While often described as man’s best friend, a dog can turn into a nightmare in a few short moments. A dog bite can be a traumatic experience that results not only in personal injury, but also serious emotional trauma, including a longtime fear of dogs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are almost 900,000 dog bites each year that require medical attention in the U. S., with over 4.5 million bites overall. South Carolina dog bite laws make it possible for victims receive compensation for injuries related to the dog bite. Some states have a “one bite” rule which requires a dog bite victim to prove that the owner of the dog knew the dog was dangerous—but this rule does not exist in South Carolina.
What should I do if I’ve been bitten by a dog?
The first thing you should focus on after being bitten by a dog is getting proper medical treatment. A bite that is left untreated could lead to medical complications including infections. If you are able, it is helpful to get the name and/or the address of the dog’s owner. If you end up deciding to file a claim for the dog bite, knowing information about the dog’s owner can help you determine who to sue. Additionally, knowing who the owner is may be important for medical treatment, as the owner may know if the dog has had rabies a shot.
What happens in dog bite cases?
Even though dogs are the source of injuries in dog bite cases, the dogs for obvious reasons cannot be held legally responsible. However, the dog’s owner will be strictly liable for your injuries if you were on public property or were legally on private property. Dog bite compensation can offered from a dog owner for your injuries through their homeowner’s insurance policy.
Strict Liability and Dog Bite Compensation
Strict liability means that as long as you were acting lawfully and did not provoke the dog, the owner of the dog will be responsible for the costs of your injuries. Strict liability also means that the type of dog does not matter, and it does not matter whether the dog’s owner knew it may bite someone. While the type of dog does not matter, some cities in South Carolina, including Columbia, have city codes relating to specific dangerous breeds of dogs.
Get Help From a South Carolina Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a family member has suffered injuries due to a dog bite in South Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation. While every case is different and depends on the facts, the law is generally on the side of someone who has been bitten. It is important to act quickly when considering to file a dog bite claim, as there is only a limited time to file. You may be able to recover dog bite compensation from the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. The dog bite lawyers at Surasky Law can help.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.