Dog Bite Injuries South Carolina

Lawyers for Dog Bite Injuries in SC

What Are The Results When a Dog Attacks a Person?

If you were the victim of a dog bite trauma, you can likely pursue a personal injury claim with the animal’s owner or his or her insurance policy (usually property insurance or tenants insurance). Determining legal responsibility can be very straightforward or more complex, based on the laws of the state, city, or county in which the incident occurred. In the majority of animal attack cases, the victim only has to demonstrate one of the subsequent points:

  • The dog was known to be vicious or had attacked another person before. If the pet is known to be aggressive, this might apply, even when no real attack has happened.
  • A local leash legislation or other animal control legislation was broken. (There doesn’t have to be a ticket, just a law that has been violated.)
  • The dog attack occurred because of some other fault or deceptiveness. If the owner expressed that the animal wasn’t aggressive, realizing that the pet actually was aggressive, then that could be a good example of this.
  • A state or city law makes the dog owner responsible without condition or with less conditions than mentioned previously.

People and businesses who do not own the animal can be at fault if they knew the dog was vicious but allowed it to come into contact with the injured person. This is applicable in situations in which a friend of the owner is caring for the dog or where somebody that owns premises allows an aggressive animal to be on that premises. Then, there’s cases when the pet owner is at work at the time of the animal bite, and their employer is liable.

Basic Vocabulary

  • “Dog Bite Statute” – This is the thing that makes the dog owner liable, as long as the dog wasn’t provoked and the injured person wasn’t trespassing. Some statutes also address non-bite damages and make non-owners liable too.
  • “Negligence” – Failure to reasonably protect people or behaving in an unsafe fashion. An illustration of this is whenever somebody allows an unsafe pet to run free.
  • A person who is identified as ‘negligent pro se’ has broken a law, ultimately leading to the injury. Violating a leash law is just one example.
  • If somebody is ‘scienter,’ that person is continuing to keep a known threatening animal as a pet, despite knowing the danger. An additional term for this is ‘one bite rule,’ although this could be deceiving since ‘one bite’ is not required for the principle to apply to unsafe animals.
  • If someone is accountable for an ‘intentional tort,’ that individual brought about the harm deliberately. An illustration of this would be somebody who motivates viciousness from the animal against the injured person.

The one bite rule

If a dog that bites a victim was known by the owner to be threatening, then the person who owns the dog is responsible. It comes to the injured person to show that the pet owner was aware of the potential danger the dog posed based on the dogs past behavior where the one bite rule is concerned. This rule furthermore addresses personal injuries apart from bites, such as “knock-downs” and tripping. When the injury is a result of the bad conduct of another domestic pet, like a cat, then the law covers that as well. Additionally, it is the basis for having third parties such as property owners responsible for dog attacks.

It is important to observe that the names of such guidelines are misleading, since no real past bite is required. Yet the victim will have to provide evidence that the animal has acted dangerously during the past and that the pet’s owner was conscious of it.

How Is Negligence Established in a Dog Attack Claim?

If another person’s carelessness leads to a dog bite, then that individual is responsible for injuries. “General negligence” is the performing of an action without due care, or failing to take action that due care demands. For instance, letting a dog run free somewhere with children is generally negligent. Additional examples of negligence include things like allowing a dog to run free at a slumber party, chaining a dog to a post near a gathering, and walking too many dogs at once. Even property owners could be held accountable for letting a renter keep a known threatening animal as a pet.

If a person goes against an animal control law, then this person is negligent. The most prevalent cases include situations in which dogs are allowed to trespass on other peoples premises or folks who violate leash laws. If somebody goes against such legislation, then this is a criminal offense in addition to a negligent act. Those behaviors are known as ‘negligence per se.’ The individual that breaks this kind of law generally must pay full damages to anyone who is hurt due to the violation, as well as pay for the penalty for the criminal offense.

There are lots of kinds of animal control laws and regulations at the state, county and city level, so you need to research all three codes. Any time there is no history of prior biting, and nothing irresponsible about the dog owner’s behavior, the whole case may rest on the violation of an animal control law or the creation of a public or private nuisance. This is when it will help to get the advice of a lawyer. Furthermore, there’s slight variations in how legal doctrines are applied from one jurisdiction to the next. For instance, some consider a breach of an animal control law as evidence of negligence rather than negligence per se. Once more, a lawyer has to be contacted.

Statutory liability

In the majority of states, liability could be determined for dog bites based on statutory liability. When someone has a dog bite injury, then statutory liability provides a very simple approach to seeking reimbursement for that damage. Oftentimes, the dog attack claim is between a person and their family or good friends, making this a favored option since it is the very least trying on these kinds of human relationships. This kind of liability does not make the injured person an “accuser,” or call for proof that somebody did anything “improper.”

The states working with a dog bite statute are known as “statutory strict liability states.” Usually, the victim needs to be bitten by the dog of the defendant to receive compensation for damages. But, there’s no need for the victim to provide proof that the animal was regarded as unsafe. Of course there are some limits and circumstances which involve more prerequisites than this. If the situation involves the one bite rule along with fundamentals of negligence, then it’s a mixed statute.

The insurance provider can pay the victim.

The majority of dog bite cases don’t require a claim for compensation since only 1 in 6 dog bite victims require medical treatment. When the damage is severe and the pet owner is liable, however, either the pet owner or his insurance provider has to fully compensate the victim. This might be by means of a homeowner’s insurance policy or even tenants insurance policy.

Exactly what can the injured person receive money for?

Typically, the victim of a dog attack is entitled to receive compensation for the full range of his damages or injuries. The precise items of damages or injuries might include pain, mental suffering, irreversible scarring damage, short-term or lasting disability, loss in potential earning capacity, decrease in quality-of-life, healthcare costs to manage the personal injury, cosmetic solutions to improve the appearance of the injury, mental therapy, destroyed clothes, and wage loss. You could get compensation for all of this and much more, according to your claim.

Dependant upon the state you are in, however, there might be limitations to your compensation and you might simply get healthcare expenses compensated. If the dog has a background of biting or attacking folks, then certain states permit you to receive a multiple of your exact damages. The best way to understand the intricacies of the legal system is to get in touch with a lawyer.

Are you able to receive punitive damages following a dog bite?

Whenever an at fault person in a dog bite claim was egregiously or maliciously negligent, punitive damages may be granted to the victim as a way to punish the at fault person. There are states that allow for punitive damages in every scenario in which the owner of the dog knew that the dog had already bitten anybody. These damages could even be a multiple of the exact damages sustained. However, in the vast majority of cases, punitive damages are not granted and fault is established based on just having the pet that attacked someone.

What if you antagonized the animal or were trespassing on personal premises?

The statutory cause of action is not a solution for individuals who antagonize an animal or trespass on private premises. Even so, the one bite rule may still be applicable.

Cases where dog bite victims can’t recover damages

Some people who are victims of dog attack injuries cannot actually receive compensation for those injuries. These are the situations that involve someone that works with dogs, like a trainer, a groomer, a dog sitter, an animal medical practitioner, etc. Their rights depend upon the law in their jurisdiction.

Individuals and agencies other than the pet owner may be liable for dog bites

Some individuals and organizations which can be liable for dog bite claims, apart from the dog owner, are the police agency or the animal control agency, according to the situation.

  • Besides the owner, a dog liability statute may include keepers and harborers of a dog who attacks.
  • If a pet is allowed to wander through a class or a day care, then the education district or day care proprietor can be answerable for pet attacks.
  • If a pet is brought to a retail store with a consumer, and the store proprietor permits this, the retail store proprietor may be accountable for the bites or damages.
  • An animal control department may be accountable should they permit an unsafe dog to wander through a local community and anyone is injured.
  • If a police officer permits a work canine to hurt or attack anybody, a suspect or anyone else, the police dept might be responsible.
  • If a company has got employees who may have canines at their place of employment, then any resulting dog attacks would be the liability of the employer. The legal liability is merely based on being the employer, rather than recklessness.

What can a dog bite victim do to be sure of receiving damages?

  • Submit a report to the animal control agency. Don’t assume that the hospital’s record will lead to the important investigation, since it will not.
  • If there are witnesses to the injury, get their contact information. Also record the pet owner’s identity or the handler’s identity, dependent upon the circumstances.
  • Photographic proof is very valuable, so take pictures of your damages prior to, during, and after care.
  • Seeking medical attention right away is very important as well. This is really important when it comes to ensuring that you are looked after, that you don’t end up with infections, and that you document your personal injuries.

The scope and severity of your personal injuries will determine what you should do after that. If the bite is to the face, or is serious, or requires hospitalization, retain legal counsel with knowledge in dog attack claims. Small claims court can be an alternative for less serious personal injuries. You might not get as much compensation, yet it’s going to be considerably faster and less costly to go after the claim.

See http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t47c003.php for more info and receive guidance on your position.

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