Dogs are our best friends, our faithful companions, and sometimes, the cause of our worst pain. Without good owners and proper training, dogs can be the source of negligent injury.
You may have cause to file a claim or a lawsuit against the dog’s owners for your injury. A Fort Mill injury lawyer at Elrod Pope Law Firm can help you understand your rights under South Carolina law. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
There are many reasons why a dog may bite a person. Some are defending their owners or property, are injured or sick, or bred to be aggressive. Some dogs are only guilty of being “fed up” with provocation. However, if someone else’s dog attacks you or your family, there are several ways that you could be entitled to compensation for that attack.
Risks of Dog Attacks on Children
A significant portion of dog bite victims are children.
When a dog attacks a child, there are many things that can happen. A possible outcome is trauma, where the child may go on to have a fear of dogs in the future. The child may regress and show problems in school or have nightmares that are in connection with the attack.
Physically, there can be scarring or long-term pain and disfigurement associated with the bite. Some bites can even be life-threatening with complex injuries. Having a dog attack lawyer can help you understand some of the future issues that can arise from injuries from a dog attack.
Most Common Injuries from Dog Bites
There are a myriad of issues that can happen when someone is a victim of a dog attack. Some of the most common injuries from this type of personal injury can include:
- Eye injuries/Vision changes
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Neck trauma
- Facial injuries
- Nerve and tissue damage
- Puncture wounds
- Infection and inflammation
Dog Bite Liability in South Carolina
South Carolina has what is called “strict liability,” which means that dog owners are responsible if their animal bites or attacks another human being. There is no “one-bite” rule. S.C. statute Section 47-3-110 establishes that people who are lawfully in a public or private place can hold a dog’s owner or caretaker responsible for the damages they suffered.
When a dog attacks another human being, it is then considered a dangerous animal, and the owner must keep it confined, either indoors or penned, and register it with authorities. If penned outside, a sign must be posted to tell the public they are a dangerous animal.
A dangerous animal is one that:
- Has a tendency to attack humans or animals without provocation
- Makes unprovoked attacks that cause injury outside a secured area or pen
- Commits acts of growling, snarling, or lunging that make one believe they are going to attack
Registering the animal after an attack will require liability insurance proof to be shown or a minimum of a $50,000 surety bond. The owners are also subject to South Carolina’s leash law and the local rabies vaccination ordinance.
Should the animal attack a pet or person, there can be fines and jail time issued as a penalty. First offenses can be liable for up to $5,000 in fines and up to 3 years of jail time.
File a Claim After a Dog Bite Attack in Fort Mill
If you’d like more information on South Carolina’s dog bite statutes and your compensation for any pain and suffering caused by a negligent dog and owner, contact our office today to talk with someone. Let us at Elrod Pope Law Firm put our years of legal experience to work for you and your family.
Dog Bite FAQs
Do you have to report a dog bite in S.C.?
If you are on the receiving end of a dog attack or bite, you must report it within 24 hours pursuant to S.C. law (S.C. Code Sec. 47-5-90).
Does South Carolina have a leash law?
Yes, it is unlawful to have a dog off a leash or uncrated at any facility or park, and the leash must not be longer than six feet.
Do dogs have to be quarantined after a dog bite in South Carolina?
S.C. law says that a county health department will serve an animal’s owner a notice to quarantine an animal at their premises or an animal shelter for ten days or more.