free consultation.
Dog bite victims suffer long-lasting injuries that are difficult to treat. A personal injury attorney can protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Depending on your injuries’ severity, settlement, and payment for your medical expenses may take a long time.