Dog Owners' Responsibilities

South Carolina dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets or working dogs. This includes responsibility for any injury the animal causes someone who was not provoking or harassing the canine.

South Carolina law specifically makes a dog owner responsible for a dog identified as a “dangerous animal.” A dangerous animal is one that is known to attack or to be likely to attack people unprovoked. The owner has a legal duty to register and confine such an animal.

If you have been attacked by a dog in South Carolina, Joye Law Firm’s lawyers want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out our online contact form for a free claim review and advice about your legal rights.

To find out how we can help you, call us at 877-936-9707 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential claim evaluation.

SC Law Addresses Responsibility for Dangerous Dogs

In South Carolina, a dangerous dog is to be confined if outdoors or remain indoors to ensure people’s safety. Outdoors, a dangerous animal is to be housed within a securely enclosed fence or securely enclosed and locked pen or run area. The enclosure is to be clearly marked as containing a dangerous animal (for example, “Dangerous Dog” signs) and must be designed to prevent the general public – including children – from entering.

Away from the owner’s home, a dangerous dog must be safely restrained by a harness.

An owner must also register a dangerous dog with local authorities. This requires showing proof of liability insurance or surety bond of at least $50,000 in case the animal causes someone physical injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, punctures of the skin, or any physical injury resulting in death.

All dog owners are also subject to local ordinances pertaining to obtaining rabies vaccinations as well as local leash laws, and to state law regarding the seizure and quarantine of animals exhibiting symptoms of rabies.

A dangerous animal is a dog (or cat) that:

  • Makes an unprovoked attack that causes bodily injury to a human being outside a pen or secured area.
  • The owner knows or reasonably should know has a propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked.
  • Commits unprovoked acts (barking, growling, snarling, lunging) that would cause a person to reasonably believe that the animal will attack and cause bodily injury.

An animal is not legally considered to be a “dangerous animal” solely by virtue of its breed or species. It is illegal in South Carolina to have dogs that are bred or trained to attack people or other animals, except those used by law enforcement organizations.

If a dangerous dog attacks and injures a person or a domestic animal, the law specifies a series of penalties for first and subsequent offenses, which include fines and jail time.

Those who are injured by dangerous dogs may avail themselves of civil remedies, including compensation for their losses through the dangerous dog owner’s liability insurance, surety bond or other assets.

If you have been bitten, mauled or otherwise attacked by a dangerous dog, the lawyers at Joye Law Firm can fully investigate to calculate your losses, determine what compensation you are due for your injuries and pursue a claim on your behalf.

A claim may seek money for economic losses (medical bills, lost income, property damage) and non-economic losses (pain, suffering, emotional trauma). In the case of a registered or otherwise identifiably dangerous animal that was allowed to run free, additional punitive damages may be available.

Contact Our South Carolina Dangerous Dog Lawyers

If you or a loved one of yours has suffered the shock and injuries caused by a serious bite, attack or mauling from a dangerous dog, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses and for your pain and suffering. Our South Carolina dog bite lawyers can investigate the circumstances of your injury and help you pursue any compensation you are due.

Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out our online contact form to set up a free review of your case today.

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