Dogs remain the most popular pets in American households. Whether a person brings a dog into their home for companionship, protection, or to help with hunting or herding, these people have an obligation to keep their animals under control.
Myrtle Beach laws make owners strictly liable for any damage that results from their animals’ poor behavior. If a dog bite occurs in public, or when a guest enjoys an invitation into an owner’s home, the owner is automatically responsible for any injury.
A Myrtle Beach dog bite lawyer could help injured individuals to hold dog owners responsible for the actions of their animals. This includes proving dog owner fault in allowing the bite to occur, properly measuring a person’s damages, and working to deflect any allegations of taunting that may limit a recovery. Contact a personal injury lawyer to see what could be done today.
The Dog Bite Statute in Myrtle Beach
The laws in Myrtle Beach and throughout the state make it easy for the victims of dog bites to collect compensation for their losses. However, this does not mean that the mere fact that a bite occurred is enough to pursue a successful claim.
According to South Carolina Code §47-3-110, dog owners have an absolute duty to keep their animals under control while in public. Additionally, owners are liable for any attack that affects an invited guest in their home. Plaintiffs in these cases do not need to show that the animal had a violent past, as is necessary in states that retain the one-bite rule. Furthermore, a plaintiff does not need to show that a defendant was negligent in allowing the attack to occur. This law creates strict liability for dog owners to provide compensation regardless of intent.
That being said, owners do have a collection of affirmative defenses that they may raise to limit their liability. The most common is that the animal was defending its home. This applies when the victim of the attack entered private land without permission. Similarly, defendants may argue that the attack was a product of a plaintiff goading or taunting the animal. Here, the defendant carries the burden of proving that, but for the plaintiff’s actions, the attack would not have occurred. A Myrtle Beach dog bite attorney could help to explain the state’s laws concerning dog attacks.
Fighting to Collect Fair Compensation From all Responsible Parties
Dog bite claims are similar to most other personal injury claims in that a hurt plaintiff has the right to demand all compensation necessary to make them whole again. Of course, to demand these payments, it is necessary to properly calculate a party’s losses.
The main focus of the case will be to collect payments for physical injuries. Large dogs can break through a person’s skin, tear at flesh, and break bones. Smaller dogs can still manage to inflict puncture wounds. Every dog’s mouth, regardless of size, contains millions of bacteria that can infect a wound. A dog owner is always liable to provide payments for all resulting physical injuries.
In addition to these payments, an owner might also provide compensation for emotional traumas. Many dog bites are frightening events that may cause a victim to suffer nightmares, PTSD, or other mental health concerns. If a plaintiff can link these symptoms to the attack, they may demand payments for this lost quality of life. A dog bite attorney could work to evaluate the true value of a claim and to demand every penny from liable defendants.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Dog Bite Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Dog owners have an absolute duty to keep their animals under control. A bite that occurs in public creates strict liability for an owner. Likewise, if you endure an attack while an invited guest on another’s property, that owner is also responsible.
Even so, owners and their insurance companies are unlikely to offer compensation upon a mere demand. You must be sure to understand your rights under the law, present a detailed demand package, and be ready to deflect allegations that you taunted the dog or invited the attack in other ways.
A Myrtle Beach dog bite lawyer stands ready to fight for you. Contact a lawyer today to get started today.