Did you know that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care? That means roughly 1 out of every 73 people are bit by a dog.
Dog bites are serious business, and they can render you severely injured. You may need extensive medical treatment to care for your wounds and, often, the effects of a South Carolina dog bite injury can scar you for life.
If you or a family member is the victim of a dog bite, then you have the right to be made whole. But how much are you entitled to? What kinds of damages can you recover? And how much is an average dog bite settlement in South Carolina? Read on to learn more about the answers to these questions.
Estimated Number and Average Cost of Dog Bite Claims, 2016-2021.
Dog Bite Statistics Infographic | Hopkins Law Firm
South Carolina Dog Bite Law
South Carolina law applies strict liability to dog bites. Which means that dog owners are liable when their dogs bite others regardless of whether they believe their dog was vicious. Where many states have caps on punitive damages and compensatory damages on dog bites, South Carolina does not. That means that you could get more than the average settlement for a dog bite claim in a personal injury lawsuit or claim.
Under Section 47-3-110 of the South Carolina Code, the owner or person taking care of a dog may be held liable for the injuries of someone attacked by the dog if the injuries are caused when the dog bites “or otherwise attacks” a person and the injured person was in a public place or had permission to be in the place where the attack happened, such as the owner's backyard.
Dog Bite Settlement Lawsuits – What Type of Damages Can I Seek?
The damages you may qualify for in your dog bite injury case include:
- Medical costs: When you suffer from a dog bite injury in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, or Pawleys Island, South Carolina, you have a right to receive coverage for your medical expenses. These expenses are part of your total compensation and cover any medical treatment you need to care for your injuries now and into the future. These costs should not be your burden to bear in a dog bite case and your South Carolina dog bite lawyer near you will seek them as part of your settlement award.
- Lost earnings: After a dog attack, you may need to miss time from work to recover or because your injuries are so severe, they limit your capacity to complete your regular work tasks. If you miss work due to the extent and severity of your dog bite injuries, your settlement award will cover these losses. Your nearby South Carolina dog bite attorney will calculate the amount of wages you have lost out on due to your injuries, as well as any future lost earnings that will take place because of your dog bite injuries.
- Property damages: You also qualify for compensation for any property damages you endured because of your dog bite injury. This could include your damaged personal property that may have been ruined or broken during the dog bite attack. Your Columbia, South Carolina dog bite attorney will help you determine the worth of this personal property and if you should seek compensation as part of your award settlement.
- Loss of consortium: Some dog attack cases are so serious that there is a wrongful death or you lose the companionship of a loved one due to changes in their mental or physical behavior because of their dog bite injury. In these circumstances, you may be due a loss of consortium settlement. This settlement award will compensate you for your losses and help you financially recover from losing your loved one. While this will not bring your loved one back, it can provide you some solace that justice occurred for the dog bite injury that your loved one suffered. Work with your South Carolina dog bite lawyer to determine if damages for the loss of consortium are warranted in your suit.
- Pain and suffering damages: The law in Columbia, South Carolina allows for pain and suffering damages when your dog bite injury is severe in nature. This injury may cause you extreme mental suffering and anguish. These dog bite injuries can be emotionally trying and cause you great suffering and pain. You deserve compensation for your losses in your dog bite case. These damages are part of your settlement award, and a dog bite lawyer can help determine if they are necessary for your dog bite case.
Average South Carolina Dog Bite Settlements
Dog bites are serious business, and they can render you severely injured. You may need extensive medical treatment to care for your wounds and, often, the effects of a Columbia, South Carolina dog bite injury can scar you for life.
When a dog bites you or your family member, you have rights. You should not have to pay for any medical expenses out of your own pocket, and a South Carolina dog bite lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Some of the questions you may be asking yourself is, “how much will I get for a South Carolina dog bite injury?”, or “how much is a dog bite settlement?” According to the dog bite settlement examples on this page, the typical South Carolina dog bite injury lawsuit settlement is anywhere from $60,000 – $225,000, with an average settlement across this set of examples of $136,000. Large dog bite settlement amounts happen when the right dog bite lawyer is on the case, fighting for the rights of victims.
The amount and type of settlement compensation will vary based on the severity of the South Carolina dog bite injury. There are common signs of a dog bite or attack, though the situation may not be your fault. You may need stitches or just have minor bruising. In other instances, a dog bite can be servere and require reconstructive surgery. No matter the extent of your damages, you deserve fair compensation for your dog bite injuries and a Columbia dog bite lawyer near you can help you determine the amount of settlement to seek.
Keep in mind that each dog bite injury is different and the total compensation is unique to that situation. You might qualify for a range of damages if your Columbia, South Carolina dog bite injury is severe or small damages if your injuries were minor. Allow a nearby Columbia dog bite attorney to help you calculate your total compensation and fight for your settlement award.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer Near You in South Carolina
Dog bite cases include many different factors that can affect the compensation you receive in your settlement. The insurance company's appraisal of your injuries could include inaccurate assumptions about the extent of the damage. Which can result in a lower settlement for you and your family. But, by hiring an experienced dog bite lawyer, you can have a trained eye review your settlement.
When suffering from a dog bite injury in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, or Pawleys Island, South Carolina, you need the help of a lawyer that you can trust. The lawyers at the Hopkins Law Firm are on your side. They will advise you on your legal rights and guide you on the best legal action to take in your case. They will represent you in court and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today online or call us at (843) 314-4202 for a free consultation.