We all love our pets. We name them, bathe them, pet them, or even dress them up in cute clothes. It can be easy to overly humanize them, forgetting that they are simply animals who’ve grown accustomed to living with humans.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, you’re reminded of how vicious canines can be. At that moment, that dog is not “Fido.” It’s a scary, wild animal attacking you on instinct.
South Carolina allows you to hold dog owners accountable for dog bite wounds.
Dog Bites and South Carolina’s Strick Liability Laws
In a personal injury lawsuit, it’s often important to establish neglect. For instance, a neglectful dog owner may have a dog with a history of biting people, but that owner does not keep the animal muzzled in public. They may walk their dog without a leash or leave their gate open, allowing the dog to run free and cause trouble.
However, there are also examples of “strict liability” in a personal injury suit. These are situations where someone is directly responsible for something, regardless of any neglect. Dog bites are a strict liability in South Carolina.
If someone’s dog attacks you, you can hold that person responsible. It doesn’t matter if the dog has a history of attacks, whether the dog was on a leash, or even if you were at the owner’s property.
Trespassing, on the other hand, is a different situation. If you illegally enter someone’s property, and there are clear warnings of a dog on the premises, you may not have a case when you are bitten.
Lawsuits Involving Dog Bites
It may be difficult to determine exactly which injuries you can include in your lawsuit. In a strict liability case, you might be restricted to injuries that directly involve the dog’s teeth making contact with your skin. Any other injury may not be eligible for compensation.
To cover your other injuries, you may need to prove negligence beyond a strict liability. For instance, the owner may have had their dog off leash, or maybe they didn’t properly contain the animal on their property.
Compensation in a Dog Bite Personal Injury Case
Financial compensation is called “damages” because it directly pays you back for the damage you suffered.
In a dog bite case, your damages will be directly related to the injury you suffered. You can receive money for your medical treatment. This includes treatment you’ve already received and future treatment you may still require.
Dog bites are a traumatic experience for many. People can develop PTSD, agoraphobia, or an irrational fear of all dogs, even harmless, small ones. Overcoming this trauma will take therapy, and you can fold those expenses into your case.
Trauma is, in personal injury terms, also a form of “pain and suffering.” Using complicated formulas, your attorney can evaluate the amount of time you suffered and how badly you suffered. These formulas will calculate a dollar amount to compensate you for your misery, and your attorney can add that amount to your overall damages.
If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, reach out to our firm for help. You can reach us any time online, or you can call us during business hours at (803) 938-4952.