Dog Attack Lawyer Explains “One Bite” Laws

Dog Attack Lawyer in South Carolina Explains “One Bite” Laws

Dog bites and dog attacks can be frightening experiences. The wounds inflicted may heal quickly, but the emotional trauma of being attacked may last much longer. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that about 4.5 million Americans will be victims of dog bites each year, with about 20 percent of them requiring medical attention. If you or a loved one are attacked by a dog, the dog’s owner may be responsible for compensating you for your losses with the help. To obtain such compensation, though, you may need to file a lawsuit with the help of a dog attack lawyer and show that the dog’s owner was negligent in keeping or controlling the animal. Some states make this more challenging for injury victims with the use of “one bite” laws.

Dog Attack Lawyer in South Carolina Explains “One Bite” Laws

“One Bite” Laws and South Carolina Law Contrasted

In some states, you or your dog attack lawyer may need to prove that the dog’s owner had reason to know of the dog’s violent tendencies because of a previous attack. For these jurisdictions, every dog is entitled to “one bite.”

If the dog had not previously attacked someone, the owner would have no reason to believe their dog was vicious.

South Carolina, though, has no such “one bite” law. While you and your dog attack lawyer may still have to show a court that the owner had reason to know the dog was dangerous, you can prove this point in ways other than by pointing to a previous attack. This might include:

  • The dog being partly or wholly of a breed known for aggressiveness
  • Aggressive behaviors like barking, charging fences, or jumping on strangers
  • Reports of excessive property damage committed by the dog
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Of course, South Carolina dog owners whose dogs have bitten someone in the past are also on notice of their dog’s dangerous tendencies.

Provocation May Provide a Defense to Dog Owners

The general rule is that dog owners are responsible for any dog bites or attacks if the owner fails to take reasonable steps beforehand to prevent these occurrences. However, dog owners may not be liable for damages if the injured person provoked or taunted the dog before the attack occurred.

To be an effective defense, the provocation would have to be more than simply walking past the dog in a public place. Walking on a sidewalk is not enough provocation, but attempting to trespass onto private property, screaming at the dog, or acting menacingly toward the animal may be sufficient provocation.

Do I Need a South Carolina Dog Attack Lawyer?

Untangling the facts of a dog attack to see if you are eligible for compensation and filing a claim may seem daunting. But Lowcountry Law, LLC and our dog attack lawyer, Matthew Breen excel at helping people like yourself and your family pursue justice.

We make the process of retaining our services simple and risk-free. We have convenient office locations in Myrtle Beach and Mount Pleasant and offer all prospective clients a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Call our office today and request yours to discuss the compensation you might recover.

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