Even though dogs are often known as man’s best friends and many people treat their furry companions as beloved family members, it’s important to remember that they are still animals. Sadly, some individuals may be dog lovers yet experience a loss of affection after being attacked by an aggressive one. Understandably, being attacked by a dog is a distressing incident that can result in life-altering physical and emotional injuries. As such, many victims wonder whether they can hold the dog owner liable for their devastating losses. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog attack injury, contact a talented Chesterfield County Dog Bite Lawyer who can help you consider your legal options to seek reasonable compensation for your damages.
When do I have the right to pursue legal action for a dog attack injury in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, it’s imperative to understand dog bite laws to ensure you know your legal rights, as you may be entitled to significant compensation for the damages you’ve incurred from an attack. Fortunately, numerous laws in place determine liability for dog attacks. South Carolina has a strict-liability statute, meaning dog owners are liable for their pet’s actions. If you were attacked by a dog either on public property or lawfully on private property, you would have a valid claim. As it is a strict liability statute, you do not have to prove that the dog owner knew or should have reasonably known that the dog had a propensity for violence. Therefore, regardless of whether the owner tried to restrain the dog or warn others of the danger, they can still be held responsible for the damages suffered by a person from their pet’s actions.
What are the exceptions to a dog owner’s liability?
In most cases, a victim can hold a dog owner responsible for their furry companion’s actions. However, there are certain exceptions to their liability. If the victim had not received an expressed or implied invitation to enter the dog owner’s private property or were otherwise trespassing, they would not have a valid claim.
In addition, a dog owner may not be considered liable for a dog attack injury if provocation occurred. Essentially, if the victim contributed to the cause of the attack, meaning they deliberately annoyed, teased, abused, tormented, or harassed the dog in any way, the victim would be ineligible to file a claim.
What is the statute of limitations for a dog bite claim?
Generally, victims have three years from the date of the attack to file a claim. Failure to meet this strict deadline will result in the absolute bar of recovery. Essentially, if you wait too long to file your claim and miss the deadline, you will automatically relinquish your right to pursue legal action to collect monetary compensation for your damages. Therefore, it is critical to act fast to safeguard your legal compensation rights.
If you or someone you love has suffered a dog attack injury, it is in your best interest to contact a determined lawyer from the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C., today to learn how we can help you fight for the just compensation you deserve.