Dog Bite Lawyers in Charleston, South Carolina
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Dogs are man’s best friend.” Well, for the most part that is true, but according to a study from the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites that occur in the U.S. every year – with 800,000 bites resulting in medical care. This means a dog bites 1 out of every 69 people. At Crantford Meehan Attorneys at Law, we understand how all dog-related injuries can affect our clients, physically and emotionally. Whether it’s a serious injury or not, we have a team of lawyers specializing in dog bites who will ensure that the dog’s owner bears the responsibility for your hospital and medical bills, and any other relevant costs. It can be particularly traumatic for victims, who because of this terrifying incident, have difficulty being near other dogs no matter their size or breed. That is why we fight for dog bite victim’s rights by attaining dog bite settlements for just compensation to cover your medical needs. So, if you are seeking dog bite legal advice because you are not sure if you need a lawyer for a dog bite, we would be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss your potential case and represent you in charming Charleston, SC.
Now, if you are a proud dog owner whose dog has never bitten someone before, we are also here for your legal needs. We can and have defended dogs and won cases in dog court. Look no further than our talented dog bite defense attorneys about how we can defend your dog in court.
There are important factors to consider as it pertains to your dog bite injury case, including our state’s laws on dog bites. We have provided some background information that can help you understand a little more about what is necessary in your case.
Charleston, South Carolina Dog Bite Attorneys
Statute of Limitations for South Carolina
Dog Bite Lawsuits
In South Carolina, anybody that is injured by a dog bite has three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations also applies to all other injury lawsuits in South Carolina. If you were to file a lawsuit after that deadline, the court will most likely throw the case out. Therefore, it's very important to understand and adhere to the statute of limitations for your case.
South Carolina's Dog Bite Law
While dog bite laws vary by state, according to South Carolina Code of Laws section 47-3-110, in South Carolina, a dog owner may be held liable for injuries caused by the animal if:
- the injuries are caused when the owner's dog bites or "otherwise attacks" another person
- the injured person was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place
- the injured person did not provoke the dog.
Keep in mind that this statute applies to situations when a person is bitten by a dog, and to situations in which a person is "otherwise attacked" by a dog. For example, say someone is walking down the sidewalk when suddenly, a dog runs out of a nearby yard and jumps on that individual, causing him or her to fall down and suffer injuries. Well, that injured person may seek compensation from the dog's owner under South Carolina's dog bite statute.
Also important to note is that South Carolina's dog bite law is a "strict liability" law, which means that the dog’s owner is liable even if the owner did not know and could not have known the dog would attack or bite. Several other states have similar "strict liability" laws.
Dog Owner Defenses for South Carolina
Dog Bite Injury Claim
When dealing with a dog bite claim, a dog owner in South Carolina may have one of two defenses: provocation and trespassing.
As per South Carolina's dog bite law, if the injured person provoked the dog, the owner is not liable for any injuries. Provocation includes abusing, teasing, or harassing a dog. For example, say a boy jams a stick through a fence between his yard and his neighbor's yard and proceeds to poke the neighbor's dog repeatedly, causing the dog to become so angered it jumps the fence and attacks him. The owner may argue that the boy provoked the dog and therefore he or she is not liable for the boy's injuries.
Another defense that may apply in some South Carolina dog attack cases is trespassing. South Carolina's law requires that an injured person be on public property or lawfully on private property when the injury takes place. A person who is on private property without permission and without the need to carry out a lawful task such as a postal worker is trespassing, and homeowner liability for trespasser injuries is limited in several situations.
About Crantford Meehan
Our knowledgeable lawyers at Crantford Meehan work diligently on every dog bite case we receive in Charleston, SC. If you have suffered a dog bite related injury or have had your dog accused of a dog bite in Charleston, SC and surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. There is no injury too big or too small that we won’t handle. Regardless if it’s through a settlement or verdict, we can certainly seek full recovery of your injuries. Call our office today so that we may find out how much you can sue for your dog bite. You can depend on us to attain the outcome that you deserve, whether you are the dog owner or the dog bite victim.
Crantford Meehan two office locations:
50 Folly Road Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29407
4001 East Palmetto St
Florence, SC 29506
By Appointment Only