Dog bites and attacks are not only terrifying events but are also extremely dangerous. If someone else’s dog causes you or someone you care about to be injured, obtaining fair compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses is important to your ability to heal, which makes reaching out to an experienced Moncks Corner dog bite lawyer paramount.
Moncks Corner Attorneys Representing Dog Bite Victims
Rather than being clean cuts or wounds, dog bites rip and tear through the skin, which makes them that much more dangerous. These bites are prone to serious infection, and the healing process itself can leave thick, tight scars that impede smooth movement in the affected area — especially when they are on the hand or another jointed area.
When a dog bite is on or near the face, it can be permanently disfiguring. Dog bites can also lead to serious secondary health concerns as well as dangerous complications.
The threat of dog bites is all too real. in fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports all the following:
- Dogs bite more than 4.5 million people each year in the United States.
- More than 800,000 bite victims seek medical attention for their wounds.
- 1 out of every 5 dog bite victims requires medical attention.
- Children are far more likely to be bitten by dogs and are far more likely to sustain serious injuries in the process.
South Carolina’s Dog Bite Law
The state of South Carolina follows what is known as strict liability for dog bite, which means that a dog’s owner is responsible if their dog bites someone unprovoked — regardless of whether or not it is the first time their dog ever reacted in this way and regardless of whether or not the dog owner’s irresponsibility played a role.
South Carolina used to employ what is known as the one-bite law, which meant that a dog’s first bite could not lead to a dog bite claim because the dog’s owner presumably had no way of knowing their pet was dangerous to begin with. This, however, is no longer the case.
If a dog bites you unprovoked when you are on public property or are lawfully on private property, the dog’s owner may be held responsible.
Provocation in Dog Bite Cases
The only exception in terms of the dog owner’s liability for bites on public property is provocation. If the person who receives the dog bite is determined to have provoked the dog in any of the following ways, the dog’s owner may not bear responsibility:
- Touching or teasing the dog in a manner that spurs it to attack
- Abusing or harassing the dog in some way
- Taking the dog’s food, water, or puppies from it
Any of these could prompt a dog to attack and should always be avoided.
Physical, Financial, and Emotional Losses From Dog Bites
The losses you experience as a result of a dog bite can be immense and may be ongoing.
Your Medical Bills
The medical bills associated with a serious dog bite can mount quickly, and you may face expenses related to future healthcare needs. Without complete treatment that addresses any ongoing needs, it will be much more difficult to recover as fully as possible.
Your Lost Earnings
While you are recovering from the dog attack, you may miss hours on the job that lead to lost earnings. If the bite impedes your ability to do your job, these losses can be even more considerable, and if your earning potential is affected, you could be facing profound financial losses.
Your Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering
Dog attacks tend to be terrifying and are closely associated with strong emotional responses. Many victims develop PTSD-like reactions that can leave them terrified of dogs and with a wide range of emotional challenges, including:
- Increased anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
- Intensified startle reactions
- Severe mood swings
- A tendency to self-isolate
Addressing your financial losses as well as the emotional consequences of your dog bite injury is critical to your ability to fully recover.
How Your Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
A dog bite can leave you not only seriously injured but also less well able to cope with your daily life, which means you are not in a great position to fight the dog owner’s insurance provider for the compensation to which you are entitled.
Your dedicated dog bite lawyer, however, can help in all the following critical ways:
- Clearly defining the full range of your losses
- Gathering all the evidence necessary to build your strongest claim
- Clearly communicating and skillfully negotiating with the involved insurance company – in pursuit of just compensation
Consult With an Experienced Moncks Corner Dog Bite Lawyer
West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers in Moncks Corner, South Carolina is a family firm whose roots in the community go back several generations, and E. Mason West ably handles their dog bite claims. Mason is an accomplished dog bite lawyer with a wealth of experience successfully handling challenging claims like yours.
Dog Bite Case FAQs
How do I know if I have a dog bite claim?
The best way to determine if you have a viable dog bite claim is by consulting with an experienced dog bite lawyer who will help you assess the strengths and challenges of your situation and will help you make the right decisions for you as you move forward.
How much will a dog bite lawyer cost?
Most reputable dog bite lawyers are paid on contingency. This means that you won’t owe anything unless your claim either settles or receives a court award. Only then will you owe a prearranged percentage of your settlement or award to your dog bite lawyer.
What if the dog had never bitten anyone before?
In South Carolina, dog owners can be held liable for unprovoked dog bites even if the dog in question had never attacked anyone before.