Being viciously attacked by a dog is the last thing anyone expects to happen. Dog owners have an obligation to maintain control over their pets. When they fail to do so, and you suffer injuries as a result of their negligence, you can hold them accountable.
Access the financial compensation you are entitled to and hold the dog owner accountable when you reach out to an experienced Beaufort personal injury lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm. With our firm advocating for your rights, you can avoid being stuck dealing with the cost of someone else’s recklessness.
When to Sue for a Dog Bite in Beaufort
One of the top questions you might have for your dog bites attorney in Beaufort, SC is how you are going to recover the compensation you are entitled to. You may not be sure whether you have the right to file a lawsuit, pursue an insurance claim, or how you will hold the dog owner accountable for the actions of their pet after an attack or bite.
You may also be unsure whether you have the right to move forward with a claim. However, for any type of personal injury court case to be successful, your Beaufort dog bites lawyer will need to show that someone else is at fault for the injuries you sustained.
Generally, dog owners have a duty to maintain control over their pets. When they fail to do so either by refusing to use a leash or other safety devices, installing fencing around the property, or taking other measures, they can be held accountable when their dog causes injuries.
Types of Injuries You Can Include in Your Claim
Some of the more common types of injuries you may be able to sue for after a dog bite or attack include:
- Lacerations leading to septic shock
- Organ failure and internal bleeding
- Traumatic or surgical amputation
- Dental injuries or facial injuries
- Concussion, conclusions, or head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Significant emotional distress
- Road rash, whiplash, and burn injuries
If you are dealing with another type of injury we did not include in the list above, you may still have the right to pursue legal action for your losses. Your dog bites lawyer in Beaufort, SC will carefully evaluate the details of your case to determine how you can recover your damages in full.
How South Carolina Dog Bite Laws Work
Every state has its own laws for how dog bite cases are handled. However, dog bite laws generally fall into one of two categories. These include strict liability states and one-bite rule states.
In states that follow the one-bite rule, the dog who attacked you must have previously shown a propensity towards aggression or violence or bitten someone before for your case to be successful.
However, South Carolina does not follow the one-bite rule. Instead, we follow strict liability laws. Dog owners will be held strictly accountable for the actions of their dogs when they fail to maintain necessary control over their pets.
This can include not only vicious attacks by dogs but injuries that occur when a dog owner loses control of their dog and the dog causes another person to slip and fall or suffer other injuries.
Dog Owner Liability Exclusions
There are some instances in which you may not be able to pursue a claim against the dog owner. For example, if the dog owner had installed fencing around their home, but the dog got out, instead of looking to the dog owner for liability, your dog bites attorney might look towards the fencing company that installed it, the manufacturer of the fencing materials, or other third parties.
Those who are accused of provoking a dog may also face scrutiny when they pursue an insurance or civil claim. Provocation can include hitting, kicking, punching, scratching, yelling, throwing things at the dog, and otherwise attempting to incite the dog to act aggressively or violently. Individuals who provoke a dog may be less likely to successfully pursue compensation for their losses.
However, since South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence law, even if you are accused of provoking the dog, as long as you are not more than 51% responsible for causing your injuries, you may still be awarded compensation for your damages.
However, you could easily expect your injury settlement to be reduced in proportion to the percentage of blame you carry. For instance, imagine you are accused of provoking a dog, and the judge finds you 40% responsible for the injuries you sustained. If the jury initially awarded you $400,000, your injury settlement would be reduced by 40%. This would leave you with a final settlement valued at only $240,000.
Types of Recoverable Damages After a Dog Bite in Beaufort
There are a variety of damages that could be recovered through your Beaufort dog bite claim. However, you might be surprised to learn that these damages include more than just financial losses.
That’s right. You have the right to be repaid for not only your financially based damages but your emotional trauma and physical injuries as well. Examples of the various damages that could be paid out in your dog bite claim include:
- Chronic pain
- Mental anguish
- Disfiguring the skin scars
- Fear and anticipation
- Lost income
- Ambulance bills
- Your hospital stay
- Prescription medication costs
- Cost of mental health counseling
- Loss of employee benefits
- Loss of health insurance from your employer
- Future medical care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Speak with a Dog Bite Attorney in Beaufort Today
Being viciously attacked or injured by someone else’s dog is unacceptable. The dog’s owner should be compelled to cover your expenses in full and make sure you have access to the compensation you are going to need to deal with the emotional fallout and physical damage of your injuries.
You can take steps to demand justice when you contact a respected Beaufort dog bites attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. You can reach us by phone or through our convenient contact form to find out how much your dog bite claim could be worth today.