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In order to compensate, does an animal have to have bitten someone before?
No. South Carolina is one of the states that does not require that an animal to have had a history of injury in order for someone to compensate for their injuries.
One thing to note, however, if the dog was deemed to be provoked, compensation may be less or non-existent. See more on animal bite laws on the South Carolina State website.
Dog Bite and Animal Attack Attorney
Animal bites, and particularly dog bites, injure several people every year in the Charleston area.
These incidents are capable of causing extremely serious injuries, including fractures, severe lacerations, permanent scarring, and nerve damage. In addition, bites are not the only way that an animal attack can result in serious injuries. For example, a dog attack could knock a person over and cause severe head trauma or a dislocated joint.
If You Were Hurt By an Animal, You Have Rights
Between 2005 and 2012 there were 251 American’s who died as a result of dog bites. Rottweilers and Pit Bulls accounted for nearly 73% of all deadly encounters.
Pit Bulls accounted for 12 of these deadly attacks in South Carolina. It is these types of statistics that have prompted many communities to restrict what type of animal you may have living in your home or on your property.
Victims of attacks by domestic pets other than dogs may also be able to recover compensation.
Leash laws make it illegal to allow a dog to move about without restraint. When a negligent animal owner lets their pet off-leash and that animal attacks and injures someone, it’s the responsibility of the owner.
Dog bites and animal attack injuries can lead to a number of consequences for the victim. Severe injuries, lacerations, puncture wounds, trauma, and even death may result.
No. An injury is an injury. However, the settlement could be effected according to the amount of treatment you needed and/or any permanent scarring that may have occured.
No. An animal attack is still an injury.
Not necessarily. However, if there has been documentation that the animal has been known to be aggressive, the higher the likelihood of financial recovery.
No. It is something that the courts and/or animal control officers will assess.
One of the few defenses to an animal bite is if you were antagonizing them. Don’t. Besides, cats are really sweet and deserve better.
There is no such thing as accidentally with a dog bite in the State of South Carolina. It is a strict liability standard and there is no “one free bite” rule. If your dog hurts someone, then you are on the hook for any injuries and medical bills. The issue is often whether there is homeowner’s insurance in place or not. Otherwise, you can bring a lawsuit against the owner personally, but if they are broke, then the judgment is not worth the paper it is written on.
Statute of Limitations on Animal Bites in South Carolina
After being bitten, the victim has three years to file a lawsuit. It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible so evidence can be collected like photos, statements, and other information to strengthen your case.
South Carolina Animal Bite Laws are as follows:
SECTION 47-3-760. Penalties; registration of dangerous animals.
(A) A person who violates Section 47-3-720 or 47-3-730 or subsection (E) of this section or who is the owner of a dangerous animal which attacks and injures a domestic animal is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, for a first offense, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days and, upon conviction of a subsequent offense, must be fined one thousand dollars none of which may be suspended or remitted.
(B) A person who is the owner of a dangerous animal which attacks and injures a human being in violation of Section 47-3-710(A)(2)(a) or a person who violates Section 47-3-740:
(1) for a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years;
(2) for a second or subsequent offense, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years.
(C) A dangerous animal which attacks a human being or domestic animal may be ordered destroyed when in the court’s judgment the dangerous animal represents a continuing threat of serious harm to human beings or domestic animals.
(D) A person found guilty of violating this article shall pay all expenses, including, but not limited to, shelter, food, veterinary expenses for boarding and veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of an animal for the protection of the public, medical expenses incurred by a victim from an attack by a dangerous animal, and other expenses required for the destruction of the animal.
(E) A person owning a dangerous animal shall register the animal with the local law enforcement authority of the county in which the owner resides. The requirements of the registration must be determined by the county governing body. However, the registration application must be accompanied by proof of liability insurance or surety bond of at least fifty thousand dollars insuring or securing the owner for personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous animal. The county governing body shall provide to the owner registering the dangerous animal a metal license tag and a certificate. The metal license tag at all times must be attached to a collar or harness worn by the dangerous animal for which the certificate and tag have been issued.
(F) Nothing in this chapter is designed to abrogate any civil remedies available under statutory or common law.