dog bite injury attorney Greenville SC

Dog Bite Injury in Greenville, South Carolina

A dog bite injury isn’t just about it bite – it is also about the traumatic experience that pairs with the bite.  Sometimes you can see a dog attack or a dog bite coming because the dog is showing signs of aggression: the tail isn’t wagging, the dog is growling, and its teeth are showing.  That is a sure sign that it’s time to move away from a dog.

There are times when it isn’t so obvious.  A dog that is seemingly nice can – for some reason – decide it wants to defend or protect something or a can come out of nowhere and bite a stranger. You may never know the reason you were bitten, but you do need to take the proper steps if you find yourself dealing with dog bite injuries.

Common Dog Bite Injuries and Complications

Lacerations

When a dog bite breaks through the skin, it typically occurs on the face, arms, hands or legs.  These wounds can be superficial, surface wounds that heal quickly or they can be deep, reaching the bone, causing excruciating pain.

Nerve, Tendon and Tissue Damage

When a dog’s bite is deep enough to pierce the skin, the teeth don’t always stop at the surface.  As the dog clamps down, its teeth can rip into nerves and tendons. Muscle tissue can be damaged as well.  

Permanent Scarring

You don’t know how the wound will heal.  Deep dog bite wounds can cause permanent scarring.  This can be especially serious if the scarring is on the face, which could require plastic or reconstructive surgery.

Broken Bones

Perhaps not as common as lacerations, broken bones can occur if the dog is latched on to an arm or leg.  The bone can be crushed as a result, or if the victim falls because of a dog attack, broken bones can occur upon impacting the ground or another object.

Infections

Whether a dog bite is treated or not, there is always the possibility of infection.  For this reason, it is extremely important to follow doctor’s orders to make sure both you and the wound are properly cared for as it heals.

Emotional Trauma

Dog bite injuries don’t have to only relate to physical pain.  There can be long-lasting effects from dog bite wounds that cause discomfort around other dogs for fear of being bitten again.

What to do After A Dog Bite Injury

If you have been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do – if you’re injuries are not life-threatening – is get the name and contact information of the dog’s owner.  Next, without question, have the wound checked by a doctor. You may think your injury isn’t serious, but complications can arise in the days following a dog bite that range from rabies symptoms to infections.  After you contact your doctor, your next call should be to an attorney.

Dog Bite Injury Liability in Greenville, South Carolina

Every state has its own set of specific laws when it comes to dog bites. In South Carolina, the law for dog bites operates under a what is called strict liability, which means that when a dog bite occurs, the dog owner is held liable for the dog’s actions.  There are, however some exceptions to this law, which include when:

  • A person provoked or harassed the dog.
  • The dog was a working dog at the time of the dog bite, and the dog was performing its duties.
  • The dog’s behavior did not constitute excessive force.

Should You Press Charges Against the Dog’s Owner

That call is, of course, 100% up to you.  Some people press charges out of fear that the dog may harm someone else, so the idea of filing a civil case against the dog’s owner isn’t malicious, but rather to keep another person from becoming a victim.  

If you do decide to file charges, know that South Carolina has a statute of limitations for filing a civil claim for dog bite injuries.  From the date of the dog bite incident, the victim has three years to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

We Can Help You Win Your Dog Bite Injury Case

Here at the law firm of Fulton and Barr, we have a team with extensive experience fighting and winning dog bite cases.   If you choose not to move forward with your case, the dog that bit you can easily harm someone else who may fare worse than you. Call Fulton and Barr for a free consultation so you can get the compensation you deserve.

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