In South Carolina, we all love our furry best friend animal companions. Dogs tend to be one of the most popular types of pets (beating out cats and goldfish in polling). However, man’s best friend is not always your best friend. This is particularly true when you are facing down a vicious breed of animal or a home defense dog.
As we move into the warmer months, runners and mailmen should be on the lookout, as dog bite season comes into full swing. Statistically, dog bite incidents tend to be reported more frequently in the spring than during the winter for two reasons. First, more people leave their homes during the spring months for recreational activities such as exercise or play. During the winter, many are simply trying to make it from warm spot A to warm spot B. This increase in activity is particularly common for children and the elderly, who are also statistically more likely to be attacked by vicious dogs. Second, dogs themselves are more active during the spring, again likely due to the warmer weather.
Dog bite incidents can result in very serious injuries that will often require medical care. Victims of dog bites have legal rights and can sue the dog’s owner for compensation for their injuries and medical bills. In particular, South Carolina law is protective of victims that are bitten by another person’s pet dog or other animal.
The Vicious Nature of Dog Bite Related Injuries
Unfortunately, most dog bite cases that are reported do not involve Chihuahuas. Instead, most reported dog bite cases involve larger and more aggressive breeds such as the Pit Bull and the Rottweiler. Most dogs attack primarily with their teeth, which means that deep cuts and broken bones are the most common types of injuries associated with dog attacks.
That said, however, statistically, the demographics most likely to suffer from a reported vicious animal attack are children and the elderly. This may be because they are less able to defend themselves or flee from an aggressive animal. In addition to bite attacks, dog smothering incidents are also common particularly in cases where small children are attacked by large animals.
South Carolina’s “Strict Liability” Dog Bite Law
Most states’ dog bite laws fall into one of two categories. In many states, a dog’s owner is not liable for any injuries unless the owner knew that his or her pet had a dangerous propensity. This type of law, often called the “one bite rule,” is NOT the law in South Carolina. South Carolina is a “strict liability” dog bite state. Under the rules of strict liability, a dog’s owner is liable for any injuries even if he or she did not know the dog was dangerous.
To bring an injury claim against a dog’s owner, the dog bite victim must prove four things. First, the attack must have happened within the past three years. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit can result in the case being dismissed. Second, the victim must prove an attack occurred. Third, the injury must have occurred in a public place. And finally, the victim must prove he or she did not provoke the dog.
Have Questions? Speak to a Spartanburg Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member was attacked and injured by a dog, contact a dog bite injury lawyer at Bryan Ramey, P.A. We serve the entire Upstate including Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson; and we offer a FREE, confidential case reviews to all prospective clients.
Bryan Ramey is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from The University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 27 years now. Bryan Ramey believes in representing the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.