If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the aftermath can be traumatizing. Not only do you have to deal with physical injuries, but emotional and psychological trauma as well. In such cases, hiring a Columbia dog bite lawyer is crucial in getting the compensation you deserve. But what damages can your attorney demand on your behalf?
Here, we’ll discuss the types of damages your Columbia injury attorney can demand. We’ll also briefly touch on the dog bite laws in South Carolina.
Your Columbia Injury Attorney Is Familiar With Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina
If you have been bitten by a dog in Columbia, there’s a good chance you can pursue the dog’s owner for damages.
The first step in any personal injury lawsuit is to prove that the defendant (in this case, the dog’s owner) was at fault. According to South Carolina Code §47-3-110, dog owners are strictly liable if a dog bites or attacks someone who is in a public place or was “lawfully” on private property.
Someone is lawfully on private property if they have permission or are performing an official duty, for example, a postal worker delivering the mail.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Columbia, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina Are Stricter Than the “One Bite Rule”
In South Carolina, the dog bite laws are stricter than the “one bite rule.” This rule essentially states that a dog’s owner could only be liable for damages if their dog had bitten someone previously.
In South Carolina, a person who owns a dog is strictly liable even if the owner did not know the dog was dangerous. However, the owner is not liable if the dog bit a person because it was provoked.
If you have been bitten by a dog in South Carolina, you may be able to recover damages from the owner of the dog. The amount of damages you can recover will depend on the severity of your injuries.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, contact a Columbia dog bite lawyer to discuss your case and learn more about your legal rights.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit?
There are a number of different types of damages that your Columbia injury attorney can help you demand in a dog bite lawsuit.
The most common type of damage that is sought in these cases is medical expenses. This can include both the cost of current medical care that you have received as well as any future medical care that may be necessary.
In addition, you may also be able to recover reimbursement for lost wages if you have had to miss work as a result of your injuries. Pain and suffering damages may also be available, which can cover things like emotional distress and physical pain.
If the dog’s owner was extremely reckless, you may also be able to seek punitive damages, which are designed to punish a defendant for gross negligence. However, it is very rare that a judge would award you punitive damages in this type of case.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog in Columbia
Most people will never have to worry about being bitten or attacked by a strange dog. However, if it does happen, there are certain steps you must take. These include the following:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if the wound does not appear to be serious, it is always best to err on the side of caution and have a doctor examine you.
- Once you have been seen by a medical professional, if you decide to pursue legal action, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. This includes taking photographs of your injuries, getting witness statements, and saving any relevant medical documentation.
- Call and speak to a Columbia injury attorney as soon as possible after your attack.
How Can an Experienced Columbia Dog Bite Lawyer Help You?
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, you know how traumatic and painful the experience can be. You may also be facing a long road to recovery, including medical bills and time missed from work.
Fortunately, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries. However, successfully navigating a personal injury lawsuit can be complex. It’s in your best interest to have an experienced Columbia dog bite lawyer on your side.
Your lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, gather evidence to support your claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and if necessary, take your case to trial.
Don’t try to tackle this process on your own – contact an experienced Columbia dog bite lawyer today to get started on your case.
What Are the Most Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries?
Not everybody who is bitten by a dog is entitled to damages. You can only pursue damages for injuries you actually suffered. Some of the more common types of injuries our Columbia injury attorneys have seen over the years include:
- 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.
- Abrasions: This type of injury involves scrapes or scratches that occur when the dog’s nails scrape against the skin. Abrasions usually do not require medical treatment but can be painful.
Can Your Columbia Dog Bite Lawyer Demand Damages if You Were Trespassing?
If you or a loved one were injured by a dog bite while trespassing, it will be harder for your Columbia dog bite lawyer to collect damages. In most cases, trespassers are not allowed to sue for damages.
To win damages, your Columbia dog bite lawyer will have to demonstrate that you were lawfully on private property or in a public place.
Contact an Experienced Columbia Dog Bite Lawyer As Soon as Possible After Your Attack
If you have been the victim of a dog bite in Columbia, South Carolina, it is important that you understand what damages can be sought and how to go about seeking them. With the help of an experienced Columbia injury attorney, you may be able to file a claim for damages.
Our firm offers all new clients a free, initial consultation. All you have to do is call our office at (803)310-5700 and schedule a date and time that works for you.