Dog attacks are a common occurrence across the county, and the resulting injuries could have lifelong implications. Fortunately, a Rock Hill dog bite lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton could help hold owners responsible for the damages that their pets caused. A well-practiced injury attorney could seek compensation on your behalf.
Personal injury claims arising from dog bites may allow injured persons to obtain compensation for medical care, hospitalization, and reconstructive surgery. Other losses that might be compensable include lost wages and damages for permanent disfigurement. A personal injury lawyer may be able to assess your situation and determine the best course of action in your case.
Why You Should Consider Hiring a Lawyer for Your Dog Bite Case
After a dog bite or attack, you may be wondering whether you really need a lawyer. The team at Schiller & Hamilton knows that we may not be needed for every dog bite case. And we’ll tell you just as much if we review your case and find that your best option is to handle it on your own.
But the process of filing insurance claims and fighting for compensation can be an emotionally taxing process. You’re already dealing with the trauma and pain from your accident. So let a dog bite lawyer from our firm can handle all communications with insurance companies so you and your family can focus on recovery. While you undergo medical treatment and heal from this traumatic event, we’ll be fighting for your right to recover compensation.
In addition, victims who handle claims and negotiations on their own can easily make mistakes. That’s because this process is complex and time-consuming. Insurance companies may try to undermine your claim or deny it outright. We can make sure your claims are thorough and accurate, calculate all damages, and stand up to large insurance companies that would wrongfully withhold compensation from you.
For a free legal consultation with a Rock Hill Dog Bite Lawyer call 1-803-366-0333
Schiller & Hamilton Fights for Dog Bite Victims
The team at Schiller & Hamilton has more than two decades of experience preserving the rights of South Carolinians. We know that every client’s situation is different, which is why we focus on recovering compensation on your terms. Plus, we take a full-service approach to every case, exhausting all legal options and taking care of other practical issues that arise from a dog bite accident.
Your Rock Hill dog bite lawyer can serve you and your family by:
- Gathering evidence regarding your accident
- Calculating your damages
- Determining liable parties
- Managing insurance claims
- Notifying your employer
- Negotiating a just settlement
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit as necessary
We take cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means we don’t charge you for any upfront fees for our help in your case. And your first consultation is completely free, even if you don’t choose us to represent you.
Rock Hill Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 1-803-366-0333
Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Dog bite claims differ from other personal injury claims in various respects. While most personal injury claims rely on evidence of negligence in holding others responsible for the injuries you have suffered, dog bite claims are not based on negligence.
Instead, dog bite claims in South Carolina stem from the legal theory of strict liability. This means that owners are responsible for their pets’ actions, even if the dog had never previously acted in a vicious matter or bitten anyone. Barring a few exceptions, dog owners are liable for any injuries that their dogs cause, no matter the circumstances.
To maintain a successful dog bite claim against a dog owner or other liable party, plaintiffs must prove two separate elements:
- They were lawfully present on the property, which could be public or private, at the time of the dog bite.
- They did nothing to provoke the dog into attacking them.
If the dog bite plaintiffs cannot prove these elements, they may not be able to pursue an injury claim. Dog owners typically are not liable if their dogs bite trespassers, intruders into their homes, or individuals who have provoked their dogs into attacking them. A dedicated lawyer in Rock Hill could evaluate any personal injury claims that a person has for their dog bite injuries.
Recovering Compensation for a Dog Bite in Rock Hill
We know that a dog bite or attack can cause serious financial challenges for victims and their families. You can recover compensation for the following economic damages related to your dog attack injury:
- Medical bills, including emergency care, surgeries, and physical therapy
- Future medical costs for ongoing or future treatments
- Lost income and benefits during recovery
- Diminished earning capacity due to disability
- Funeral costs if you lost a loved one due to a dog attack
Some damages don’t have a price tag, but you can still seek compensation for noneconomic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Reduced quality and enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of spousal or parental support
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Injuries from a dog bite or attack can range from minor to severe. However, the size of the dog, the level of aggression, and collateral damage during the accident can impact the type and severity of the injury.
Some dog bite injuries you can seek compensation for include:
- Broken skin, punctures, and blood loss
- Sprains and fractures
- Nerve damage
- Muscle tears
- Face and neck injuries
- Infection or illness, like rabies or tetanus
Catastrophic injuries from dog attacks may leave physical scars and require reconstructive surgery. In the worst cases, dog attacks can result in death.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Lawsuits in Rock Hill
Under South Carolina law, individuals who suffer dog bite injuries have three years in which to pursue their lawsuits against any potentially liable parties, according to S.C. Code § 15-3-350. If a person fails to observe this timeframe or statute of limitations, they may be unable to recover any compensation for their losses. Potential plaintiffs could also lose their chance to hold pet owners accountable for the vicious behavior of their dogs.
Multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and other treatments over time may be necessary to treat dog bite injuries fully. Consequently, it can be easy to lose track of time and miss the window of opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit. A Rock Hill dog bite attorney could be instrumental in helping dog bite victims seek justice within the statute of limitations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Cases in Rock Hill, SC
At Schiller & Hamilton, you meet with one of our attorneys to discuss your dog bite or attack. But we can answer some of your questions right now before your free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Dog Bite or Attack?
There are a few different parties we may be able to hold accountable for your dog bite, including:
- A dog owner
- A dog handler, walker, or sitter
- A landlord or property owner
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite That Didn’t Break the Skin?
Yes, you can still file insurance claims and sue for a dog bite that didn’t break through the skin. You can seek compensation for injuries that aren’t visible, including emotional trauma. If you were pushed and fell during a dog attack, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or serious bruising. You’re eligible to seek compensation for those injuries, too.
How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
We can’t give you an estimate of how much compensation you may be entitled to until we review the facts of your case. Your compensation could depend on many factors, including:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Your age at the time of the attack
- The amount of economic damages
Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite?
No, you don’t have to file a lawsuit for a dog bite. We can explore multiple options for recovering compensation, such as filing claims with the dog owner’s homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy or an apartment complex’s premises liability insurance.
We understand that you may not want to file a lawsuit if you were bitten or attacked by a friend’s or family member’s dog. We know this can be a sensitive time, so we can guide you through all your options.
What Do I Do After Being Bit by a Dog?
If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog, follow these steps to begin your recovery and act on your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention whether the injury looks serious or not. Definitely seek medical attention if the skin is broken or there’s blood or another visible injury.
- Have the owner or handler secure the dog to prevent further damage.
- Collect the dog owner’s or handler’s information.
- File a police report if you’re attacked by a dog you don’t know while on public property. Contact animal control, too, especially if the dog owner isn’t around.
Contact a dog bite attorney to preserve evidence, file claims, and take legal action as necessary.Contact a Rock Hill Dog Bite Attorney for Advice
The recovery process for a dog attack can be physically and mentally taxing. You may face long periods of reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation, and emotional trauma. Fortunately, a Rock Hill dog bite lawyer could help you handle the paperwork, insurance claims, and legal proceeding while you focus on your physical and emotional health.
While your situation may seem overwhelming, getting legal advice and counsel as quickly as possible may be crucial to the success of a potential injury claim. Reach out to Schiller & Hamilton today to discuss your situation.