If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the aftermath can be traumatizing. Not only do you have to deal with physical injuries, but you’ll likely experience emotional and psychological trauma as well. If you want to obtain the compensation you deserve, you should hire a Columbia dog bite lawyer.
Here, we’ll discuss the types of damages your Columbia personal injury lawyer can demand on your behalf. We’ll also briefly touch on the dog bite laws in South Carolina.
Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina has very specific dog bite laws. Your Columbia personal injury lawyer will have to decide if you’re entitled to damages based on these laws. If they can prove that you’re entitled to damages under the law, there’s a good chance you’ll be compensated for your dog bite injuries.
The dog bite laws in South Carolina are outlined in South Carolina Code §47-3-110. According to this statute, if a dog bites or attacks someone, their owner is strictly liable. It doesn’t matter if the defendant knew their dog was aggressive or not.
Are There Any Defenses the Owner Can Use?
For the most part, since South Carolina has a strict liability rule for dog bites, there aren’t a whole lot of defenses available to the defendant. However, there are two things that can prevent you from collecting damages.
First, if you were trespassing when the dog attacked you, there’s a chance you’ll be denied compensation. The way the courts see it, the only place a dog owner can let their animal roam free is on private property.
If you’re trespassing, you assume the risk that a dog may bite or attack you. The same thing applies to people who were provoking a dog prior to the attack. You should expect a dog to come after you if you’re intentionally antagonizing it.
What Damages Can Your Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer Demand?
The amount of compensation you can demand will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries.
Medical expenses are the most common type of damages in a dog bite case. Your attorney will demand that you be reimbursed for any medical bills you already paid. They’ll also make sure the defendant is responsible for reimbursing your health insurance carrier for any bills they paid.
You can also demand compensation for any future medical care you need. Of course, your Columbia personal injury lawyer will have to submit proof that you’ll actually need future medical care.
In addition to medical bills, you can also demand compensation for any lost wages you suffered. And, if you can no longer do the same type of work you did before the dog attack, you can demand compensation for lost future income.
When it comes to lost future income, it can be tricky to prove exactly how much you’re owed. Your attorney will probably have to hire a forensic accountant to determine what the present-day value is for the income you would’ve earned in the future.
If your dog bite injuries were serious, you could seek damages for pain and suffering. If you only suffered minor injuries, you can’t expect to receive a ton of money for pain and suffering.
What Are the Most Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries?
Since the bulk of your settlement will come from pain and suffering, it’s a good idea to touch on the more common types of dog bite injuries. Depending on the type of dog that bit you, you could suffer any (or all) of the following:
- Puncture wounds: These are caused by the teeth of the dog penetrating the skin. These wounds can be deep and require surgical treatment. If the puncture wound is close to a joint or tendon, it can cause long-term damage.
- Lacerations: These are cuts or tears in the skin that are usually caused by the dog’s claws. These wounds can be deep and require stitches to close. Lacerations that occur on the face can cause scarring.
- Contusions: These are bruises that occur when the skin is pinched or crushed by the dog’s teeth. These bruises can be painful and may take weeks to heal.
Contact an Experienced Columbia Dog Bite Lawyer As Soon as Possible!
If you were bitten by a dog, you’ll expect the dog’s owner to compensate you. It’s only fair. The best way to make sure you get as much money as possible is to retain an experienced Columbia personal injury lawyer.
Our firm offers all new clients a free, initial consultation. All you have to do is call our office at (803) 306-7911.