All pet owners have a responsibility to stop their animals from harming others. Any failure of an owner to restrain or otherwise prevent their animals from inflicting an injury could leave them responsible for the damages. If you were bitten or attacked by someone’s pet, you could benefit from contacting a Mount Pleasant dog bite lawyer.
Along with physical wounds and the subsequent cost of their treatments, you may also be suffering from emotional trauma after an incident. A compassionate personal injury lawyer understands the harm that can be caused by a canine attack. They could inform you of your rights and build a case to seek compensation for your damages.
What are the Laws Concerning Canine Bites?
South Carolina is a strict liability state concerning animal attacks and does not adhere to the one-bite law. This law generally allows owners a “grace period” for a first dog attack, meaning they usually cannot be held liable for a first offense. In Mount Pleasant, dog owners are almost always responsible for any resulting injuries their pet may inflict, regardless of whether it was the first incident. In other words, there is no obligation for a victim to demonstrate that the owner knew of any prior attack or that the dog had violent tendencies.
According to South Carolina Code of Laws §47-3-110, owners and any current keepers of a dog are legally liable for any attack that happens in a public place, or on private land when the victim had permission to be there. In some cases, a property owner may also be held liable for the actions of a tenant’s canine.
How Could a Defendant Avoid Liability?
There are some limited exceptions to South Carolina’s strict liability rule, however. An individual who is injured by a dog while they are trespassing generally will not be able to collect compensation. This is because property owners have the right to defend their premises from intruders.
The at-fault party may also claim that they are not responsible for an injury because if the victim taunted or otherwise provoked their animal into attacking. If an injured individual is found to have teased, egged on, or even attacked the animal prior to the incident, they cannot collect compensation. A knowledgeable lawyer in Mount Pleasant could help claimants understand the state’s dog bite laws and how they could affect their case.
Potential Recovery for Damages in Dog Attack Cases
Dogs are capable of inflicting serious personal injuries including torn flesh, broken bones, infections, and incident-related damages such as a concussion from a fall. As a result, victims of a dog attack may require immediate medical treatment, as well as economic and emotional support. Other types of damages that someone could seek to recover include:
- Lost wages due to missing time at work
- Compensation for scarring or other permanent injuries
- Payments for emotional trauma or other mental anguish
When pursuing a case, an injured individual may request compensation for any or all these damages to be paid for by the at-fault party or parties. A steadfast attorney could help injured parties determine the extent and severity of their dog attack injuries in order to seek appropriate compensation in Mount Pleasant.
Call a Mount Pleasant Dog Bite Attorney Right Away
Dog owners are responsible for their pets no matter where they are. If you have been bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog, you might benefit from the counsel of a skilled attorney. Even in serious injury cases, proving you have adequate legal grounds for compensation can be difficult. A dedicated Mount Pleasant dog bite lawyer could work to help you navigate the law and seek recovery for physical, emotional, and monetary damages. Call us today to learn more.