Myrtle Beach Dog Bites Lawyer
If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, the Myrtle Beach personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Luse can help.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is an animal-friendly community filled with wide-open spaces for dog lovers to enjoy. Regrettably, sometimes man’s best friend doesn’t always turn out to be a friend to everyone. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 4.5 million people become victims of dog bites every year. At least one in five people bitten by a dog will require medical attention to treat the injury. Even more frightening, most often, the victims of dog bites and dog attacks are children.
Dogs are known for their loyalty and sweet and loving dispositions, but they are also strong and powerful animals that are capable of doing serious harm to the people that may cross their path. Owning an animal is a responsibility, and holding owners accountable for their animals is important.
At the Law Office of William J. Luse, we understand that may be easier said than done. Some owners can become defensive and combative when confronted about their dog’s actions. Other owners are difficult to confront because they are considered family or friends. Confronting them means potentially jeopardizing a close relationship.
The legal team at the Law Office of William J. Luse understands the complicated dynamics that can come from a dog bite encounter. We have experience handling a wide variety of dog bite claims and know how to help our clients get the compensation they need to cover their medical expenses following a serious dog bite injury. For example, many dog bite victims don’t realize that a dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance will usually cover their expenses and losses – compensation rarely comes out of the pocket of a friend or family member.
Dog bites and attacks can lead to serious and severe injuries requiring extensive medical intervention. Should you have to pay when someone else’s dog injures you? The attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Luse want to work with you to find the best solution to your situation and help you recover the compensation you need.
If you, your child, or another loved one has been injured by a dog in Myrtle Beach, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys with the Law Office of William J. Luse. Call (843) 839-4795 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our dog bite attorneys today.
South Carolina Laws on Dog Bites
South Carolina has several regulations on the books that govern how dog bite cases are to be handled under the law. South Carolina allows Myrtle Beach dog owners to be held responsible for their dogs’ actions if the animal engages in any of the following behaviors:
- A victim’s injuries are caused when the owner’s dog bites or attacks the victim.
- The victim was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place or residence.
- The victim did not provoke the dog in any way.
These factors are important when it comes to determining liability for a dog bite. Some of the most common defenses to a dog bite claim are that the victim was intentionally provoking the dog, or that the victim was trespassing at the time of the incident.
South Carolina is also considered a “strict liability” state. In a strict liability state, the owner of the dog is liable for the animal’s actions even if the owner had no knowledge that the dog would bite or attack. One of the most common phrases uttered after a dog bite incident is, “but he’s so nice, he’s never bitten anyone before.”
Even dogs that seem to have a sweet temperament have the ability to bite. This excuse does not absolve a person of their responsibilities in the state of South Carolina. All Myrtle Beach dog owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior, which can mean compensating victims in the event a dog bites or attacks someone.
South Carolina also gives victims a timeline for seeking legal means to settle a dog bite case. Victims injured by a dog have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in civil court. Once this statute of limitations expires, the courts can dismiss or throw out cases without considering them. That’s why it is important to contact an experienced Myrtle Breach dog bite attorney immediately to review the circumstances of your case.
Being bitten or attacked by a dog can be frightening and traumatic. While your adrenaline is pumping and your mind is racing it, it is important to try and take a few deep breaths and follow these important steps. This is what you need to do after a dog bite incident:
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION
Thoroughly wash the wound with mild soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. Even seemingly mild cuts or punctures can become infected because of the bacteria present in a dog’s mouth. The most important thing you can do for yourself or a loved one is to get medical care to treat the wound.
IDENTIFY THE DOG AND THE DOG OWNER
This is easy if the dog owner is a friend or family member. If you do not know the owner or don’t have a close relationship with them, make sure you get the dog owner’s contact and insurance information. It is also important to get information related to the dog’s health and vaccination status.
TAKE PHOTOS OF THE ANIMAL
if the owner is hesitant to cooperate, make sure you take photos of the animal, if possible, so that the dog and owner may be identified. Take photos and document your injuries: Photograph your wounds to keep a record of the damage caused by the animal.
GATHER CONTACT INFORMATION OF WITNESSES:
If there are witnesses to the dog bite incident, it may be important to get their contact information so they can corroborate your version of events at a later date.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED MYRTLE BEACH DOG BITE ATTORNEY
A skilled dog bite attroney will be able to help you review the avenues available to you for seeking compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.
Why You Need an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
For animal lovers, family members, and friends, it is hard to imagine holding someone, especially someone you are close to, accountable for a dog bite. Victims must remember that dog bites are serious injuries, and it is the duty of not only responsible owners but all dog owners to compensate victims for their injuries.
Again, in most cases, homeowner’s insurance policies will cover dog bite claims. In fact, data from the Insurance Information Institute finds that dog bite claims cost homeowners insurers $797 million in 2019. Why do you need an attorney if a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the damages? It is simple: Insurance companies want to keep their profits in their pockets. Paying out dog bite claims costs them hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and the number of claims filed between 2018 and 2019 jumped 2.9 percent. The average cost per claim has also gone up according to the same data.
The numbers matter. Insurance companies want to pay you just enough to keep you from hiring an attorney. Having a skilled attorney on your side means you have someone building a strong case on your behalf that shows an insurance adjuster why you deserve the maximum amount of compensation.
It also means you have a powerful and aggressive presence negotiating for your best interests, leaving no room for an adjuster to take advantage of you or your vulnerable situation. In instances where an insurance adjuster may not be negotiating in good faith, an attorney has the ability to hold them accountable in court.
In cases where the dog owner does not have insurance that will compensate you for your injuries, an attorney will be able to examine the facts of your situation and determine if filing a civil lawsuit is the right option for you. If you or someone close to you has been bitten by a dog in Myrtle Beach, you have legal rights and the ability to seek compensation for your medical expenses. To find out more, contact the experienced dog bite attorneys with the Law Office of William J. Luse.
Types of Injuries Associated With Dog Bites
Dog bite wounds can be serious and very traumatic, especially for children. Bites can lead to physical damage, scarring, and even emotional trauma that can last for years after the incident. The injuries associated with dog bites are actually two-fold. The first set of injuries that you may be faced with following a dog bite or dog attack are physical injuries. These injuries are any form of physical damage inflicted by the animal. The most common types of dog bite injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Scrapes and cuts
- Nerve damage
Many of the injuries listed are serious and require immediate medical attention. However, even the most minor cuts, scrapes, or punctures need to be tended by a physician. Why? It’s because the bacteria found in a dog’s mouth can cause significant infection and illness if the wound is not cleaned and treated properly immediately after the bite or attack.
These infections can cause significant health complications, even death in certain cases. An infection can also compromise a person’s immune response, slowing the healing process, and making it more difficult to recover from a physical wound. Medical studies found that between 5 to 25 percent of all bite wounds from dogs will become infected. Deep bite wounds are most at risk for developing serious infections.
These are some of the most common illnesses and infections that can result from a dog bite:
If possible, try to find out whether the animal that bit you is up to date on their vaccines, especially rabies. While rabies infections in the United States are rare, they are not unheard of. Rabies is an extremely serious disease that, if not treated properly and immediately, results in a 99 percent fatality rate once symptoms manifest.
Contact an Experienced Myrtle Beach Dog Bite Attorney Today
The skilled Myrtle Beach dog bite attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Luse have extensive knowledge of South Carolina dog bite laws and experience handling personal injury claims. Dog bites can cause serious injuries, leaving a victim with exorbitant medical bills. Serious bites may also mean that a victim is unable to work as they recover, meaning lost wages and no way to cover those medical expenses. The legal team at the Law Office of William J. Luse wants victims to know that they have rights following a dog bite or dog attack and may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills and lost wages.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, contact the Law Office of William J. Luse. We can review your case and lay out all of your legal options for recovering compensation. We can negotiate on your behalf with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance adjuster, or we may be able to help you file a legal claim in court.
No matter the situation, the experienced Myrtle Beach dog bite attorneys with the Law Office of William J. Luse are ready to stand with you. Call us today at (843) 839-4795 to schedule your free case evaluation.