If you have ever been even playfully bitten by a dog, you know all too well how dangerous a dog’s teeth, claws, or bodyweight alone can be to an unsuspecting person. People who experience severe attacks from a dog or other domesticated animal may find themselves dealing with deep lacerations, infections, and even broken bones.
If you want to file suit for a dog attack in South Carolina, there are several rules and regulations established in state law that you may want to talk to a seasoned personal injury attorney about. Without assistance from a Lexington dog bite lawyer, you may have difficulty recovering full compensation for all your losses—or potentially recovering any compensation at all.
How Dog Bites Are Litigated in Lexington
Under South Carolina Code of Laws §47-3-110, the owner of a dog may be held liable for any harm their pet inflicts on someone who is either in a public place or legally in a private one. Depending on the circumstances, a person responsible for the dog’s care or for watching the dog may alternatively bear liability.
This statute also names situations in which a dog’s owner may not bear liability. First, a person may not file suit for any injuries they sustained as a direct result of their own provocation of a dog. Second, if a dog is working in a law enforcement capacity, properly trained, and lawfully ordered to attack by the law enforcement officer overseeing them, the person they attack may not recover civil damages for any injuries they sustain as a result.
Assuming neither of these exceptions apply, an injured party must still prove civil liability in order to recover for damages. Fortunately for plaintiffs, South Carolina law holds dog owners strictly liable for dog bites and does not enforce a “one-bite” rule like many other states. A knowledgeable Lexington dog attack attorney could work with an individual plaintiff to determine how these and other state laws may apply to their particular case.
Successfully Recovering Compensation After an Animal Attack
After suffering harm from a dog attack, anyone looking to file suit for damages should make sure to collect and retain as much documentation of their injuries and related financial losses as possible. In addition to medical bills, prescriptions, and receipts for property repairs, photographs of the injury itself and the location where the attack occurred can be valuable evidence.
If a case is successful, a dog bite lawyer in Lexington could seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages like:
- Any and all related medical costs, including those for physical therapy and rabies shots
- Loss of income from time spent out of work to recover
- Lost and damaged property
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Psychological trauma, including symptoms of PTSD
- General pain and suffering
However, under SC Code of Laws §15-3-510, any civil action seeking monetary recovery for a personal injury must be filed within three years of the date of injury. Failure to abide by this statute of limitations may lead to a case being time-barred.
Talk to a Lexington Dog Bite Attorney Today
Filing a lawsuit following a dog bite may not take precedence over your physical recovery from the attack, but it should still be a high priority, especially if your injuries cause you to suffer financial and psychological losses as well. By consulting with a Lexington dog bite lawyer, you could effectively prepare yourself for every legal obstacle that may arise in your case and proactively pursue full compensation for your losses. Call today to get started.