Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer in Greenville, SC

Maxey McFarland Law Firm > Practice Areas > Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer in Greenville, SC
Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer in Greenville, SC

If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, attacked by one, or harmed in a mauling, it’s important to contact a dog bite and animal attack lawyer in Greenville right away. You have the right to file a claim or lawsuit for damage against the animal’s owner to cover your medical bills, trauma, and other losses, but these cases can be tricky. You should act fast.

Dog bite injuries can be serious and carry a high risk of infection. You have the right to demand that the owner pay all medical costs associated with the attack. We can help. Contact Maxey McFarland Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Understanding Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

We love our pets and hate to think of our fur baby attacking someone. However, not all owners take the time to train animals prone to aggression properly. Some animals may naturally be aggressive. Learning the common reasons a dog may attack can help keep you safe. But ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the dog’s owner to ensure their animal does not harm another person or pet.

Some of the more common reasons a dog will attack include:

  • Trained aggressive behavior (guard dogs, fighting dogs, etc.)
  • The breed is naturally aggressive
  • Provocation or perceived provocation from a person or animal
  • Owner negligence (failing to leash or pen the animal)
  • Lack of owner control over the animal

You have every right to take action after a dog attack, and we’re here to support you in the process.

What Do I Do After a Dog Bites Me?

The moments during and after an animal attack are frightening and chaotic. You may be in shock and surprised that the attack happened. You could be bleeding and in a lot of pain. Your health comes first, no matter what. Call 911 for emergency medical care. Ask for police or animal control if you feel unsafe or fear another attack while you wait for help.

Other actions you should take after the attack include:

  • File a police report if you didn’t ask for the police to come to the scene of the attack. If you call 911, the responding officer can make an official police report on the scene.
  • File a dog bite report with Greenville Animal Control
  • Get the name and contact information of the animal owner
  • If you were bitten by a dog, find out if its rabies shots are current
  • Note any witnesses and get their contact information, as well
  • Take photos of your injury and the scene, if you’re able to, or take photos of your injuries at the hospital
  • Note a description of the animal and the location, and make a note of what happened in the minutes leading up to the attack
  • Call a Greenville dog bite attorney as soon as your medical condition has stabilized

You may not get much help from the animal’s owner, and they may not cooperate with your attempts to get more information. You may wish to call the police for help managing the scene.

Legal Implications for Dog Owners in Greenville, SC

South Carolina has some of the strictest laws in the country for dog bites and attacks. In fact, if you’re hurt because a dog jumps on you or lunges at you and knocks you off your bike, you may be able to hold the owner liable for your injuries.

Regarding dog bites, the Palmetto State does not have a “one bite” rule. A one-bite rule makes a dog owner liable for a dog attack only if the dog has bitten someone once before. South Carolina dog owners can be held liable for harm their pet causes, even if it’s the first time it’s bitten someone.

What about other animals? Although a dog bite is more common than being attacked by another animal, you could have a run-in with an exotic pet or other creature that hurts you.

South Carolina law requires owners of dangerous animals of the canine or feline animal groups to confine the animal. The owner will be liable for damages. The owner may also face a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the situation.

Dog Owner Liability in South Carolina

Dogs and other domesticated animals are considered property in South Carolina. As such, any damage the animal does is the owner’s responsibility. Usually, damages caused by a dog or other animals should be covered by the owner’s homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy.

If you’re attacked by someone’s animal, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against its owner or their insurer. You can demand compensation for:

  • All related medical care, including a rabies shot, surgery, or a hospital stay
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Psychological care

However, you and your dog bite and animal attack lawyer in Greenville must prove that the dog harmed you, that you didn’t provoke it, and that you suffered injuries and financial losses as a result of the bite or attack. Witness statements and recorded footage of the attack can help support your claim. If the dog has a history of aggressive behavior, that can also be used as evidence. Your medical records will be valuable evidence of the attack, too. An attorney uses these to establish the extent of your injuries and their cause. Your lawyer can explain their process for building claims like these.

How a Maxey McFarland Law Firm Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help

Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer holding a pen and writing on a book

Pursuing compensation after a dog bite case may be more complex than other types of personal injury cases. Why? Because, unlike other injured persons, the victim of a dog bite may face victim-blaming. They can also face a lot of pressure from the owner (and possibly others) to “just let it go.”

However, you may have deep scarring and nerve damage from the attack, bite, or mauling. Your physical abilities could be compromised, and you may have lasting emotional trauma. It’s not unusual for victims of a dog attack to develop phobias, anxiety, or PTSD. Paying for the care you need to recover and move on should be the responsibility of the at-fault party.

Many animal attack personal injury claims may involve two people who already know each other. Your neighbor could have a dangerous dog that gets loose, or you may have been at a gathering where an animal bit you. Victims may be hesitant to file a lawsuit against someone they know. Working with a lawyer provides a layer of protection and distance between you and the other party. You can refer all communications with the animal owner to your attorney and permit them to act on your behalf.

Since your claim will probably be covered by your friend’s homeowner’s insurance, your attorney will work with the insurer and do whatever they can to preserve the relationship between you and your friend.

Our Legal Team Is Beside You From Start to Finish

When you work with Maxey McFarland Law Firm after an animal attack, you’ll receive personalized support and guidance tailored to your claim. We offer a free initial consultation where we can learn about your situation and advise you of your options.

Our attorneys can build a case against the animal owner using layers of evidence and fine points of SC law to prove your claim. We may use expert witnesses to bolster your claim or conduct an independent investigation into the attack and animal’s history.

We draw on our decades of combined experience in dog bite and personal injury claims to properly value your case. You may claim your actual expenses, like medical bills and lost wages from work. Those are easily tallied. What isn’t so easy is the compensation for intangible losses that you’re entitled to. These losses include the emotional distress and trauma from the attack and pain and suffering from your injuries. You may have extensive scarring or suffer mental health issues following the mauling. Your compensation can cover those losses, too, and we can include the value of these losses in your claim.

Many animal attack and dog bite cases are settled out of court in negotiations with the owner or insurance company. We can represent you in these negotiations, focusing on the best possible outcome. However, if litigation becomes necessary, we’re ready to go. We can prepare you for the trial and vigorously argue your case before a jury.

Statute of Limitations and Timing

If you choose to file a lawsuit, contact Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer in Greenville, though you have a limited time to do so. The South Carolina statute of limitations allows an injured person three years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Do You Need Help After an Animal Attack?

Have you been bitten by a dog or suffered injuries from an unprovoked dog attack? Our team can help you get justice and the compensation you deserve, and an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you. Contact Maxey McFarland Law Firm today for a free consultation. 

Last Updated: 03-13-2024
Written By: Will Maxey