When a person is attacked by an aggressive dog, the experience is often terrifying. Victims may be left with devastating injuries, both physical and emotional. They also may face mounting medical bills and other costs and expenses relating to the attack. Unfortunately, dog bite attacks are not an uncommon occurrence. Each day, approximately 1,000 people have to go to the emergency room as a result of a dog bite. Children are especially at risk, constituting 60 percent of all dog attacks. South Carolina holds dog bite owners liable if their dog attacks or bites another person.
After such a frightening incident, victims and their families are often unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help guide you through this process. Victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering. At Shelly Leeke Law Firm, we help dog bite victims get the compensation they deserve for injuries and damages sustained in a dog bite attack.
What Potential Injuries Can Arise From a Dog Bite Attack?
An attack by a dog is often very dangerous and can result in many physical injuries. Examples of the more common injuries victims often face include the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Tearing of the skin
- Loss of an eye
- Loss of teeth
- Broken bones
- Crushing of a limb, requiring amputation
Following their injuries, victims often face a lengthy recuperation period. Potential treatments that may be needed after an attack include 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 costs associated with these injuries and their necessary treatments are often expensive, and may continue on well into the future. For this reason, it is crucial for victims to act quickly in order to protect their legal rights after an attack.
What Is the Law in South Carolina Regarding Dog Bites?
In South Carolina, we have certain laws in place designed to protect people from dog bite attacks. Dog owners are held responsible for injuries that are caused by their dog. When a person is attacked without having first provoked the dog, the dog owner or person who is caring for the dog may be found liable. The victim may also be eligible for damages and compensation. It is important to note that South Carolina law does not make a distinction between whether the attack occurred on public or private property, or the type of breed of dog that was involved. All dog owners are responsible for controlling their animals.
In addition, in South Carolina, we also have a “dangerous animal” statute. This means that if a person owns a dog that is likely to pose a danger to humans, the dog must be kept confined in a properly secured and constructed pen or fenced in area. The pen or area must be clearly marked to indicate that the dog is harmful. This type of dog can never be unrestrained, even in the owner’s home or on private property. Owners who do not obey these laws can be fined or even face jail time.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a Dog Bite Attack?
While there is no requirement that you use an attorney for pursuing a claim against a dog owner after an attack, a dog bite attorney will know how to help maximize your compensation after a dog bite. The following are several reasons to consider hiring an attorney:
You may be dealing with insurance companies whose goal is to give you the lowest possible settlement.
- The insurance company may have its own legal team and vast resources at its disposal.
- Studies have shown that victims who are represented by attorneys when dealing with insurance companies receive a higher offer from the insurance adjuster.
- Our attorneys will provide a complimentary, no obligation consultation to review the facts and circumstances of your claim.
- A dog bite attorney understands how to get a dog bite claim to settle quickly.
By choosing a knowledgeable attorney to assist you, you greatly increase your chances of obtaining the settlement that you deserve. We encourage you to contact an attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm today at 1-888-690-0211 for a complimentary case evaluation.