Almost everyone loves dogs. That is, until we are bitten by one! A dog bite or, even worse, attack can certainly be a traumatizing experience. The last thing you want to worry about after such an event is the legal aspects involved, such as: what to do next, if you have a legal claim, and who should be held responsible for your injuries. The following contains some general information about South Carolina law regarding dog bites and some advice on how to proceed in the unfortunate instance that you are bitten or attacked.
South Carolina Law Regarding Dog Bites: General Information
South Carolina used to follow the “one bite rule.” That rule required that, to recover damages due to a dog bite, the owner must have been aware of the violent or dangerous nature of the dog due to it having previously bitten someone. Fortunately for victims of dog bites in South Carolina, that is no longer the case. South Carolina now holds the dog’s owners strictly liable for damages resulting from their dog having bitten someone. That means that, even if the dog has never bitten anyone or exhibited any aggressive tendencies, the owner is liable and must pay for damages due to a bite or attack.
You will likely be able to recover damages due to the bite as long as your neighbor’s dog bit you while you were in a public place or lawfully in a private place, which includes your neighbor’s property. So, basically, as long as you were not trespassing on your neighbor’s property, you can likely recover. However, even if you were in public or lawfully on your neighbor’s property, if you provoked or harassed the dog into biting you (such as by abusing the dog, for example), you cannot recover.
What Should You Do After Being Bitten?
- Attend to your medical needs
Obviously, the first thing you should do after being bitten by a dog is to address your medical needs, including seeking medical attention if necessary. If medical attention is sought, be sure to relate as many details to the medical professional as possible so that a clear and thorough medical record is compiled.
- Document, document, document
Documentation is very important in any personal injury case or situation. For example, you should take pictures, collect the names and contact information of any potential witnesses, and preserve any torn or bloody clothing.
- Seek legal representation
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help you to preserve your rights, guide you through the sometimes complicated process of filing a claim or lawsuit, and to ultimately get you the compensation you deserve. An attorney can go over the facts of your particular case to help you determine if you have a legal claim where someone should be held responsible for your injuries. Depending on the facts of your situation, their responsibility can include paying for medical expenses, lost income, and even the pain and suffering you endured as a result of having been bitten or attacked. Importantly, you should seek representation as soon as possible after the bite or attack, because waiting too long to pursue your rights could bar any recovery.
Contact Us Today!
Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatizing situation. We understand and would like to help. You should contact us at Rankin & Rankin Law Firm so that our compassionate, experienced, and knowledgeable team can work to protect your rights and help to obtain the compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Schedule your FREE CASE EVALUATION by calling 843-248-2405 or by filling out the form below.
Rankin and Rankin Law Firm is located in Conway, South Carolina and serves the entire Lowcountry area including Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Charleston, and Hilton Head, SC.