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Representing Victims of Canine Attacks in Charleston

Every year in the U.S., nearly five million people are bitten by dogs, as stated by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Researchers found that the incidence of dog bites requiring emergency room medical treatment is an estimated 333,687 per year, in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Dog attacks can cause serious injuries, particularly to children. Dog owners can be held liable for injuries their animals cause.

People move at the speed of trust, and we aim to ensure our clients fully trust us with their case.”
- Julian Allen

What Are Some Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina?

Some states have a one-bite rule, under which dog owners are liable for injuries caused by their dogs if they knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious propensities. Our state has quasi-strict liability laws for dog bites in the South Carolina Code of Laws at Section 47-3-10.

As stated in the statute, a dog owner (or a person who has a dog in his or her care or keeping) is liable for damages if the dog bites or otherwise attacks another person. The only exceptions to this rule are: trespassing and provocation.

What Are the Common Treatments for Dog Bites?

Treatment for dog bites will depend on the location and severity of the injuries and any complications that develop. Among other possible treatments, an adult or child bitten by a dog may require:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Wound cleaning
  • Sutures
  • Tetanus shot
  • Rabies shot (in some cases)
  • Bone fracture treatment
  • Antibiotics to prevent or treat infection
  • Plastic surgery to minimize scarring or disfigurement

What Damages Are Recoverable in Dog Bite Cases?

Serious dog bites that require extensive medical treatment can lead to substantial damages. Dog bite victims can develop serious infections or suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement. They may suffer emotional trauma from the attack. Damages in a dog bite personal injury claim may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages or earnings
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Mental or emotional suffering

Will the Dog Owner’s Insurance Company Cover Dog Bite Damages?

If the dog’s owner or keeper has homeowner’s insurance, the policy may cover the costs of dog bite injuries. However, some dog owners decline liability coverage for dog bites because it means higher premiums. Some owners cannot get this type of coverage, because they own a breed of dog that most insurance companies will not cover, such as pit bulls, Dobermans, or German shepherds. If there is noinsurance coverage, a dog bite victim can hold the owner personally liable. The statute of limitations (time limit for filing a civil lawsuit) is three years from the date of the injury.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

If you or your child has suffered serious dog bite injuries, it is important to recover full and fair compensation from the responsible party. Monetary damages can help cover your medical expenses, lost income from time away from work, and other losses. Your best chance of obtaining a full recovery is to have an experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer by your side.

Why Choose Allen Law?

At Allen Law, we have more than a decade of legal and trial experience. Attorney Julian Allen is a former insurance defense attorney with inside knowledge of how the "other side" operates. With our firm, you get personalized representation and one-on-one contact with your lawyer. Call us at (843) 882-5005 to schedule a free consultation with no time limit.

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