Get the Right Treatment
They say that a dog is man’s best friend. While this is often true, dogs can also be dangerous. Whether they bite a person or knock them down by jumping on them, dogs can – and do – cause serious injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 people who are bitten by a dog will require medical attention.
With a few exceptions, South Carolina has a strict liability rule for dog bites and animal attacks. This means that even if the dog has never shown a propensity to be dangerous before, an owner can be held liable for any injuries that their dog causes. Through a premises liability claim, a dog bite victim can recover financial compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and other losses.
Based in Simpsonville, the Derrick Law Office represents people throughout South Carolina who have been injured in all types of accidents – including dog bites and animal attacks. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we get money for you. Reach out today to schedule an appointment with a Simpsonville personal injury lawyer.
South Carolina’s Dog Bite Laws
There are two basic kinds of dog bite laws in the United States: the “one bite” rule and strict liability. Under the one-bite rule, a dog essentially gets one bite before their owner can be held responsible for any injuries that it causes. The theory behind this law is that dog owners shouldn’t be liable for a bite if they didn’t know that their dog was dangerous or would attack people.
In the past, South Carolina followed the one-bite rule. However, under current South Carolina law, dog owners have strict liability for animal attacks. Strict liability is a legal concept that means that the victim (plaintiff) does not have to prove that the at-fault party (defendant) did anything wrong. If the plaintiff can show that they were bitten by a dog, then the dog’s owner can be held responsible for any injuries or losses that result.
There are a few exceptions to the rule of strict liability for dog bites in South Carolina. A dog owner will not be strictly liable for dog bite injuries in the following situations:
- If the victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the attack;
- If the victim provoked or harassed the dog, and the attack was caused by the provocation or harassment; and/or
- If the dog was a police canine acting under the lawful command of a police officer.
In other words, if you were lawfully on public or private property when you were bitten by a dog, then you can hold the dog’s owner responsible. However, if you go onto someone’s private property without permission and a dog attacks you, then you may not be able to file a claim.
Importantly, this law also applies to other types of attacks. For example, if a dog knocks you down by jumping or pouncing on you, then the owner can be held liable for your injuries. If you are hurt by a dog or another animal, a Simpsonville animal attack attorney can advise you of your legal rights and options for filing a claim.
Can I File a Lawsuit If I Was Bitten By a Dog?
If a dog bites you, you can probably file a claim against the dog’s owner as long as you were legally on public or private property and did not provoke the attack. These claims are made against the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
Because of South Carolina’s strict liability law for dog bites, you will only be required to prove that the dog bit you and that the other party owned the dog. However, even if strict liability does not apply to your case, you may still be able to bring a premises liability claim. This is a special type of personal injury lawsuit that is based on a theory of negligence or carelessness.
These types of cases can be more complicated than strict liability claims. A Simpsonville dog bite lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing a legal claim.
In a dog bite lawsuit, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your full range of losses. This may include lost wages, reduced earning capacity, property damage, medical expenses, future medical treatment, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Your attorney can give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case during a free initial consultation.
Were You Hurt in an Animal Attack? We Can Help.
Being attacked by an animal can be incredibly scary and traumatic. In the aftermath, you may not know what you can do to get justice. Our law firm is here for you.
At the Derrick Law Office, we aggressively advocate for injury victims. In each case, our goal is to help you get maximum compensation for your losses. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Simpsonville dog bite attorney, give us a call at 864-531-7765 or fill out our online contact form.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
The statute of limitations for dog bite cases – and other personal injury claims – is 3 years in South Carolina. With a few exceptions, this means that you have 3 years from the date of the attack to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file a claim within that time frame, then you won’t be able to pursue compensation.
3 years may seem like a lot of time, but it can go quickly. More importantly, acting fast is the best way to ensure that evidence is available and witness memories are fresh. Call the Derrick Law Office to talk to a Simpsonville dog bite lawyer about your case.
How Can I Afford to Hire a Simpsonville Dog Bite Attorney?
Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that – with a few exceptions – you won’t pay anything upfront. Instead, your attorney will be paid a percentage of your settlement or verdict at trial. The exact amount will depend on your contingency fee arrangement and the size of your recovery.
Contingency fees are a way for anyone – regardless of financial status – to seek justice after suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior. Reach out to the Derrick Law Office to talk to a Simpsonville dog bite attorney about your claim.
You need an attorney you can trust who understands how the state law works and how to ensure that your claim is not undermined by the dog’s owner. The Derrick Law Office has handled many dog bite cases, and we know how to help you get the money you deserve.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help!
If you or a loved one has been attacked and injured by a dog, then its important to know your rights and understand how to protect them.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation about your case. We can even make house and hospital visits, if necessary. We cover upfront legal costs, and there’s never a fee unless we win a settlement or verdict for you.