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Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit with the Help of an Attorney

— June 2, 2022

The first step involves seeking medical attention for your injuries. This is critical because it verifies your injuries and protects you from infections and disease.

Dog bites can be dangerous and frightening – especially for young children. The injuries tend to be expensive to treat and can generate concerns about injections, rabies, and other diseases.

Adults typically lose time at work and face other miscellaneous expenses for medication, bandages, and even walking assistance devices. These are just some reasons for filing a lawsuit for injury compensation after sustaining a dog attack or bite.

South Carolina follows a strict liability interpretation that always holds a dog owner liable for damages caused by their dog. Some states have one-bite rules, according to which a dog must prove they are dangerous before automatic liability takes effect. South Carolina simply assumes that dog owners should always recognize the risks of dogs biting someone.

South Carolina Dog Bite Information

Dogs bite people about 4.5 million times each year in the United States. About 800,000 of these bites require medical attention and treatment. Many dogs target children who do not recognize the dangers and often suffer severe injuries and mauling.

The average cost of treating a dog bite was $27,862 back in 2013, and you can expect higher costs 10 years later. The rate of dog bites is rising because of the Covid-19 crisis, which generated isolation and increased instances of protection by guard dogs. More and more people schedule home deliveries, which often drive aggressive dogs into a frenzy.

South Carolina Code Paves the Way for Lawsuits

Dog owners can be held liable for:

  • Injuries
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Non-economic damages like pain and suffering

Hiring a South Carolina dog bite lawyer is the first step to winning compensation for your dog bite injuries. The steps to follow in preparing your lawsuit include the following:

Get Medical Treatment

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The first step involves seeking medical attention for your injuries. This is critical because it verifies your injuries and protects you from infections and disease.

The most common diseases you can get from a dog bite include:

  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Endocarditis
  • Cellulitis
  • Tetanus

Obtain Contact Information

Get the contact information for the dog’s owner, which includes any insurance information and the dog’s medical records of vaccinations. Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies typically cover dog bite liabilities up to the policy limit, which usually runs between $100,000 and $300,000.

You might need to contact the police and the veterinarian in cases where the owner is uncooperative.

File an Incident Report

You will need to file a dog bite incident report with the police or municipal government. The report documents the dog bite and leaves a paper trail for the authorities to follow.

Research the Dog’s History

Although evidence of previous attacks or bites is not required, written records help confirm the dog’s dangerousness. A history of aggressive biting can also demonstrate the reckless disregard for safety by the owner, which can result in awards of punitive damages.

Keep Good Records

Keep thorough and accurate records of your medical treatments and any related expenses. You should also make notes about any impact the biting incident has had on your life, like:

  • Facial disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of work
  • Pain and suffering

Hire an Experienced Attorney

Hire an attorney, and brief the legal team on all your collected information. A legal expert can offer valuable guidance throughout the legal process. With their help, you can rest assured that all the paperwork will be filled out correctly and on time. What is more, based on the specifics of your case, a lawyer can formulate a personalized legal strategy to help you win.

Getting an Insurance Settlement

You do not have to worry about the insurance company using fine print to disqualify you from coverage in a strict liability state. The law holds that the dog’s owner is responsible for any attacks or bites. You just need to prove that the dog bit you. Gather compelling evidence that could be used at trial, and most insurance companies will settle your dog bite case quickly.

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