Premises liability covers domesticated and wild animal attacks in South Carolina.
Generally, property owners must keep their properties safe. Failure to do so means that the property owner is responsible for any damages caused by animal attacks on their territory.
Victims of animal attacks often need medical attention, which can be very costly. Depending on the animal, the severity of the injury, and the pain and suffering of the attack, you might find that recovery is harsh—mentally and physically.
While a physical wound may heal over time, a mental wound may need just as much attention until you feel safe again around the type of animal that attacked you.
Can I Seek Compensation After an Animal Attack in South Carolina?
Dog and other animal owners in South Carolina must keep their animals under control. If a property owner invites a guest into their land, they must take all the necessary measures to protect the guest from any dangerous animals in the area.
However, not all animal attacks on guests happen due to negligence on the hosts’ part. If you are attacked by an animal on another person’s premises, you must prove you were injured, and it’s the property owner’s negligence that caused your miseries.
To further support your case, you must also prove that:
- The animal that attacked you was not leashed or restricted at the time of the attack.
- The owner knowingly failed to restrain the animal that attacked you.
- The animal had a history of attacking people previously and was known to be dangerous.
Can I Seek Compensation for Wild Animal Attacks in South Carolina?
You can seek compensation for domestic or wild animal attacks on another person’s premises using the traditional concepts of premises liability and S.C. Ann. § 47-3-110. This law states that the dog owner (that could also be the property owner) would be liable for your dog attack losses.
Wild animal attack cases are relatively more complex. You could benefit from a lawyer’s help in this situation. For instance, wild animal attack lawsuits require proving the property owner’s negligence in failing to keep you safe. You might also have to demonstrate that you were not trespassing when the attack happened.
If you can prove all these, the property owner might be responsible for attacks caused by:
- Hornets or wasps
Who Is Liable for an Animal Attack?
Usually, the premises liability law stipulates that the property owner is liable for all the activities on their territory. For instance, if a neighbor visits a particular property owner and is bitten by a dog, the property owner will be liable for the damages caused to the neighbor. In the same spirit, if wild animals attack you on a friend’s farm, your friend will be responsible for your losses.
A third party could also be involved. For instance, a negligent property owner and another person (a negligent dog owner) could be partially liable. Both parties could have had broken fences they failed to repair. They could both be responsible for your attack-related losses in this situation. You could file an insurance claim or sue for your dog bite injury.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help
In South Carolina, premises liability covers animal attacks, but it depends on how you make your case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you:
- Assess and determine your losses (include medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages)
- Fight for your rightful compensation
- Have meaningful negotiations with the at-fault party and their insurance company
- Represent you in court if the insurer doesn’t settle
- Valuate your losses (there is no average settlement for these cases, but your lawyer will look at your specific losses)
Evidence Your Lawyer Can Use To Prove Your Losses
Our team aims to secure fair compensation for you. However, we can’t do that without proving your animal attack affected you negatively. Your lawyer can do this by gathering:
- Testimonies from eyewitnesses
- Video footage of the attack, such as CCTV footage, front door camera footage, dashboard camera footage, etc.
- Photos of your injuries
- Your account of the attack and how it has affected your life
- Your medical records
- Receipts for medical treatment, painkillers, a sling for your arm, etc.
- Records of past attacks involving that same animal
- Records of attacks or accidents on the same premises
Your lawyer can gather evidence to support you and use premises liability legal knowledge in your animal attack case in South Carolina.
Where To Find the Best Premises Liability Lawyers in South Carolina
The complexity of premises liability lawsuits can be overwhelming. Our team can stand by you throughout your case, however. For animal attacks, specifically, the cases are more complex—it is worse if wild animals are involved.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers can help you secure the compensation you need from your animal attack lawsuit. For more than 40 years, our attorneys have managed to resolve over 50,000 cases—and continue to help personal injury victims. Contact us for a free case review today and get started.