Dogs are man’s best friend. Our fluffy compatriots are always there for us and love us to death. Of course, until they do not, and bite you, causing serious injury or requiring medical care.
If you have been bitten by a dog on someone else’s property, even if you were trespassing, you might be entitled to financial compensation. When you need help getting the justice that you deserve, contact a dog bite lawyer in South Carolina for a free consultation and case review.
Premises Liability Law
If you are injured while on someone else’s property, the law of premises liability will typically apply. This means that your ability to sue the property owner will depend on your legal status on their property. The duty of care, which is essentially how careful the landowner has to be, is different depending on if you are an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
Invitees and Licensees
Invitees are people who are on the property to give patronage to a business, such as hotel guests or supermarket patrons. The duty that a landowner owes to their invitees is to employ ordinary care to keep the premises safe and protect their invitee from injury. This means that the landowner must act at least as carefully as a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstances would act.
Licensees are any visitor to a landowner’s property that has permission to be there. This includes social guests, friends, family members, or maintenance specialists. The landowner must exercise reasonable care to warn their guests of any dangers that might not be easy to spot, such as a dangerous dog.
A trespasser is an adult that is on someone’s property without permission. Generally, a landowner’s only duty to trespassers is not to willfully injure them. A landowner will generally not have a duty to warn trespassers about dangerous conditions because they have no reason to know that they are there.
What this means is that for you to have a possible claim against a landowner for a dog bite, the landowner will need to have acted willfully and wantonly or beyond mere negligence. This can be shown by proving that the landowner’s dog was abnormally dangerous or that the landowner was aware that the dog would likely attack someone, causing serious injuries.
However, the generally lower standard of care does not apply to children. This is because children are presumed to be less able to understand the consequences of their actions, specifically trespassing. In fact, all landowners have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent injury to child trespassers on their property.
The main way that landowners fail this duty is by failing to prevent children from accessing attractive nuisances, which are things on a landowner’s property that are likely to entice children towards them, such as a swimming pool, trampoline, or basketball hoop. The most common example is when a landowner does not put up a fence around their swimming pool, which a child trespasser then drowns in.
If you are seeking to sue after your child was bitten by a dog while trespassing, you have a much easier case because even though the child might have been trespassing, the rules are different when the trespasser does not know any better. Obviously, this area of the law can be extremely complicated. When you need legal advice regarding premises liability law, contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm.
What Should I Do After I Am Bit by a Dog?
While your legal case is very important, you should worry about your health first. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the biggest danger of a dog bite is infection. After you are bitten by a dog, the first thing that you should do is wash out your wound and then seek medical attention inasmuch as you might need rabies shots or the like.
While you are doing this, you should also pull out your phone and attempt to take pictures of as many things as possible, such as your wounds, the area where the dog was, and the dog if you can safely do so. Also, as soon as you have an opportunity, write down every single fact that you remember happening. This can be done on a paper you will not lose or in the notes app on your cell phone.
Finally, as soon as your medical treatment is taken care of, you should contact a lawyer to help you out as soon as possible. The sooner that you can contact a lawyer, the better off you will be because it will be much easier to obtain evidence. Your lawyer may also be able to get you a settlement without having to file a lawsuit.
Common Types of Injuries in Dog Bite Cases
Typically, there are several types of dog bite injuries that come up frequently in dog bite litigation. The more serious types of injuries that arise from dog bites are nerve damage, broken bones, fractured bones, punctured skin, and infections. Every day, as many as 1,000 people seek treatment for dog bites.
Dog bites can also result in less serious injuries, such as scarring. Also, dog bites can result in emotional distress damages, meaning that you might suffer from anxiety or PTSD from a severe dog attack. Your dog bite attorney can help you make a list of your damages and do their best to recover the damages for you.
Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm Today
Have you been injured by a dog attack? If so, you know that being bitten by a dog hurts, and you can be seriously injured. Even if you were trespassing on someone’s property, the irresponsibility of some dog owners in owning dangerous animals can result in serious injury to you that you can recover money damages for.
When you have been bitten by a dog, even when trespassing, you need a compassionate and understanding attorney that can help you with your case. Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm today for a free consultation and case review.