I Was Bit by a Neighbor's Dog. What Should I Do?
Nov. 4, 2022
Dog bites and dog attacks are common occurrences in South Carolina that usually leave the victims with minor or severe injuries, hospitalized, and unable to work. Fortunately, South Carolina dog bite laws allow injured victims to pursue fair financial compensation for their injuries and damages.
However, things can become very complicated if you were bitten or attacked by your neighbor's dog. It is very beneficial to speak with our South Carolina personal injury attorney about your options to seek compensation for your dog bite injuries.
At Duncan and Nobles LLC, we have everything to direct victims of dog bites and dog attacks in their injury claims. Our trusted legal team can fight for your legal rights while you recover in an attempt to seek fair financial compensation for your dog bite injuries and other potential damages. We proudly serve clients across Rock Hill, South Carolina, and surrounding areas throughout Chester and Lancaster counties.
Dog Bite Law in South Carolina
South Carolina is a strict dog bite liability state. According to South Carolina dog bite law, if a person is bitten or attacked by a dog while lawfully in a private place or public place, the dog's owner or the person taking care of or keeping the dog will be held liable for the injuries and damages suffered by the dog bite or dog attack victim.
Conversely, the dog's owner or carer will not be held responsible if:
The victim provoked or harassed the dog.
The dog was working in a law enforcement capacity or performing her official duties.
A wise South Carolina premises liability attorney can investigate the surrounding details of your unique situation, determine whether you have a case, and help file your injury claims.
What to Do Following a Dog Bite
Dog bite incidents are often emotional and traumatizing. Nonetheless, the steps you take – or fail to take – can affect your ability to seek damages or the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Therefore, when bitten or attacked by a dog, you should take the following steps where possible:
After a dog bite or dog attack, it is important that you seem immediate medical treatment. Let an experienced medical professional determine the magnitude of your injuries, administer the appropriate care, or refer you to a specialist. The physical can help diagnose infections, such as rabies, sepsis, or tetanus. Also, the healthcare provider will report the dog bite incident to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
Exchange relevant information with the owner of the dog. These include the dog's owner's name, phone number, dog's vaccination info, and insurance information. This is vital because the majority of dog bite claims are paid by the homeowner's insurance or renter’s policy of the dog's owner. You can also obtain the contact information of witnesses.
Furthermore, take pictures and document your injuries. Obtain the police report, witness statements, and testimonies. Also, keep detailed records of all your hospital visits, medical reports, doctor's appointments, treatments, medications, and medical expenses associated with the injury. You should also document your personal account of the dog bite or dog attack incident.
Hire an Attorney
Lastly, consult with an attorney after the dog bite. Your lawyer can evaluate all of the facts of your case, determine the extent of your injuries, and enlighten you about your options to seek damages. Also, your legal counsel can gather the required evidence and help file your claims against their homeowner's or renter's insurance policy. In addition, your attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurer or take additional legal action if necessary.
However, the laws and rules addressing liability in premises liability cases involving dog bites are quite complex. Therefore, you need to retain a practiced attorney to advocate for your best interests and help you seek your rightful financial compensation.
Compassionate Legal Assistance
A dog bite or dog attack can leave you with severe injuries, infections, and expensive medical bills. In extreme cases, you may need reconstruction surgery or therapy after the incident. However, you don't have to go through the pain and financial liability all on your own. Therefore, if you were bitten or attacked by your neighbor's dog, it is vital that you hire an understanding personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and help you seek fair financial compensation for your injuries.
At Duncan and Nobles LLC, we provide compassionate representation and clear legal direction to clients in their dog bite claims. As your attorney, we can review and investigate every aspect of your specific circumstances, evaluate the extent of your injuries, and explore your options to recover damages. Our dependable legal team will work intelligently to hold the dog's owner responsible for your injuries and help you pursue the maximum available compensation.
Contact Duncan and Nobles LLC today to arrange a simple case assessment with seasoned dog bite attorneys. We proudly serve clients across Rock Hill, South Carolina, and surrounding areas Throughout Chester and Lancaster counties.