Dog Bites and Other Animal Attacks
Lexington, SC personal injury attorneys serious about winning your case
Being attacked by a dog or another animal in South Carolina can be a traumatic event. In an instant, you can sustain a serious injury. Even long after your physical wounds have healed, the psychological trauma can last months or years or even for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s critical that you understand your rights and talk to a South Carolina personal injury attorney who knows how to deal with dog bites and other animal attacks.
Our Lexington, SC dog bite lawyers at Johnson + Johnson Attorneys at Law can help you every step of the way. From filling out forms to dealing with insurance companies, we can be there for you when you need us most. That way, you can focus on what really matters – your recovery.
What to do if you’re bitten by a dog
Dog bites can be dangerous, no matter how minor they may seem at first. You need to take immediate action to protect both your health and your legal rights.
- Make sure you’re safe. If the dog continues to behave aggressively, don’t kick, punch, or do anything to provoke it further. Stay as quiet and calm as possible to avoid escalating the dog. Once the attack is over, get away from the area.
- Only if it is safe to do so, take pictures of the dog and the scene of the attack. Even if you can’t take pictures at the scene, though, you should take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible.
- The biggest danger after a dog bite is the risk of infection. Wash the wound with mild soap and warm water, use a clean cloth to slow the bleeding, and use over-the-counter antibiotic cream if you have it. See a doctor as soon as possible, at most within 8 hours of the bite, to prevent infection.
- Contact local animal control to report the incident. In Lexington, you can contact Lexington County Animal Services at any time to report an animal attack.
- Gather evidence, including the name of the dog’s owner and names and contact information for any witnesses. Save any torn or bloody clothing. Keep your medical records, too, including visit summaries, prescriptions for medications such as antibiotics, and any other medical treatment you receive.
- Contact us as soon as possible. An experienced dog bite attorney can protect your legal rights and deal with the insurance company while you focus on healing.
What are South Carolina’s dog bite laws?
South Carolina has very strict premises liability laws when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks. According to the state’s laws, you can take legal action against the dog’s owner in the following circumstances:
- You were in a public place or lawfully in a private place when the dog attacked you.
- You did not provoke the dog that attacked you.
- Your injuries were a direct result of your dog attack.
It’s also important to understand that South Carolina is a “strict liability” law state when it comes to attacks by dogs and other animals owned by someone. That means that the animal’s owner can be held legally responsible for your injuries, even if the animal’s owner didn’t know that their animal was violent or dangerous.
South Carolina’s dog bite laws also mean that the animal’s owner does not get a free pass for the first dog bite. Some states have a so-called “one bite rule.” South Carolina’s laws are different. If a dog bites someone, the dog’s owner can be held responsible, even the first time.
We understand the high cost of a dog bite
The larger the dog, the more potentially serious the bite. Big dogs can leave huge wounds with ragged edges or even break bones with the force of the bite. However, even small dogs can do a great deal of damage, especially if they happen to damage a tendon or the wound becomes infected.
Depending on the nature of the bite, you may need antibiotics to treat infection and skin grafts or reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. Both the injury and the procedures to treat it can be quite painful. Being attacked by a dog is also an intensely traumatic experience, and the emotional distress and mental anguish inflicted can linger even after the physical wounds have healed.
In short, the full cost of a dog bite can be quite high, and victims shouldn’t be stuck paying for their losses. You have recourse through the civil justice system, and we can help.
Can I file a lawsuit in South Carolina for a dog bite or animal attack?
Yes. South Carolina’s laws are very clear. You have the right to file a lawsuit against a dog owner if a dog attacked you, in most cases. The same laws also apply to other animal attacks which involve animals owned by someone in South Carolina.
Dog bite injury claim cases often turn out to be far more complicated than many people might expect. The dog’s owner might try to claim that you somehow provoked their dog. Or they might try to claim that you were trespassing at the time of your dog attack.
All these legal issues, and many more, illustrate why it’s so important to talk with an attorney who understands South Carolina’s dog bite laws. That’s why we want to meet with you as soon as possible and discuss your legal options.
Get serious about your animal attack. Get Johnson + Johnson for justice.
The financial toll of a dog or animal attack can add up fast. Between medical bills and lost income during your recovery, your accident-related expenses can easily add to many thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s important to explore your legal options right away.
Your case is about more than just money. For us, it’s about holding people responsible for their actions. We take great pride in our work since our attorneys – brothers Kevin and Steven Johnson – were born and raised in Lexington. To us, you’re more than just a client. You’re family.
Get the respect your animal attack deserves. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation right away. One of our experienced, Lexington dog attack lawyers can explain your options and fight for your rights.
Johnson + Johnson – a new class of attorney, setting a new standard for excellence.