When you or a loved one is injured from a dog bite or attack, you may need to take legal action. An experienced Pickens County dog bite lawyer is available to assist you through the process and help you get the money you deserve.
Dog bites are among the most painful of all injuries. Every year, more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs, and about 1 in 5 require medical care. That equates to about 800,000 people each year who require medical attention for dog bite injuries. About half of those who need medical care are children. In addition to being painful, dog bites can cause serious medical problems as well as scarring and disfigurement. You deserve compensation for your injuries, including money to cover your medical costs and other damages.
- 1 Dog Bite Injuries in Pickens County, South Carolina
- 2 Complications from Pickens County Dog Bites
- 3 The Psychological Impact of Dog Bite Injuries
- 4 What to Do After a Dog Bite in Pickens County
- 5 Treatment of Dog Bite Injuries
- 6 Preventing Dog Bite Injuries in Pickens County
- 7 Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries in South Carolina
- 8 Strict Liability for Dog Bite Attacks in South Carolina
- 9 A Pickens County Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Dog Bite Injuries in Pickens County, South Carolina
Any time a dog’s teeth penetrate the skin, it is considered a dog bite. A dog’s teeth are quite sharp and may pierce deep into tissue and bone. Dog bite injuries can range from mild to extremely severe. Even a relatively minor dog bite can become infected and create a dangerous medical condition.
Some dog bites are worse than others. If the victim tries to pull away from the animal while the teeth are clamped down, there could be tear wounds. Large or strong dogs can produce severe bites and might even go down to the bone in some cases. This could impact tendons, bones and even arteries. Major surgery might be necessary to repair the damage. Severe bite injuries can be disabling. They can cause the loss of an appendage or limb.
Medical expenses can be astronomical when injuries are severe. More than one surgery may be needed and additional care and rehabilitative therapy might be required. These payments can be difficult for families to pay, even if insurance covers part of the costs. A Pickens County dog bite lawyer will help you resolve your case to get you the money you need to pay for the expenses that were incurred due to the injury.
Complications from Pickens County Dog Bites
In addition to the immediate concerns of an open wound, various complications may arise after a dog bite injury. One of the most common complications is an infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 20% of all dog bites become infected. Infections can arise after a day or two or longer after the initial injury.
Although uncommon, rabies is a serious disease and is often fatal to humans. The disease impacts the victim’s brain. It is spread from an infected animal to a human through the saliva of the dog through a bite. All dogs in Pickens County are required to obtain a rabies vaccination.
Pasteurella is a bacterial infection that occurs in about half of all dog bite injuries. It is characterized by a painful, red area surrounding the bite. However, it can also affect the immune system and causes swollen glands and joints.
People with weakened immune systems may be affected by capnocytophaga. This bacterium specifically lives in the mouths of dogs and cats. If you have lowered immunity, you could get sick from these bacteria through a dog bite.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a type of Staph infection that is particularly resistant to antibiotics. Dogs can carry this dangerous infection, which can be transmitted to humans through dog bites. MRSA can be very difficult to treat and affects the entire body because it travels through the bloodstream.
Tetanus is a type of toxin that is caused by a specific type of bacteria that can be present in dogs and other animals. When it gets into a wound, it can cause serious harm such as paralysis. If you have a current tetanus vaccination, you are protected from this disease.
The Psychological Impact of Dog Bite Injuries
In addition to physical injuries that occur from dog bites, you might also suffer from psychological effects. Dog attacks can be very traumatic and may cause you serious emotional trauma. You might be unable to be near dogs because of your fear of being attacked. You might also have trouble sleeping because of the distress caused by the attack.
If you suffer emotionally after a dog attack, you should seek professional assistance. In some cases, the costs of this care might be recoverable as part of the damages from your case. Emotional trauma is something that can be difficult but not impossible to prove. Keep track of your suffering that occurred as a result of the dog bite. If you visit a therapist, provide a written statement about your emotional condition. A Pickens County dog bite lawyer will assist you in learning about the documentation required for your case.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Pickens County
There are a few things to keep in mind after suffering a dog bite injury in Pickens County, South Carolina. If the dog’s owner is present, make sure you obtain information including their name and address. It is essential to find out whether the dog has had a rabies shot.
If the owner is not present or if the dog is unsupervised, get as much information as possible about the dog. Call the police to make a report. If there are witnesses to the incident, obtain their names and phone numbers. Take a photo of the animal if you are able to without causing further harm. The police would investigate the matter and try to locate the dog if it ran away after the incident.
Seek medical care as quickly as possible. Try to stop any excessive bleeding by holding a clean cloth on the area. If you are able to, flush the wound with clear water. Go to the emergency room or your doctor to get a medical evaluation. Even superficial dog bite wounds can easily become infected. For this reason, it is best to get your injury looked at by a doctor immediately after the incident.
Treatment of Dog Bite Injuries
It can be difficult for you to know exactly how serious a dog bite injury is without first getting it cleaned out. The physician will cleanse the wound so he can view it more easily. If you do not know whether the dog is current on his rabies vaccine, the doctor will have to give you a series of shots. These injections are painful, so it is best to try to locate information about the dog’s rabies vaccination whenever possible.
Some bites require stitches or staples, depending on the location of the wound. Deep wounds may have caused injury to the tendons or internal organs. If so, these issues must be immediately addressed. Surgery is necessary for situations where internal damage has to be repaired.
Deep or large wounds may result in large scars. Scars can be addressed later after the initial wounds heal properly. Then, reconstructive or cosmetic surgery may be necessary to correct the scarred area and make it less disfiguring.
Preventing Dog Bite Injuries in Pickens County
Statistically, most dog bite injuries occur to children. Parents and caregivers should be careful to keep children from getting near unknown dogs. However, even family pets can bite household members or friends, especially if they have been provoked or when food is involved.
Pet owners must properly socialize their dogs and teach them basic obedience. Additionally, dogs must be kept up-to-date on immunizations. People need to approach unknown dogs cautiously until they know whether they are not dangerous. Remember that even friendly dogs can attack for no apparent reason. If you see a strange dog or a stray, do not approach it.
Some people are bitten when they try to break up a fight between their dog and another pet. If your dog gets into a tussle with another dog, try to pull the dogs apart using the dog’s leash. Do not try to put your hands in the middle of the fight or you are likely to get hurt. Do not bend down close to where the dogs are fighting or you could injure your face.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries in South Carolina
Medical care for dog bite injuries can be extensive. Hospitalization is necessary in a number of dog bite injuries. Sometimes reconstructive surgery is necessary, and if the injuries caused scarring, you might need to get skin grafts and other corrective procedures.
Dog bite injuries may be covered under the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. There may be limits to the amount of money that the insurance company will provide. If the compensation is insufficient to cover expenses or the dog owner is not covered by an insurance policy, assistance from a South Carolina dog bite lawyer may be necessary.
Strict Liability for Dog Bite Attacks in South Carolina
South Carolina utilizes strict liability for dog bite attack cases. Dog owners are responsible for making sure their pets are properly restrained, and they need to be in control of their pets. Victims who are bit while lawfully on the public or private property are typically allowed to seek damages for the injuries. The dog owner or the person caring for the animal is generally liable for dog bite injuries that occur. The owner has a duty to ensure that others are protected from injuries when they are near their pet.
However, it is important to note that if the victim provoked the attack, the owner might not be liable for the bite. Additionally, if the animal is known to be vicious or has bitten in the past, the dog owner should have known that the dog could cause harm. Additional precautions have to be taken to prevent harm in such cases.
South Carolina does not follow the “one bite rule.” This rule allows dog owners not to be liable for their dog’s first aggressive incident. The owner is thus put on notice that the dog is dangerous and is responsible for any further attacks. Pickens County dog owners are not subject to this rule. Therefore, victims are able to seek compensation for their damages when the owner is liable or responsible for the attack.
The pet must be restrained and under control of the owner at all times. In some cases, the dog might need to wear a muzzle while in public to ensure that the pet is not able to bite a person or another animal. Some dog breeds are considered more dangerous than others. For example, pit bulls are among the breeds that are considered inherently hazardous. Owners of these breeds are already on notice that they have a dog that has the potential of causing harm.
A Pickens County Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Victims of dog bites are entitled to money to cover their medical expenses caused by the injury. They may also be entitled to other damages such as money for pain and suffering, costs of future medical care and money for lost wages. A Pickens County dog bite lawyer will assist you in protecting your rights and helping you get the money you are owed.
Your dog bite lawyer will examine all aspects of your situation and gather documentation to prove your case. You must be able to prove that the dog owner was liable for the injuries. Additionally, you must show proof of your injuries. You will need to have all medical evaluations and detailed bills that indicate how your injuries occurred and what treatment was required.
If punitive damages are recoverable, you must also show evidence of them. For example, if you were unable to work for a period of time, you need to provide details showing your absence from work as well as the amount of money that you lost due to the incident. Your Pickens County dog bite lawyer knows what information is needed for your case and will work to get a resolution that is fair for you.
Some of these types of cases are resolved through negotiation before they go to court. If a reasonable settlement is not possible, the matter will proceed to trial. Your lawyer will guide you through the entire process and work on your behalf to make sure you obtain a settlement to cover your needs. If you were injured by a dog bite, it might be necessary to file a legal claim. Contact a Pickens County personal injury attorney at Brumback & Langley to discuss your case. Call us at (864)-326-0424 to schedule your free case evaluation.