South Carolina law allows dog bite victims to hold the owner liable for injuries stemming from an attack. Even if the dog has no history of aggressive behavior or biting, you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to collect compensationfor your damages. This could include money for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. A dog bite lawyer in Greenville, SC, may be able to help.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we know what it takes to win a South Carolina dog bite case. We will review your circumstances and build a strong case for compensation. If we believe you have a strong case against the dog owner, we may handle your dog bite cases on a contingency basis.
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Recoverable Damages in a Successful Greenville Dog Bite Case
Even minor dog bites require medical care because of the risk of infection. More serious attacks can leave victims with permanent scarring. A dog bite could cost more than you think.
We will attempt to recover compensation that covers the treatment of your injuries, including:
- Wound cleaning
- Deep puncture wound treatment
- Setting broken bones
- Treatment of nerve, tendon, and ligament damage
- Surgery to reduce scarring and disfigurement
- Treatment for emotional trauma
If you sustain serious injuries in a Greenville dog attack, you will likely suffer additional financial damages as well. Some of the most common damages we can recover for our clients who suffer serious dog bite injuries include:
- Medical care and other related expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Reconstructive and plastic surgery
- Ongoing and/or future care costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional counseling
- Pain and suffering damages
- Mental anguish
- Other emotional damages
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South Carolina’s Dog Bite Law Explained
You can find the state’s dog bite statute in Section 47-3-110 of the South Carolina Code. Under this law, a dog bite victim can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner if the dog attacked without provocation. This is true even if the dog does not have a history of aggression.
Under this statute, we need to meet four elements to hold the dog owner liable for your damages. This includes:
- The dog attacked you.
- This caused you to suffer physical injuries.
- You were in a public place, were an invited guest, or had a right to be there.
- You did not provoke the dog.
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Winning a Dog Bite Case in Greenville, SC
There are a few common defenses the dog owner and their insurance company may try to use. We will have to counter these defenses and prove our case to win your Greenville dog bite claim. We will investigate your case and offer evidence to fight challenges that may include:
The Owner Denies Their Dog Bit You
Sometimes, a dog owner will deny that their dog bit you. Some may even claim your injuries did not come from a canine attack at all. They may also accuse another dog of attacking you. We can usually beat this type of defense by presenting evidence in the form of the police report or report from animal control that documents what occurred.
After a dog bite, calling the police and reporting the attack immediately is the best way to ensure this evidence is available in your case. Getting medical care right away is also key in proving your injuries stem from a dog attack and not some other type of incident.
The Owner Alleges You Were Trespassing When the Dog Attacked
It is difficult to win a settlement or verdict against a dog owner if the victim was an adult who was trespassing at the time of the attack. Insurance companies know this, and may claim you were not on their policyholder’s property legally. To fight this claim, we will need to prove:
- You were not on their property.
- You had a duty to be on their property (such as delivering a package).
- You were an invited guest .
The Owner Accuses You of Provoking the Dog
Most commonly, dog owners accuse victims of provoking the attack by teasing or tormenting the dog. This is a common defense because it is incredibly difficult to counter. In many cases, it is your testimony against that of the dog owner. However, eyewitness statements and other evidence may allow us to fight off this type of challenge.
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Getting Compensation After a Greenville, SC, Dog Bite
We can often settle dog bite cases for our clients without going to court. Instead, we approach the dog owner’s homeowner insurance provider with a demand letter. This letter outlines:
- Our evidence against their policyholder
- Your injuries, expenses, and losses
- Our demand for a fair payout
The insurance company most commonly responds with a counter-offer, kicking off settlement negotiations. Using aggressive negotiation tactics, we can sometimes reach a fair settlement agreement to cover your damages.
However, sometimes the insurance company denies our claim, refuses a fair agreement, or the dog owner does not have insurance at all. When this happens, we may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to get the money you deserve.
We will walk with you through this process, and ensure you know what to expect every step of the way.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer in Greenville, SC, About Your Case
If you were the victim of a Greenville dog bite or attack, speak with a dog bite lawyer in Greenville, SC, from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We can help you understand your options for holding the dog owner liable. We will evaluate your situation for free, and advise you if we believe you have a viable case. We will also handle your case based on contingency.
You pay us no attorney’s fees until we recover compensation for you. Call our Greenville office today for your free case review.
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