Most of us think of dogs as man’s best friend. However, every dog has the potential to cause harm. Did an aggressive dog bite you or a loved one? If so, you may be able to hold the dog’s owner liable for your injuries.
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. helps dog bite claimants throughout Charleston County. Our injury team stands ready to pursue every dollar you deserve. Contact our team now to explore partnering with a Charleston dog bite lawyer, so we can explain your options and advocate for you.
Our Dog Bite Lawyers Want to Hear Your Story
You can get the answers to your questions during your free case review.
Our team wants to learn everything about your situation, including:
- What happened before, during, and after you got hurt
- If you filed an insurance claim
- Your supporting evidence
- How much you want from the claims process
- What you need from an injury lawyer
There is no obligation to partner with our team when you call.
Partnering With Our Charleston Personal Injury Team
Here are some important things to note when considering legal help:
You Must Follow South Carolina’s Statutory Deadline
You may have to file a lawsuit to recover damages. Per South Carolina law, you generally have three years to file your case. Our team can ensure that you meet all applicable deadlines and protect your right to damages through litigation.
We Offer Help on a Contingency Basis
You have more than enough on your plate right now the last thing you need to worry about is affording legal help. Our Charleston dog bite injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means we charge nothing upfront for our services. Instead, we only receive a percentage of your settlement if we win your case.
We can explain contingency and how it works during your case review, but perhaps the most important thing to know is that we do not get paid unless you do.
You Do Not Have to Represent Yourself
You do not have to fight this battle on your own. You have every right to hire an injury lawyer after a dog bite. Our team can manage your case from start to finish, from the initial filing to interviewing witnesses to negotiating your settlement. We have one goal: to recover your losses. We are here to advocate for you during this trying time.
You Do Not Have to Accept the First Settlement Offer
Immediately after your injury, the at-fault party’s insurer may offer you a settlement. This initial settlement likely will not account for the full scope of your losses. The insurer hopes that you will accept this lowball offer, so the company can save money. However, you have the right to negotiate for a better offer and recover damages for all your losses.
Compensable Losses in Your Charleston Dog Bite Injury Case
Possible compensation in your case could include:
Past, Present, and Future Healthcare Expenses
Dog bites can cause scarring, infection, and soft tissue damage. As a result, you may require:
- Pain-relief medications and antibiotics
- Surgeries (such as skin grafts)
- Blood transfusions
- Physical therapy
Other medical expenses may include ambulance transportation, doctor appointments, hospitalization, and more.
A serious dog bite injury may prevent you from working. Your lawyer can seek recovery for your lost earnings, including wages, bonuses, tips, and employee benefits.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity
Some dog bite injuries can permanently affect your earning power. For instance, if you lose the use of your hand in the attack, it could prevent you from working efficiently at certain jobs or returning to your previous job. We can seek compensation for losses like these.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is a non-economic expense that accounts for your injury-related hardships, including physical discomfort and emotional anguish.
Wrongful Death Losses
Dog bites can fatally injure victims, especially young children. If you lost a loved one, you have our condolences. We know financial recovery cannot undo your trauma however, it could help lessen the financial blow to your family and pay for your loved one’s final expenses.
Other Related Losses
Additional damages in a dog bite injury case may include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of consortium
This is not an exhaustive list of potentially recoverable damages. An injury lawyer from our team can explain more about possible compensation in your case.
What Does a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer From Our Firm Do?
Our team always seeks the best possible outcome for each client, including dog bite injury victims. To do this, we:
Investigate the Incident and Identify the Liable Party
To recover damages, we must prove:
- That the dog was vicious and that the owner acted carelessly or negligently
- You did not provoke the animal
To prove these facts, we must gather evidence, such as:
- The accident report
- Photos of your injuries
- Surveillance camera footage (if available)
- Witness statements
- Data from animal behavioral specialists
- Medical bills and other damage related documentation
Liability in many dog bite cases rests with the animal’s owner. However, every situation is different. Liability in your case could rest with a homeowner or business owner. In any case, we can pursue what you deserve.
Evaluate Your Losses
We want you to recover as much compensation as possible. By carefully evaluating your medical bills, employment records, and other documentation, we can determine how much compensation you deserve.
File Your Insurance Claim
We will first try to resolve your case through an insurance settlement, so you do not have to pursue a lawsuit.
Filing an insurance claim involves:
- Understanding what the applicable policy covers
- Knowing the cost of your damages
- Sending a demand letter
- Negotiating with the insurer
Represent You in Insurance Negotiations
Not all insurance companies act in good faith.
They may do everything possible to refute your case, such as:
- Contesting the severity of your condition
- Denying your valid case
- Offering less than you need and deserve
- Blaming you for your injury
Our team will stand between you and any aggressive parties, including insurance companies.
Pursue a Lawsuit
Not all insurance claims end with settlements. If necessary, we can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Filing a lawsuit typically entails:
- Abiding by South Carolina’s statute of limitations
- Presenting evidence to the judge and jury
- Advocating for you in court
- Taking depositions
- Cross-examining witnesses
- Following courtroom procedure
We may continue negotiating with the insurer as your lawsuit unfolds. If the company offers a fair settlement, we can still resolve your case through that route.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Cases in Charleston, SC
Potential clients often ask us:
Does It Matter What Type of Dog Bit Me?
No, you can pursue damages regardless of the dog’s breed. However, South Carolina law considers pit bulls inherently dangerous. Owners must sterilize and microchip their pit bulls, with few exceptions.
If an unsterilized or unchipped pit bull injured you, it could bolster your case.
How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
The dollar amount you can sue for depends on:
- The severity of your condition
- The circumstances of your injury
- The cost of your necessary medical treatment
- Your supporting evidence
- Your estimated recovery period
- The harm to your earning power and income
- Whether you lost a loved one
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. can evaluate your case and calculate your potential compensation.
Do I Have to Report a Dog Bite in South Carolina?
Yes, you must report the incident to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. You generally have 24 hours to make the report. However, you should file even if the 24-hour window has ended to create a paper trail of your injuries.
What Happens After You Report a Dog Attack?
After you report a dog attack, Animal Control might take the dog into custody. Animal Control might not automatically euthanize the dog instead, it may monitor the dog for rabies and other infectious diseases.
Can I Get Compensation for a Dog Bite?
If an aggressive dog bit you and you incurred damages, you can generally seek recovery. Our team will explain more when you connect with us. Every case is different and previous results do not guarantee a settlement.
How Long Does It Take to Recover Damages?
Our team will push for a timely resolution, but there is no standard timeframe for resolving injury cases. It could take months to secure damages for you.
Do I Have to Partner With a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer?
Dog bite cases involve complex laws for establishing negligence or carelessness. Proving that the owner knew the dog was vicious requires legal experience. Pursuing a case without legal representation comes with many disadvantages.
- The insurance company may attempt to derail your case by employing tactics so subtle that you do not even notice them.
- The insurance company may offer far less than you deserve and without a lawyer, you likely do not know what constitutes a fair offer.
- You may fill out legal paperwork incorrectly, delaying the progression of your case.
Remember, Louthian Law Firm, P.A. works on a contingency fee basis, so we do not charge any upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. There is no financial risk in partnering with our team.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bite in Charleston, SC?
After a dog bite, you should:
Seek Medical Attention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeking medical attention after suffering a dog bite. Puncture wounds can lead to long-term tissue damage, and you can also develop an infection.
By seeking medical care, you put your physical recovery first. You also get documentation that can support your case. For example, imaging scans can attest to the severity of your injuries.
Document Your Injury
We need evidence to present a compelling case. Take pictures of your condition before and after getting medical help.
This information helps prove that:
- You suffered harm
- Your condition required medical attention
- You deserve compensation
Refrain From Sharing Information Online
You may want to share your story on social media. However, this could hurt you more than it helps you.
By sharing information about your case online:
- You could give the claims adjuster information to dispute your case
- You could accidentally admit fault for what happened
- You could understate the severity of your condition
Keep all information about your dog bite injury between yourself and your lawyer.
Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
The insurance company may ask you for a recorded statement, but giving one is not in your best interest. Instead, it often helps the insurance company dispute your case. When you partner with our dog bite lawyers, we can manage all communications with the insurance company.
We Advocate for Injured South Carolinians
Our attorneys have more than 80 years of combined legal experience.
We have fought for people suffering from:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Puncture wounds or lacerations
- Torn ligaments
- Dental injuries
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
If you have any injuries, we encourage you to connect with our firm and find out how our injury lawyers can help.
Where Charleston Dog Bite Injuries Can Occur?
Dog bites can happen anywhere and at any time.
For example, you can suffer injuries while visiting:
- A friend’s house – All pet owners must prevent their dogs from harming others. They may need to keep their dog in a crate or the yard when visitors come over. Some owners may even need to muzzle their pets for visitor safety.
- An animal rescue – If a rescue dog bit you, the animal rescue may be liable for your injuries, even if the rescue did not know about the animal’s violent disposition.
- A store – Some stores allow customers to bring their pets. However, this could make the store’s owner liable if you suffer harm.
Seek Justice With the Help of Our Dog Bite Lawyers
Our team is ready to help with your injury case. We believe that if you suffered harm, you deserve financial recover so let us fight for you.