It is a fact of life that dogs bite. But dog bites are not a simply a childhood rite of passage. Dogs bite about 4.5 million Americans of all ages every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Some 885,000 dog bite victims each year require medical attention – about half of them are children.
In one recent year, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs, the CDC says.
Dog owners have a responsibility for their pets and for the harm they cause if they attack someone. If you have been attacked by a dog, Joye Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys want to help you obtain compensation for the medical expense and other losses associated with a serious dog bite, attack or mauling in South Carolina.
Call Joye Law Firm or contact us online for a free claim review and advice about your rights as a dog bite victim.
Injuries and Other Losses in Dog Attacks
South Carolina’s dog bite law is straightforward: If a person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, the dog owner or person in control of the dog is liable for the injuries and losses of the person bitten. Unlike some other states, there is no “one bite” provision making an allowance for the first time a dog attacks someone.
The law does not apply if the person who was bitten had first harassed or provoked the dog or if the dog is a trained law enforcement canine.
Otherwise, a dog bite victim may obtain compensation from a dog owner for losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage (torn clothing, broken wristwatch, jewelry, eyeglasses, etc.)
- Lost income during recovery
- Pain and suffering
It is important to consider seeking compensation for a dog bite injury. A CDC report lists common physical injuries that occur in dog attacks:
- Puncture wounds
- Lacerations and abrasions (cuts and scrapes)
- Contusions and hematomas (bruises)
- Avulsion (tearing)
- Crushing (head and skull injuries)
Injuries occur most commonly to the arm or hand, leg or foot, and head or neck, the CDC says. Serious injuries may require hospitalization, surgery and physical rehabilitation therapy.
In addition, the shock of a dog attack and the resulting injuries may cause psychological damage, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some dog bite victims require counseling in the aftermath of a mauling.
A troubling aspect of dog bites and attacks is that children and elderly adults are most vulnerable. This is because they are less able to escape or fend off an attacking dog. Children younger than four years old are most likely to suffer injuries to the head and neck, but the overall injury rate was highest for children five to nine years old.
Compensation for a Dog Bite Claim
Many people don’t realize that compensation for a dog bite claim will most often come from the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute says that more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claim dollars paid out in a typical year are for dog bites.
The fact that you or your child has been bitten by a neighbor, relative or friend’s dog should not stop you from seeking compensation through the dog owner’s insurance policy.
In cases in which a worker – such as a deliveryman or a utility or sanitation worker – is bitten by a dog while performing job duties, the injured worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, as well as compensation from the dog owner.
The lawyers at Joye Law Firm can fully investigate your dog bite case to calculate your losses and determine what compensation you are due for your injuries. Then we can help you recover the financial assistance you deserve through the dog owner’s insurance or workers’ compensation insurance.
Contact Our South Carolina Dog Bite Lawyers
If you or a loved one of yours has suffered the shock and pain of a serious dog bite, attack or mauling, our South Carolina dog bite lawyers can work to help put the pieces of your life back together. We can help you obtain compensation for medical bills and other losses, including your pain and suffering.
Call Joye Law Firm now or use this online contact form for a free review of your case today.