South Carolina Dog Bite Accident Lawyer

Free Consultation

A dog bite lawyer signing an envelope containing evidence to submit for an insurance claim.Man’s best friend, loyal companion, furry guardian: these are just a few ways we describe our beloved dogs. But even the most cherished pet can act unpredictably, and when that happens, the results can be devastating.

Dog bites are a surprisingly common occurrence, affecting millions of people in the United States each year. Children, due to their smaller size and trusting nature, are especially vulnerable.

These attacks can leave lasting physical and emotional scars. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in South Carolina, you have rights, and we’re here to help you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve.

Approximately 4.7 million people suffer dog bite injuries annually across the US. Sadly, 10 to 20 of these cases end tragically, with fatalities resulting from dog attacks.

The consequences of a dog bite can be severe. Beyond the initial shock and pain, bites can cause:

  • Physical Injuries: Abrasions, puncture wounds, lacerations, tissue loss, crush injuries, fractures, sprains, strains, disfigurement, and infections are all potential outcomes of a dog attack.
  • Emotional Trauma: The psychological impact of a dog bite can be profound. Victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and phobias, particularly a fear of dogs.

These injuries can lead to a significant financial burden. Medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and ongoing physical therapy can quickly add up, and emotional trauma can also impact a person’s ability to work, socialize, and enjoy life in general.

South Carolina Dog Bite Accident Attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm

Dog bite injuries can be life-altering. You shouldn’t have to face the physical, emotional, and financial repercussions on your own.

At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we are committed to helping dog bite victims in South Carolina recover the compensation they deserve. Our compassionate and experienced legal team will fight for your rights and ensure you get the justice you deserve.

Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Free Case Evaluation: We offer a free, no-obligation consultation where you can discuss your case with a lawyer and learn about your legal options.
  • Compassionate Representation: We understand the emotional trauma associated with dog bites. We will treat you with respect and empathy throughout the entire legal process.
  • Proven Track Record: Our lawyers have a proven track record of success in securing fair settlements and verdicts for dog bite victims.

Don’t wait to seek help. Contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm today and let us help you get back on your feet.

What Happens After a Dog Bit? 

Dog bites can be a complex legal issue, and understanding South Carolina’s specific laws is crucial for recovering compensation. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Strict Liability

South Carolina follows a strict liability doctrine for dog bites. This means the dog owner is held liable for your injuries regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression.

This simplifies the legal process for victims because you don’t have to prove the owner knew their dog was dangerous.

Here’s a caveat: there are a few exceptions to strict liability. These include trespassing on private property, provoking the dog, or if the bite occurred while assisting law enforcement or animal control.

Understanding “At Large”

South Carolina law also uses the term “at large” when referring to dog bites. A dog is considered “at large” if it’s:

  • Off its leash
  • Outside of a properly enclosed area (fenced yard)
  • Not restrained by a tether

If a dog bites you while it’s “at large,” the owner is automatically liable under the strict liability doctrine.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

A dog bite can leave you feeling overwhelmed. However, taking the following steps can strengthen your case:

  • Seek Medical Attention: This is the top priority. Get your wounds treated immediately and document the injuries with photos and medical records.
  • Report the Bite: File a report with animal control, especially if the dog is unknown or appears to be a stray.
  • Gather Evidence: If possible, take pictures of the bite wound, the scene of the attack, and any leash laws that may have been violated. Collect witness statements if anyone saw the incident.
  • Contact a South Carolina Dog Bite Lawyer: An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and guide you through the legal process.

Types of Recoverable Damages in a Dog Bite Claim

A dog bite can leave a lasting impact, both physically and emotionally. When filing a claim, you can seek compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This covers past, present, and future medical bills associated with treating your injuries.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can recover lost income.
  • Pain and Suffering: This compensates for the physical and emotional pain caused by the attack and its aftermath.
  • Emotional Distress: Anxiety, fear, PTSD, and other emotional trauma can be included in this category.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Visible scars can lead to emotional distress and impact your quality of life.
  • Property Damage: If your clothing or belongings were damaged in the attack, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacements.

What to Expect After a Dog Bite Attack

While a dollar amount can’t erase the experience, fair compensation can help you rebuild your life. However, you might be wondering: what exactly is my dog bite case worth?

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Every dog bite case is unique, and its value depends on several factors.

Here at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we can help you understand these factors to determine the potential value of your claim.Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Dog bite cases typically involve two main categories of recoverable damages: economic and non-economic.

  • Economic Damages: These are the tangible costs associated with your injury. They include: 
    • Medical Expenses: Past, present, and future medical bills for treating your wounds, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any ongoing care you may require.
    • Lost Wages: If you’re unable to work due to your injuries, you can recover compensation for lost income.
    • Lost Earning Capacity: In severe cases, a dog bite can permanently impact your ability to work. This can be factored into your claim.
    • Property Damage: If your clothing or belongings were damaged in the attack, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacements. 
  • Non-Economic Damages: These damages address the intangible aspects of your suffering, including: 
    • Pain and Suffering: This encompasses the physical and emotional pain you’ve endured because of the attack.
    • Emotional Distress: Anxiety, fear, PTSD, depression, and other emotional consequences of the bite can be included.
    • Scarring and Disfigurement: Visible scars can cause emotional distress and impact how you live your life.
    • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from participating in activities you once loved, this can be considered.

Evidence Helps Strengthen Your Case Value

The strength of your evidence directly impacts the value of your case. Our experienced dog bite lawyers will work tirelessly to gather evidence that supports your claim, such as:

  • Medical Records: These document the extent of your injuries and the associated medical costs.
  • Police Reports: If a report was filed, it can provide details about the incident and the dog involved.
  • Witness Statements: Accounts from people who saw the attack can corroborate your story.
  • Photos: Pictures of the bite wound, the scene of the attack, and any visible scarring can be powerful evidence.

Punitive Damages

In most dog bite cases, compensation focuses on economic and non-economic damages. However, in rare instances, punitive damages may be awarded.

These are meant to punish the dog owner for particularly egregious behavior, such as deliberately keeping a known vicious dog unrestrained.

The bar for receiving punitive damages is high, and proving the owner’s willful or wanton conduct is difficult. A skilled dog bite lawyer can advise you on the possibility of punitive damages in your specific case.

You Have Three Years to Take Legal Action in a Dog Bite Case in South Carolina

Dog bites can be a traumatic experience, leaving you with physical injuries and emotional scars. While you focus on healing, a critical legal deadline looms the statute of limitations.

In South Carolina, dog bite victims have three years from the date of the attack to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. While three years may seem like a long time, it’s crucial to act promptly for several reasons:

  • Building a Strong Case Takes Time: Our experienced dog bite lawyers need time to investigate your case thoroughly. This may involve:
    • Gathering Evidence: Medical records, police reports, witness statements, and surveillance footage can all be crucial in proving your claim. These elements take time to locate and analyze.
    • Consulting Experts: Depending on the complexity of your injuries, we may need to consult medical or financial professionals to determine the full extent of your damages.
  • Memories Fade: The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to recall details of the attack. Acting quickly helps ensure your memory is fresh for witness statements and potential depositions.
  • Preserving Evidence: Over time, physical evidence like bite marks or damage to clothing may deteriorate. Prompt action helps secure this evidence before it disappears.

Missing the Deadline Can Be Devastating

If you miss the three-year window, the court will likely dismiss your case, leaving you with the financial burden of your injuries. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the attack.

Exceptions to Strict Liability in South Carolina Dog Bite Cases

South Carolina’s strict liability law for dog bites simplifies the process for victims, but there are a few exceptions where the dog owner may not be held liable. Understanding these exceptions is crucial:

Provocation

The dog owner is not liable if the victim provoked or harassed the dog and that provocation directly caused the attack. This means the victim’s actions must have been the primary reason for the dog’s aggression.

Examples of provocation include:

  • Hitting, kicking, or otherwise physically harming the dog.
  • Startling the dog with loud noises or sudden movements.
  • Intentionally teasing or tormenting the dog.
  • Pulling on the dog’s tail, ears, legs, or fur.

Trespassing

The dog owner is not liable if the victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the attack.

Trespassing means being on someone’s property without their permission or legal right to be there. However, this exception doesn’t apply to people who are lawfully entering the property to perform a duty, such as mail carriers, delivery personnel, or repair workers.

Law Enforcement K-9s

Dog owners are generally not liable for bites inflicted by dogs working with law enforcement officers. This applies only if the attack:

  • Occurred while the dog was following the officer’s commands.
  • Involved a dog that meets the state’s training and certification standards for K-9 units.

Workers’ Compensation and Dog Bites

Many occupations require entering private property, such as delivery personnel, repair workers, or meter readers. If a dog on the property bites one of these workers, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if the dog owner isn’t necessarily liable under strict liability laws.

Workers’ compensation provides financial assistance for medical bills, lost wages, and other work-related injuries or illnesses. The rationale behind this is that the worker was performing their job duties when the attack occurred.

While workers’ compensation may cover some bite-related injuries, it typically doesn’t cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. An experienced dog bite lawyer can advise you on whether you might have a separate legal claim against the dog owner to seek compensation for these additional damages.

Frequently Asked Questions From a South Carolina Dog Bite Accident Law Firm

Dog bites can be frightening and confusing experiences. Here at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we understand you may have questions specific to South Carolina laws.

Let’s explore some unique scenarios you might not have considered:

My Child Was Bitten at a Friend’s House. Am I Responsible?

South Carolina’s strict liability law applies to dog owners, not necessarily to the person on whose property the attack occurs. This means the friend’s parents, as the dog owners, would likely be held liable for your child’s injuries, not you.

However, there are exceptions, such as provocation by your child. Consulting with a dog bite lawyer is recommended to understand the specific details of your case.

What if the Dog Belongs to a Family Member?

Even if the dog belongs to a relative, strict liability still applies. This can be a delicate situation, but remember, you deserve compensation for your injuries regardless of the relationship.

Our experienced lawyers can handle these sensitive cases with compassion and discretion.

Can I Be Held Liable if My Dog Bites Someone on My Leash?

South Carolina leash laws mandate that dogs be restrained by a leash no longer than six feet on public property. Failing to follow leash laws can weaken your case if your dog bites someone.

However, even with a leash, strict liability may still apply depending on the circumstances. It’s best to speak with a lawyer to understand your specific situation.

What if the Dog Escapes from a Secure Yard and Bites Someone?

Even if your dog escapes through a broken fence or open gate, you may still be held liable under strict liability. However, some exceptions might exist depending on how the dog escaped and the prior behavior of the dog.

A dog bite lawyer can analyze your situation and determine the best course of action.

My Dog Was Deemed “Vicious” After the Bite. What Does This Mean?

South Carolina has dangerous dog laws that allow local authorities to declare a dog “vicious” after it attacks or injures someone. This designation can lead to stricter leash laws, muzzling requirements, or even dog confiscation. If your dog is deemed vicious, consulting with a lawyer is crucial to understand your rights and potential consequences.

Ali Awad, the CEO Lawyer, and his team of experienced dog bite attorneys are here to help navigate the complexities of South Carolina dog bite laws. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and answer your questions.

Don’t hesitate to contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm today at (864) 664-3865 or visit our website. Remember, getting informed legal advice is essential after a dog bite incident.

Find Out What Your Case Is Worth Here

Tell Us More About Your Injury Below So That We Can Get You The Most Money

All Fields Required *

Step 1 of 7

How did you get hurt?

How did you get hurt?(Required)

Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

Contact us now (833) 254-2923.

Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.