An attack by a vicious dog can cause deep scars, both physically and emotionally. Cosmetic surgery may be required to correct the physical damage and years of counseling may be needed to address the psychological trauma of a terrifying dog attack.
If you or your loved one has been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries in the North Charleston area, you need a lawyer who will offer trusted guidance to help you overcome the ordeal and move forward with your life.
Our North Charleston, SC dog bite attorneys have experience representing people seriously injured by dangerous dogs.
We focus on obtaining compensation to help you handle the financial and emotional consequences of a dog attack caused by a dog owner’s carelessness or disregard for safety.
No matter what kind of injury the dog caused, we are ready to help you seek full compensation.
Our personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm are proud of our track record of getting results for injured people in Charleston and throughout Charleston County. We cannot guarantee a specific outcome of a dog bite case. However, our record of results shows that our commitment to helping accident victims has repeatedly produced notable results for our clients.
Call us at (888) 324-3100 to speak with a North Charleston, SC dog bite lawyer or fill out our online claim contact form for a free initial consultation.
What are the Most Common Dog Injuries in Charleston?
The most common types of injuries involve wounds to the arms, hands, legs, and feet.
A dog attack may cause:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts and scrapes
- Avulsion injury caused by forcible tearing away of tissue
- Facial wounds
- Neck wounds
- Hand wounds
- Psychological trauma
Serious dog bite injuries such as maulings may require lengthy hospital stays and reconstructive surgery followed by physical therapy and counseling for emotional trauma.
To help the Charleston County animal control office identify dangerous dogs and control the spread of rabies, it is important to report any dog bite to the animal control office and provide information about the location where the dog attack occurred and the name of the dog’s owner, if known.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will conduct an investigation and decide whether the canine needs to be placed in quarantine for observation.
This official report will be helpful if you need to pursue a dog bite claim against the dog owner.
What Injuries and Losses Do Charleston Dog Bite Lawyers Deal With?
Our dog bite lawyers handle cases of dog attacks involving adults or children. Children represent more than half of victims of dog attacks and are more likely to suffer injuries to the face, head, and neck.
Many people injured in dog attacks are not aware that compensation for a dog bite claim will most likely come from the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance.
In fact, dog bites and other dog-related injuries represented more than a third of homeowners insurance claims paid in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
The fact that you or your child was bitten by a neighbor or relative’s dog should not prevent you from seeking compensation from the dog owner’s insurance.
Our attorneys also handle injury cases involving dog bites to deliverymen, trash collection workers, and postal workers who are injured in the course of doing their jobs. If bitten by a dog, an injured worker may be entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim and also seek compensation from the dog owner.
The Charleston dog bite lawyers will investigate your injury claim to calculate your losses and identify what types of compensation you are entitled to seek as a result of your injuries. We can help you seek full compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
What are a Charleston Dog Owner’s Responsibilities?
Dog owners in South Carolina are legally responsible for their pets and the injuries a dog causes if it bites or attacks someone.
South Carolina dog bite laws are clear-cut. If an individual is bitten or attacked by a dog while that person is in a public place in Charleston or is lawfully in a private place, then the owner of the dog or person in charge of the dog is liable for the injuries of the dog attack victim.
The dog owner or keeper of the dog is liable even if the dog has not previously bitten anyone or displayed vicious tendencies.
The dog owner liability law does not apply if the bite victim provoked the dog before the attack or if the dog is a trained Charleston K-9 police dog.
Our attorneys can review Charleston dog owner responsibilities with you and whether you are entitled to claim compensation after a dog attack.
Facts and Statistics on Dog Bite Injuries
- More than a third of U.S. households have a dog.
- More than half of dog bite injuries occur at homes involving dogs that are familiar such as family pets.
- Approximately one out of five people bitten by a dog requires medical treatment.
- Children are more likely than adults to be attacked by a dog and account for more than half of dog bite victims.
- When bitten by a dog, a child is likely to suffer more severe injuries including facial injuries.
- South Carolina had 287 dog bite settlements in 2017, with an average cost per claim of $33,000, the Insurance Information Institute reported.
- Up to 18 percent of dog bites become infected.
- Adults living in a household with two or more dogs are five times more likely to be bitten than those without dogs at home.
What Type of Compensation Can You Receive in a Charleston Dog Bite Lawsuit?
People who are victims of dog bites in South Carolina may have a legal right to pursue compensation for their injuries from the dog owner or keeper of the dog, who is liable.
Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies typically cover dog bite injuries and attacks that occur in a property owner’s house or on the premises.
By filing a dog bite injury claim against the dog owner’s homeowners or renters’ insurance, you may be able to demand money to reimburse you for your medical expenses and recover lost income if you were unable to work as a result of a serious injury.
A person injured may seek compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Cosmetic surgery to address disfiguring scarring caused by a dog attack
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma and psychological counseling
- Permanent disability
- Lost wages while you cannot work
- Future lost income if you are unable to return to work or have diminished earning capacity after a dog attack
- Property damage
If you do not have a knowledgeable injury attorney advocating for you, the Insurance company will try to settle for the lowest amount possible. An experienced attorney at Joye Law will carefully determine the full value of the client’s claim and press for a settlement that recognizes the severity of the dog attack.
Tips for Preventing and Avoiding Dog Bite Injuries
- Keep in mind that any dog can bite.
- Pet owners should start early socializing their dogs to make them feel more comfortable around people and other animals. Well-socialized dogs are less prone to aggressive behavior.
- The Charleston Animal Society has certified dog trainers and offers group dog obedience training and private classes to teach dogs to be well-behaved pets through positive reinforcement.
- If a dog shows aggressive behavior toward anyone, seek help from a certified dog trainer. Don’t wait for an injury to seek help.
- Teach children to treat dogs with respect and never leave a baby or young child unsupervised with a dog.
- It’s important to understand a dog’s body language to recognize when a dog feels threatened or anxious.
- Children should not approach an unfamiliar dog without seeking permission from the owner.
- Children should not try to pet any dog, even a familiar one, that is sleeping, eating, chewing a toy, or caring for puppies. When startled, animals are more likely to bite or snap.
- Children should not try to pet a dog that is in a car or behind a fence. The dog may try to defend its space.
- Do not try to pet a barking or growling dog to calm the animal.
Contact Our Charleston Dog Bite Injury Lawyers
Two steps to take after a dog-related injury in Charleston are to seek proper medical care for the dog bite and to talk to a knowledgeable lawyer about your legal rights. During a free case review, our experienced injury attorneys will answer your questions and discuss whether you are entitled to file a dog bite claim.
Understanding whether you have a valid injury claim can help you understand the steps to take next. If our attorneys at Joye Law Firm represent you, we will work on a contingency fee basis. You will not owe a legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you through an out-of-court settlement or jury award.
Our Charleston dog bite attorneys at Joye Law Firm have received a coveted AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the prestigious legal rating directory. Let us explain how we can assist you. Call Joye Law Firm at (888) 324-3100 or fill out our online contact form.