While dogs are beloved pets, not all of them are aptly trained to ensure that they won’t bite people and children. There are many horror stories of kids and adults being mauled or even killed by dogs, with some dog breeds being completely banned in several countries.
Dog bites can easily cause serious injuries and trauma to the victims. The period after the dog bite can be quite overwhelming and confusing to the victim, as they reel from the pain and consider the next steps. One of the most important things you can do at this stage is to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer to help you pursue justice and compensation for your injuries.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, the SC dog bite attorneys at McDougall Law Firm can help you understand your legal options and guide you in the pursuit of compensation. Call us today at 843-438-4386 for a free consultation.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Dog Bite?
Immediately after the dog attack, it’s common to feel confused and frustrated. You might be wondering what to do next. Consulting with a dog bite attorney can help you make the right decisions to benefit your case.
In an ideal situation, the dog owner’s insurance should cover the dog bite and the resulting damages. This would mean filing a personal injury claim with the insurance company. However, getting the compensation you deserve is rarely this easy.
In most cases, insurance companies will complicate the claims process and use the following tactics to try to undermine your case:
- Questioning you and twisting your words against you.
- Making it seem like their low-ball offer is all you can get.
- Underplaying or doubting your injuries.
- Advising you that you don’t need to involve a lawyer.
- Asking you to give a recorded statement.
All these efforts are meant to reduce the amount they ultimately pay you to as little as possible. By working with a dog bite lawyer, you can be sure that your rights are well protected every step of the way and that you have a better chance of receiving the compensation you rightfully deserve.
An experienced dog bite attorney can assist you with the following:
- Collecting evidence to demonstrate how the dog owner was negligent before the incident.
- Investigating the dog’s violent past.
- Communicating and negotiating with the insurer on your behalf.
- Collecting eye-witness statements.
- Working with experts to confirm the evidence.
Generally speaking, insurance companies will take you more seriously when you have a lawyer by your side. It will show them that you intend to fight for fair compensation. Therefore, they might offer a fair settlement sooner.
It’s worth noting that some dog bites can leave you with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Many victims end up having emotional trauma for years following the incident. Most victims will rarely receive enough compensation to cover all their damages without a lawyer.
As such, it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Most personal injury lawyers like McDougall Law Firm offer a free initial consultation. The consultation should give you a good idea of what your legal options are.
Can You Get Compensation for a Dog Bite?
Yes. If you can successfully prove liability, you may be entitled to compensation. This will often come from the homeowners’ insurance policy of the dog owner. The total amount is usually calculated by adding any economic damages you suffered to any non-economic damages.
These include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and/or earnings
- Lost earning potential
These typically include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety and depression
The dog bite lawyers at McDougall Law Firm can fully investigate your case to calculate the amount of losses you suffered and establish what is fair compensation for your case. We can then help you pursue the full compensation through the dog owners’ insurance or via workers’ comp insurance based on the circumstances of your case.
Who Will Be at Fault, and How Can We Help You?
South Carolina law essentially holds dog owners strictly liable for their dog’s behavior. As such, it doesn’t matter whether the dog owner could have or should have known that their dog might attack another person. So long as the dog attacked someone without provocation, the owner is liable for the victims’s damages.
South Carolina is also one of the states that are exempt from the “one bite rule.” This means that the dog owner is still held liable for any injuries caused by their dog, even in cases where the dog has no history of being violent.
Nonetheless, there’s one important caveat to take note of – the dog owner cannot be held liable for a bite if the animal was teased or provoked by the victim.
Our dog bite attorneys have the skills, experience, and resources to help you prove your case and get justice. We will help you at every stage of your claim, from filing to investigating it and going to trial if warranted.
We can help you avoid making some common mistakes early on in the process that could result in the dismissal of your claim. We will also make sure that you’re within South Carolina’s statute of limitations and handle any communications with the defendant’s insurance company.
We will leave no stone unturned to collect the evidence you need to negotiate your claim. We will present a strong case to the insurance company and the defendant’s lawyers to get them to settle out of court. But in the event the defendant can’t reach an acceptable settlement offer, we won’t shy from going to trial.
Get Help from a Dog Bite Lawyer in Beaufort Today
You don’t have to sacrifice your finances by paying for a dog owner’s mistakes. Contact the dog bite lawyers at McDougall Law Firm to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to pay us anything upfront. You only need to pay us when we win your compensation.
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in Beaufort, South Carolina, talk to us online or call 843-438-4386 to schedule a free consultation with a dog bite lawyer.