I was bitten by a dog. What do I do now?
If a dog bit you or a loved one in an unprovoked attack, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. A bite by a strange dog can lead to infections and other health problems that may not manifest until hours or days after the bite.
A health care provider can document your injuries to show they are a direct result of the dog bite. Then, you can seek help from a South Carolina personal injury attorney who can pursue damages from the responsible party through an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
Common Dog Bite Injuries in South Carolina
A dog bite injury can lead to pain, anxiety, and other serious health issues that can last months or even years. Some of the most common dog bite injuries include:
- Lacerations that turn septic
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder and anxiety
- Fractured and broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Back injuries and herniated discs
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
A dog bite may seem minor at first. But with the risk of infection and other complications, it’s critical to see a medical professional immediately following the incident. Tests and treatments for these types of injuries can cost thousands of dollars and require long-term care. A dog bite lawyer in South Carolina can ensure all current and future medical costs are included in your demand letter to the insurance company.
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What to Do After Being Attacked By a Dog in South Carolina
After you’ve been bit by a dog, there are certain steps you should take to protect your health and secure your chance of recovering compensation for your damages. These steps include:
- Calling emergency responders
- Taking pictures of the scene of the incident, the dog, and your injuries, if possible
- Obtaining a medical evaluation for your injuries
- Contacting a dog bite attorney for help holding the dog’s owner accountable
How to Document Your Dog Bite Injuries and Damages
To recover compensation for a dog bite injury, you will need to provide evidence to support your case. Valuable evidence used in dog bite injury claims includes:
- Taking photos of your dog bite injuries
- Taking video footage of the scene of the dog bite or attack
- Obtaining witness statements from anyone who saw the dog attack
- Speaking with experts regarding dog bite injuries and attacks
- Video footage and surveillance from businesses or homes that may have caught the attack on camera
- Police statements and reports
- Your medical records
How a Dog Bite Attorney in South Carolina Could Help You
Having a South Carolina dog bite lawyer on your side can be beneficial in many ways. You can focus on healing while your attorney handles all aspects of your case. Your lawyer will handle all of the following for you:
- Investigate the dog bite incident
- Gather evidence to establish liability
- Calculate the value of your economic (financial) and non-economic (physical and emotional) damages
- Prepare your claim and file with the insurance company
- Negotiate a settlement with the dog owner’s insurer
- File a civil lawsuit against the dog owner
- Present your case at trial
- Keep you updated on any developments in your case
South Carolina Dog Bite Laws
According to S.C. Ann. 47-3-110, dog owners can be held accountable for the actions of their pet when:
- The injury victim did not provoke the dog into acting aggressively
- The injury victim was an invited guest, or the attack happened in a public place
- The owner’s dog has a history of biting other people, causing significant injuries
South Carolina is a “strict liability” state. This means even if the dog’s owner did not know or could not have known that their dog would bite or attack someone else, they can still be held legally accountable for the animal’s actions.
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Time is Limited to File Your Dog Bite Case in South Carolina
South Carolina limits the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The statute of limitations is three years from the date of the dog bite per S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530.
If your claim is not filed before the three-year statute of limitation expires, the South Carolina civil court system will refuse to hear your case. A personal injury lawyer serving South Carolina can ensure your case is filed before the statutory deadline.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today
If you are ready to hold the dog’s owner accountable for their pet’s actions but do not know where to turn for help, the team at Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo, LLC. is ready to assist you.
Our dog bite attorney will work diligently to recover the compensation you deserve. Call our firm today for your no-cost, risk-free consultation and get the justice you and your family deserve.