Yes, you can sue for a dog bite in South Carolina under certain circumstances. South Carolina has specific laws governing dog bites and the liability of dog owners for injuries caused by their pets. If you’ve been bitten or injured by someone else’s dog, Woron and Dhillon, LLC, in Columbia, SC, can provide guidance on pursuing a dog bite claim. Here’s an overview of key points:
- Strict Liability: South Carolina follows a strict liability approach when it comes to dog bite cases. This means that in most cases, dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the dog had a history of aggression or if the owner was negligent in controlling the dog.
- Trespasser Exception: The strict liability rule generally applies to individuals who are lawfully on public property or lawfully on private property, including the property of the dog owner. However, if someone is trespassing on private property and gets bitten by a dog, the dog owner may not be held strictly liable for the injuries.
- One-Bite Rule: South Carolina does not follow the “one-bite rule,” which means that a dog owner can be held liable for the first bite or attack by their dog, even if there is no prior history of aggression or attacks.
- Negligence Claims: In addition to strict liability, you may also pursue a negligence claim against the dog owner if their actions or failures to control the dog can be shown to have contributed to the attack. Negligence claims may seek additional damages beyond the strict liability claim.
- Damages: If you prevail in a dog bite lawsuit, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages related to the injury.
- Defense of Property: While the law protects individuals who are lawfully on private property, property owners have a right to defend their property from intruders. If a dog attacks someone who is committing a crime or trespassing, the dog owner may have a stronger defense.
It’s important to document the dog bite incident by seeking medical attention, reporting the incident to local animal control authorities, and gathering evidence such as photographs of your injuries and the dog involved. Consulting with a dog bite attorney at Woron and Dhillon, LLC, can help you understand your rights, assess the circumstances of the dog bite, and pursue compensation if you have a valid claim.