When a person is attacked by an aggressive dog, they’re often left with physical injuries and emotional scars. They also may face mounting medical bills and other expenses related to the attack. Our South Carolina dog bite lawyers can help you if a vicious dog has bitten you.
The experienced attorneys from the Shelly Leeke Law Firm can guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim. If your claim is successful, you could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
A South Carolina Attorney Can Help You Recover from a Dog Bite Injury
Dog attacks can result in painful injuries that are expensive to treat and difficult to recuperate from. A dog bite attorney can refer to your medical records, bills, and other documents to obtain the compensation you need to aid your recovery.
Your lawyer will work hard to secure an insurance settlement that’s large enough to cover the medical expenses for any of the following injuries:
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injury
- Nerve damage
- Loss of fingers or toes
- Bone fracture
- Facial injury
- Tearing of the skin
Damages You Might Receive from a Dog Bite Claim
The damages you receive from a dog bite claim can cover any medical treatments you need to recover from or cope with your injuries. Depending on the extent of your injuries, our dog bite attorneys in South Carolina can request compensation to cover the following:
- Reconstructive surgery to reduce scarring
- Surgery to repair broken bones
- Surgery to stop bleeding
- Medication to alleviate pain and discomfort
- Individual and group therapy
The settlement you receive from an insurance claim can also replace wages you lost during your recovery period. In addition to lost wages, you may also receive damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life.
If you’ve sustained a disability that is likely to prevent you from working for the rest of your life or has limited your employment options, you may also receive damages to compensate for your decreased earning ability.
Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina has a “strict liability” law for dog attacks. In other words, dog owners can be held responsible for an attack even if they were unaware that their dog had the opportunity or capacity to bite someone.
Unlike other states, South Carolina doesn’t follow the “one bite rule,” which means dog owners can be held responsible for an attack if their dog has no prior history of biting. Owners can also be held liable regardless of whether the attack occurred on public or private property.
While state law puts a considerable amount of responsibility on dog owners, it also places the burden of proof on dog bite victims. That means you’ll need to hire a dog bite attorney from our team to find proof that an animal attack caused your injuries.
Dangerous Animal Statute
State law also includes a “dangerous animal” statute. Dogs that pose a threat to humans must be kept confined in a properly secured and constructed pen or fenced-in area. The pen or area must be marked to indicate that the dog is harmful.
Dangerous dogs must always be restrained, even on the owner’s private property. Owners who don’t obey these laws can be fined or even face jail time. If such an animal has attacked you, a dog bite attorney can help you pursue maximum compensation.
If a homeowner’s dog bites a mail carrier or delivery person, the owner can be held responsible for damages, as the victim was performing a service for the property owner. However, when someone enters private property without permission and gets bitten, the law may offer less protection.
If a homeowner is aware that a trespasser is on their property, the unwelcome individual might be able to receive damages if they’re bitten, as the dog owner was aware of their presence. That being said, they won’t receive as much as they would if they were attacked in public.
Trespassers or burglars who the homeowner doesn’t discover have the least amount of legal protection in the event of an animal attack. Even with the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer, they’ll likely receive little to no compensation for injuries and losses sustained in an attack.
According to South Carolina Code § 47-3-110(B), dog owners cannot be held liable for an attack if their dog was provoked. If you were bitten by someone’s dog after harassing it, you probably won’t be able to recover damages via an insurance claim.
What to Do if a Dog Has Bitten You
You should seek medical attention immediately if a dog has bitten you. Even if the wound or injury doesn’t hurt, it could still become a breeding ground for infectious bacteria. Getting checked out by a doctor will help you ensure that you don’t have an infection.
You should also take multiple photos of your injuries, documenting them from every angle. Keeping a written account of your injuries, pain, and emotional suffering can also help your case. Finally, you’ll want to take down the dog owner’s name and contact information.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer in South Carolina Can Help You
A dog bite lawyer in South Carolina from our firm can collect evidence related to your attack and use it to construct a winning claim. They’ll also negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance provider to get you a settlement that accounts for all your losses.
There are so many benefits you’ll enjoy from hiring an experienced attorney, such as:
- A complimentary, no-obligation consultation to review the facts and circumstances of your claim
- A lawyer that can stand up against stubborn insurers
- A legal expert who can answer any question you have about the filing process
- An evaluation of the damages you’re entitled to recover
- Contingency fee representation
Get Started on Your Dog Bite Injury Claim Today
According to South Carolina Code § 15-3-530, dog bite victims have three years from the date of their attack to file a claim. Failure to abide by the state’s statute of limitations could prevent you from getting the damage you need to treat your injuries and cope with their effects.
Hiring a South Carolina dog bite attorney from our team ASAP will help you meet the three-year filing deadline and give you an excellent chance at receiving a sufficient settlement. Contact the Shelly Leeke Law Firm today to learn more about your legal options.