Dogs are often some of our closest companions. However, when they get scared, stressed, or anxious, they may attack. A larger dog that bites can cause considerable damage like broken bones and disfigurement.
Dog owners have a duty to keep people safe from their pets. If they are negligent in upholding their duty, and the dog attacks, they may be liable for damages.
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney can help you seek compensation for a dog bite injury in Charleston. Our team can help you sue a negligent owner of a dog that bit you, and potentially compensate you for your damages. Call us at 843-701-8029 to find out how we can help you win your lawsuit.
Why Do Dogs Bite People?
There are many factors that may make a dog become vicious. Many dog bite attacks in Charleston happen from:
- Feeling threatened: If a dog feels threatened, they may attack. A person approaching or making noise near a dog may cause the animal to feel threatened without people realizing it. It’s up to the owner to understand what may set their dog off and to keep them calm in potentially provocative situations.
- Being startled: Dogs may be startled if a dog or person comes up behind them unexpectedly. A dog may also become startled if they are older and someone or something touches a pain point.
- Running away: Some people, like small children, may be scared of dogs and run away from them. Dogs may take this as a cue that the child wants to play. They may chase after them and attack them without realizing they are being rough.
- Rescue dogs: Many rescue dogs have a history of abuse. This causes them to act out when they are around other people. An owner must determine if their dog is ready to be around other people before taking them out to public places.
- The dog is ill or injured: An illness, injury or other factors can make a dog irritable, so they are more likely to lash out.
What Are Dog Owner Laws in South Carolina?
Dog owners have a duty of care to control their dog and keep others around it safe from injury. But laws vary from state to state. Here are some that apply in South Carolina that you should be aware of.
A dog owner may be responsible for dog bites if:
- Injuries are caused when the dog bites or attacks another person
- The injury took place in a public place or a private place where the victim was lawfully permitted to be.
- The injured person did not provoke the dog
So that means that the owner be less likely to be responsible for the bite if:
- The dog was provoked: If a person provokes a dog by taunting it, teasing it, hitting it, or abusing it, and the dog attacks, the owner would not be liable for damages.
- The person was trespassing: if a person trespasses on a property and the dog attacks them, the owner would not be responsible for the injury
What is the Strict Liability Law for Dog Bites?
South Carolina’s strict liability law means that the owner is responsible for the dog bite even if they did not know the dog would attack or bite.
This differs from the “one bite rule” which is in effect in other states. Instead of at least one previous biting incident being necessary to solidify the fact that a dog may attack or bite, South Carolina needs no prior history of a dog bite to lawfully hold the owner accountable.
What Kind of Injuries Can Dog Bites Cause?
Dog bites can result in serious injuries, including:
- Punctures and skin tears that may require surgery, skin grafts, and lead to a loss of mobility
- Torn muscles, ligaments and tendons that may require surgery and years of physical therapy
- Broken bones that can occur if a large dog knocks the victim down
- Infection due to bacteria passed on from the dog’s mouth that gets into the skin and bloodstream. These include tetanus, sepsis, rabies, capnocytophaga, pasteurella, and MRSA
What Kind of Compensation Can I Collect After a Charleston Dog Bite injury?
The damages you collect after a dog bite incident occurs will vary depending on your professional and personal situation and the extent of your injuries. They may include the following:
- Loss of wages: These damages will cover any wages lost due to taking off work to recover from your injuries.
- Loss of earning potential: if you are severely injured in a dog bite incident, you may be unable to carry out the duties of your current job or you may be unable to return to work on a permanent basis. The dog owner may be responsible for reimbursing you for the change in income.
- Medical expenses: These refer to expenses incurred for immediate treatment of the injury as well as ongoing expenses to cover medications, rehabilitation, disability equipment, and any other type of ongoing care that’s needed.
- Emotional pain and suffering: It is not uncommon to experience ongoing trauma after an accident occurs. Your lawyer can help determine a fair amount for emotional damage from a dog bite. Dog bite compensation may also include the cost of mental healthcare.
When you work with a Charleston dog bite lawyer who knows the laws and damages that apply for your case, you can be more confident about starting your recovery.
Contact Our Charleston Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
You will need a Charleston dog bite injury lawyer to gather evidence of your injury to help you build your claim. When a dog attack happens to you, call Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney.
We have extensive experience in the field of personal injury law in Charleston, including dog bite cases. What’s more, we won’t see a dime unless we help you win your case.
When a dog bites, don’t delay — call Trey!