Columbia, Lexington, Orangeburg, Sumter, Camden, Newberry, and Aiken, SC.
Approximately 4.7 million people, mostly children, suffer dog-bite injuries in the United States each year, and about 10 to 20 die from their injuries. Children are more vulnerable to dog bites because they are less familiar with dogs’ behaviors and are less able to defend themselves. Their shorter stature also makes them likelier to be bitten in the face, which tends to make their injuries more serious and more likely to result in life-long scarring.
Adults obviously also suffer from dog bites. And in addition to physical injuries such as abrasions, puncture wounds, lacerations, tissue loss, crush injuries, fractures, sprains, strains, disfigurements and infections, dog bites can cause emotional distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumas, and phobias, such as the fear of dogs.
What to do if a dog bites you
You should not try to pull away or hit the dog since it may clamp on tighter. Try to find an object nearby that you can insert into the dog’s mouth. This may induce a gag reflex causing the dog to let go.
A less serious dog bite should be treated by first washing the wound with soap and water and then rinsing it with an antiseptic. Apply an antibiotic cream and cover the wound with a bandage.
You should see a doctor if:
- The wound is deeper
- You are prone to infections (such as if you have liver problems, diabetes, HIV, or AIDS)
- You have recently had major surgery
- You are older than 50 years of age
If you do not know the dog or its owner, you should also contact your local animal control board.
See What to Do After a Dog Bite for more information.
Who can be held liable?
You may seek compensation for your damages from anyone whose negligence resulted in the dog bite. Most states place responsibility for a dog bite on the dog’s owner, especially if the owner knew the dog has a history of aggression or if he or she was in violation of animal restraint and confinement laws. But dog-bite liability laws do vary by state, and in some cases, landlords, previous owners of the dog, and even day-care centers can be held at least partially liable.
In the case of a child who was injured by a dog bite, the amount of compensation may be greater because of the possibility of long-term medical expenses and emotional trauma. Sometimes the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for the damages. Regardless of the circumstances, however, an experienced dog-bite lawyer should be able to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
You should also be aware that there is a statute of limitations or time limit by which you must begin a dog-bite suit. For this and other reasons, if you are considering consulting with a dog-bite attorney, it is in your interest to do so as soon as possible. Give us a call or send an email today so that our South Carolina dog-bite attorneys can evaluate your case. There will be no cost or obligation to you.
With offices in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter, South Carolina, our dog-bite attorneys in South Carolina are ready to serve you.