South Carolina Dog Bites Injury Lawyer
If you need help recovering compensation for injuries you have suffered in a dog bite attack, the South Carolina dog bites injury lawyers at Anastopoulo Law Firm can investigate your case. Whether it was a neighbor’s dog or a dog in a park, you have the right to pursue damages against the animal’s owner.
South Carolina is victim-friendly when it comes to dog bite lawsuits. Further, the specifics of your case may help highlight the fact that you deserve due compensation for your injuries. Even still, you may not know exactly how to go about recovering your damages. Our personal injury lawyer can review your options and next steps with you today.
Understanding South Carolina’s Dog Bite Law
In South Carolina, there is a strict liability dog bite statute in place that applies to both dog owners and individuals who keep and care for others’ dogs. Injuries resulting from a dog bite and other losses a dog bite causes are both actionable in our state, meaning the victim may seek compensation.
When a person suffers from a dog bite injury, a common question they have is who is responsible for covering their medical bills. In many cases, they should look no further than the dog’s owner. South Carolina is a “strict liability” state where it concerns dog bites. Under S.C. Ann. 47-3-110, a dog owner can be held strictly liable for any damages suffered by another who has been “bitten or otherwise attacked” by the owner’s dog.
When Does South Carolina’s Dog Bite Law Apply?
The law applies whether the person bitten or attacked was in a) a public place or b) lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner’s property. In either scenario, the owner is liable for the damages the person suffered. Despite the strict liability law, a dog owner could still raise the defense that the victim was bitten when they provoked the dog. Some dog owners could make this point as they attempt to avoid liability in court.
However, since South Carolina is a strict liability state, anyone who sustains dog bite injuries could recover compensation for costs associated with their injury. Even if the owner attempts to show the dog was provoked, our attorney will still advocate on the victim’s behalf for adequate compensation. It does not matter if the dog’s owner was not aware the animal could bite or attack someone. It also does not matter if the event was the first time the dog ever attacked.
When South Carolina’s Dog Bite Law Does Not Apply
There are instances where South Carolina’s dog bite laws do not apply. If a person has harassed, teased, or mistreated a dog before the animal bites or attacks, that person is not covered under the law in South Carolina, and therefore, cannot sue the owner to recover damages. The law also does not apply to an individual bitten or attacked after trespassing onto someone’s property.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bites lawyer serving South Carolina, call (800) 313-2546
Recoverable Damages in a South Carolina Dog Bite Injury Case
The compensation you could recover in your dog bite case will depend on the severity of the injuries you suffered and your recovery time. If you had to miss work for some weeks or months, or could not return to the job you had or any job at all, all these factors would be considered when determining how much you are due. Our lawyer who handles dog bite cases in South Carolina will look at the losses you suffered to determine what financial recovery looks like for you.
Your economic damages could include:
- Medical expenses from your emergency care, hospital stay, surgeries
- Rehabilitation, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy
- Therapy and counseling expenses for post-accident trauma
- Medications and medical equipment you need
- Wages you lost due to missing days at work to heal from your injuries
- Reduced earning ability due to the accident (this can be temporary or permanent)
These damages are financial losses that can be documented with medical records, timecards, pay stubs, receipts, invoices, statements, or other written documentation.
You Could Also Collect Damages for Your Pain and Suffering
Subjective damages, called non-economic damages, can be harder to prove because there is no dollar amount for them. Still, they have affected your everyday life greatly, which means you should be compensated for them. These can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disability and disfigurement
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of life enjoyment
South Carolina Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 313-2546
How We Will Fight for Your Recovery in Your Dog Bite Case
After suffering the physical and emotional trauma of a dog bite attack, you need time to recover and focus on getting better. Taking legal action against the animal’s owner may feel like an extra weight, but it doesn’t have to. Our lawyer who handles dog bite injury cases in South Carolina can manage the entire case for you while you focus on yourself. We will protect your rights and do the following in your case:
- Investigate the dog bite injury/attack
- Examine the evidence that supports your case against the liable party (e.g., photographs of your injuries, police report, witness statements)
- Prove that you suffered damages when the liable party’s dog bit you
- Prove negligence on the dog owner’s part and use case evidence to prove you did not provoke the attack
- Evaluate your injuries and losses to determine how much compensation you could seek
- Communicate with the liable party’s insurer or legal representative
- Negotiate a settlement that is appropriate and fair
- Prepare and file a lawsuit by South Carolina’s statute of limitations deadline if we do not settle your case successfully
- Fight your case at trial, if necessary
We will manage all communications in your case, including with the insurance company and the liable party’s attorney. We will also explain all laws that apply to the case and address any concerns you have. We are ready to take action when you are.
Our team can explain more after learning more details about your accident during a free case review. If you become our client, we charge no upfront fees to represent you. Our attorneys work on contingency, which allows us to start on your case right away. We collect our payment from any monetary award we win for you.
You Have Three Years to Take Legal Action in a Dog Bite Case in S.C.
We urge all South Carolina victims who have suffered a dog bite or attack to be prompt in filing legal action if they wish to recover damages. Per S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530, our lawyer has three years to sue the liable party on your behalf to collect damages in your injury or wrongful death case. Three years sounds like a good amount of time, but we believe in having as much time as possible to build the strongest case for financial compensation as we can.
It takes time to investigate your bite or attack, track down surveillance video that might have caught the attack as it was happening, and interview witnesses who saw the dog injure you. The sooner you file, the better. If you miss the deadline, you risk losing your opportunity to hold the liable party responsible. It also means all of the responsibility of paying bills from your attack will fall on you. If you hire us to represent you, we will file your civil lawsuit within the state’s statutes of limitations.
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Get a Free Case Review for Your Dog Bite Injury Case in S.C.
A dog bite can be a traumatic experience resulting in large medical bills and stress. Injuries from these attacks can cause minor-to-severe injuries, from scratches and infections to serious head trauma and spinal cord damage. You should seek prompt medical treatment to ensure you are okay. If you are feeling unwell later, check in again with your doctor. Some injuries can take several days or weeks to show up.
Once you are feeling better, you can reach out to our team member to learn how a South Carolina dog bite injury lawyer at Anastopoulo Law Firm can provide you with sound legal representation that you can trust. We look forward to talking with you during your free case evaluation. Call us at (800) 313-2546 to get started.