Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they are also capable of causing serious injuries that can result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. Even the most obedient and people friendly dog can get aggressive under certain circumstances. It is up to the owner to prevent dog bites and attacks from occurring. If an owner fails to keep their pets restrained, they can be held legally liable for any injuries that result. Here’s what you need to know about dog bite lawsuits in South Carolina.
South Carolina Dog Bite Laws
Under Section 47-3-50 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, it is against the law for a dog owner to allow their pet to run around unleashed off of their own personal property or to keep a dog that is known to be aggressive or vicious—even if it is in a kennel or behind steel fencing. Pet lovers should keep dogs properly harnessed at all times for their own safety, to prevent being hit by cars or picked up by animal control.
When dogs do bite, the owners can be held responsible for any injuries that result, even if the attack occurs while the dog was leashed or on their own property. Other than in situations where a dog was provoked or defending the owners, any dog who bites or attacks another will be placed under quarantine. The owner may face fines and legal liability for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim.
What To Do If You Encounter An Aggressive Dog
Even the most mild mannered, friendly dog may act out and bite if sick, hurt, or threatened. An attack by a dog with known aggressive tendencies can be severe and even life threatening. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reports that roughly 800,000 people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S., and children are among the most common victims.
Dog bites carry the risk of rabies and can result in lasting physical damage due to puncture and tearing wounds, while emotional scars are common due to the traumatic nature of an attack. To help minimize your risk if you encounter a snarling or aggressive dog, DHEC advises the following:
Try to stay calm
Do not attempt to run away, as this will only make the dog chase you
Stand very still, and slowly back away from the dog
Do not scream or make other loud noises
Looking into a dog’s eyes can be seen as a challenge; instead, focus your gaze over it’s head
Use your backpack, handbag, or any books or groceries you are carrying as a shield between yourself and the dog
If attacked, drop to the ground and play dead, while curling yourself up to protect your arms and face
Get Help Today
If you have suffered injuries as the result of a dog bite or attack, call or contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC online today. We can arrange a free consultation to discuss the types of compensation you may be entitled to.