Helping Charleston Dog Bite Injury Victims
Our furry friends are adorable, and they provide terrific companionship, but they can get vicious at times. Dogs are highly protective and are often very strong. If they suspect their owner is in danger, they may lash out and attack. This can result in any number of injuries including broken bones, disfigurement, infection, and more.
A dog owner has a responsibility to protect those around them from attacks. If they fail to do so, they may be responsible for damages.
Becoming compensated in a dog bite case is not easy and it is important to have a reliable lawyer on your side. The Hopkins Law Firm is a team of Charleston, South Carolina attorneys that have extensive experience in personal injury and dog bite lawsuits. Read on to find out how they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Is the One Bite Rule in Effect in South Carolina?
Some states have a one bite rule in effect. This means that owners will not be liable for dog bites if it was the first time the animal bit a human.
South Carolina does not have a one bite rule. Rather, it has a strict liability law in place. That means that the owner is responsible for damages even if they had no way of knowing the animal would attack or bite.
What if I Am Bitten by a Stray Dog?
If you are bitten by a stray dog, you could be out of luck. The only way to become compensated is through the owner. If the owner can not be located, you may not be able to hold anyone responsible for damages.
But in some cases, a lawyer may be able to track down the owner. This is especially likely if the dog is microchipped. Once the owner is found, you will be able to go through their insurance company to recoup damages.
Leash Laws in South Carolina
In state of South Carolina, leash laws apply. The state prohibits owners from bringing dogs and other animals into a park or facility unless it is on a leash that is no more than six feet long or if it is crated, caged, or physically restricted in some other manner.
Dogs are not required to be leashed or constrained if they are engaged in hunting game. However, even in these circumstances, the animal must be under close supervision.
The person responsible for the dog must also be of sufficient age, size, and ability to restrain it if necessary.
South Carolina Dog Bite Laws
If an owner does not obey leash laws, they may be responsible for the dog bite, but there are other circumstances that must exist as well. These are as follows.
The attack occurred in a public place
If the attack occurs in a private residence, the victim can not go after the owner for damages. In fact, in some instances, the owner may try to say the dog bite was due to trespassing. They may claim the dog went after the victim because they thought they were on the property when they had no right to be.
If a trespassing claim holds up, the victim will be unable to claim damages.
The victim provoked the dog
The owner will not be held accountable if they provoked the dog. This includes any form of teasing, abusing, and harassing.
In some instances, the owner may try to say the victim provoked the dog, even if this was not the case. If you are attacked and there are witnesses on the scene, be sure to collect contact information. People who witnessed the event may be able to testify on your behalf to prove the attack was not your fault.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can be quite serious in nature. When an attack occurs, you may be dealing with any of the following:
In some situations, the dog may knock you over causing bones to fracture. Broken bones are usually not serious, but they can lead to surgery and ongoing pain.
Scars and Disfigurement
Dog bites can lead to disfigurement that results in extensive medical bills and a decreased quality of life.
If you fall during a dog attack, you may hit your head and incur an injury that can affect cognition and cause permanent damage.
If the dog attacks the head area, it may injure your eyes and cause vision impairment.
If the animal bites beneath the skin, it can damage the nerves. Nerve damage can be quite painful and even debilitating.
Rabies is a virus that can be spread from an animal to a human when a bite occurs. It can cause fever, headache, muscle spasms, paralysis, and it can even be deadly.
When an animal bites a human, bacteria may enter the wound. This can turn into an infection that can be painful. In extreme cases, it can cause tissue damage and it can even be life-threatening.
Physical and Emotional Pain Suffering
An animal attack is a traumatic experience that can lead to ongoing emotional issues.
Owners responsible for a dog bite may be liable for damages including lost wages, medical expenses, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. Although intangible damages are difficult to put a price on, your lawyer will use their years of expertise to come up with an amount that is fair.
The Hopkins Law Firm Can Represent You in Your Charleston, South Carolina Dog Bite Lawsuit
A dog bite lawsuit can be difficult to prove. It is a good idea to have reliable lawyer on your side.
The Hopkins Law Firm is a family-owned business with over 30 years of experience in Charleston, South Carolina dog bite and personal injury law. They will offer you support and guidance in every step of the legal process. They will treat you with the care and respect you deserve.
A dog attack can greatly reduce quality of life. Do not let negligent owners get away with it. Call the Hopkins Law Firm for a free consultation. They will see to it that you get the compensation you deserve.Schedule Your Free Consultation
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Don’t discuss your injury case with the other party or with the insurance company until you have a powerful legal advocate on your side. Call us at 843-894-2377 or reach us by email. Our team offers a free consultation and won’t charge attorneys’ fees unless we help you recover money in a settlement or trial.
We Are Here to Help
Contact Hopkins Law Firm, LLC, at 843-894-2377. If you would like more information about your specific case, you can meet with an attorney from our Charleston team. We will listen to your story, let you know what we can do, and how we can help. You may also email us with a detailed description of your case and we will reach back out to you. We are your local attorneys and we are here to help.