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South Carolina, Dog Bite Accident

What Are the Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina?

May 1, 2023 | Blog

What Are the Dog Bite Laws in South Carolina?

Dog bite attacks are unfortunately common in South Carolina, with hundreds of cases reported each year.  

The state of South Carolina has strict laws in place to hold dog owners liable for any injury or damage caused by their dog.  

This is known as the “strict liability” principle which means that even if the dog has no previous history of biting or aggressive behavior, the owner is still responsible for any injury caused by their dog. 

South Carolina law defines a “dangerous animal” as a dog that the owner knows or should know tends to attack unprovoked, cause injury, or otherwise endanger humans or domestic animals.  

This includes dogs that make an unprovoked attack off the owner’s premises causing bodily injury or those that commit unprovoked acts off the owner’s premises causing a person to believe that the animal will attack and cause bodily injury.  

However, the law does not apply to dogs that attack trespassers. 

Owners of dangerous animals must confine them indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or run area on their premises.  

The area must be clearly marked and designed to prevent the entry of the public, including children, and to prevent the animal from escaping.  

The animal cannot leave the premises unless safely restrained, and the owner must register them with local law enforcement and maintain liability insurance of at least $50,000. 

Owners of dangerous animals who attack and injure a person are not only subject to civil liability but also criminal liability.  

A first offense can result in a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for up to three years, and subsequent offenses can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to five years. 

If you have been a victim of a dog bite in South Carolina, it is important to take immediate action to ensure your rights are protected and you can seek compensation for any injuries or damage you have suffered.  


10 Things to Do After a South Carolina Dog Bite Attack:

Here are 10 things to do after you have been involved in a dog bite accident in South Carolina: 

  1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately: Even if the injury seems minor, it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional to ensure that you do not have any hidden injuries or infections. This is important both for your health and for documenting the injury. 
  2. Report the Attack: Report the attack to the local animal control agency and the police. Animal control officers can help ensure the dog is quarantined and may investigate, while a police report can help establish the incident’s facts. 
  3. Get Contact Information: Obtain contact information for the dog’s owner and any witnesses to the attack. 
  4. Take Photos: Take photos of your injuries and the dog, if possible. This can help establish the severity of the injuries and the dog’s identity. 
  5. Record the Event Details: Write down the date, time, and location of the attack, as well as the circumstances leading up to the attack, like any interaction with the dog before the attack. 
  6. Keep All Medical Records: Keep copies of all medical records and bills associated with your treatment, as these will be important for any future legal action. 
  7. Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney: Consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience in dog bite cases. They can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation. 
  8. Document Your Recovery: Keep a journal of how you feel and how the injury is affecting your daily life. 
  9. Be Careful Talking to Insurance Companies: Be careful when speaking with insurance companies, as they may try to settle the case quickly and for less than it is worth. 
  10. Do Not Post on Social Media: Avoid discussing the incident with the media or posting about it on social media. This can be used against you in the legal process. 


The Final Word

It is important to note that each state has different laws and regulations when it comes to dog bites and personal injury claims, so it is important to consult with an attorney familiar with the laws in your state to ensure your rights are protected. 

When it comes to the legal process, it is beneficial to consider hiring a personal injury attorney like the attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban who are knowledgeable about South Carolina dog bite cases.  

A personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights, guide you through the process of seeking compensation and determine the best course of action.  

They can investigate the case, gather evidence, communicate with insurance companies, file paperwork, and represent you in court if necessary. 

A personal injury attorney can help to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages 

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