According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, over 4.7 million people each year are bitten by dogs in the United States. Dog attacks can be devastating. People experience serious injuries, disfigurement, and in some instances death. Recovering from a vicious dog bite can involve visits to the emergency department, inpatient medical care, plastic surgery to reduce scarring, time away from work, and long-term pain and suffering. We are also sensitive to the fact that the trauma associate with the dog bite can lead to post traumatic stress. In many of the cases we have handled, victims struggle to cope with the emotional consequences of the dog attack. Dog bites also carry the risk of transmitting dangerous diseases such as rabies, Pasteurella bacteria, and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
South Carolina has a strict liability statute that holds dog owners or the person who is responsible for the care of the dog, liable for damages suffered by the person who is attacked. In South Carolina the victim does not have to argue about the history of the dog or if it was prone to attack. Other states, however, have a “one-bite” rule, which precludes liability if the owner did not know of the dog’s dangerous propensities. In other words, the dog can bite once with no liability to the owner. South Carolina does not follow this rule.
Because of the investigation required up front in these cases, it is important to consult with an attorney immediately. Do not delay! If you have been bitten by a dog and are in need of representation to obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering, contact the personal injury professionals at Finklea, Hendrick & Blake, LLC. We understand the frustration that goes into handling your claim. We will work with you to get the recovery you deserve.