Getting Just Compensation
for Your Pain
According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States every year, and more than 800,000 of those dog bite victims require medical attention for their injuries. Unfortunately, children and elderly people are more susceptible to sustaining serious injuries in a dog bite attack because they are more likely to be unable to escape or defend themselves from the dog. Children are also more likely to trust a dog they do not know and are less likely to appreciate the need to stay away from certain dog breeds that tend to be more aggressive than others.
Under South Carolina law, a dog owner or caretaker owes a duty to control his or her animal in order to prevent injury to other persons. According to the South Carolina dog bite statute (S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-110:
If a person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog owner or person having the dog in the person's care or keeping, the dog owner or person having the dog in the person's care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked.
The dog bite statute goes on to carve out an exception to liability where the injured person provokes the attack. Courts in our state have interpreted this statute to impose strict liability on a dog owner or caretaker for damages arising out of a dog bite involving an innocent victim. Strict liability means liability regardless of fault. This means that the owner or caretaker of a dog will be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim of an unprovoked dog bite (who was not trespassing at the time) regardless of whether the dog’s owner or caregiver knew or had reason to know that the dog had a propensity to attack.
Depending on the size of the dog and the severity of the attack, dog bites can cause significant injuries and damages. Common types of injuries sustained in these attacks include broken bones, puncture wounds and lacerations, torn muscles or ligaments, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you or your loved one has suffered a serious dog bite, the experienced dog bite attorneys at Morgan Litigation Group can help you obtain compensation for medical bills and other losses, including your pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and any permanent scarring and/or disfigurement caused by the attack.