Dog Bite and Animal Attack Lawyer
Most people are not aware that dog owners are strictly liable for the actions of their dogs that cause injuries to third parties. In fact, the dog does not even have to bite the injured party, but rather the owner is responsible for any injury that arises out of the ownership or control of the dog. Even if a dog playfully jumps on a person, the owner may still be strictly liable for any injuries.
“Strict Liability” means that the injured party does not have to prove negligence of the dog owner. As long as the injured party did not provoke the dog, the owner is responsible. The dog does not have to be a vicious breed. All that is generally required is proof of ownership or control of the dog. Control may include someone who is merely watching the dog for another or dog-sitting, and there is no requirement for physical contact with the dog,
Prior to 1985, South Carolina followed the “one free bite” rule in dog bite cases. The rule provides that domestic animals are not presumed to be dangerous to persons, and before recovery of damages may be had against the owner, the injured party must prove that the particular animal was of a dangerous, or vicious nature, and that his dangerous propensity was either known, or should have been known to the owner. The negligence that imposes liability upon the owner is the keeping of a dangerous animal with knowledge of its dangerous tendencies, or in the failure to restrain it from injuring persons. (Hossenlopp v. Cannon, 285 S.C. 367, 369, 329 S.E.2d 438, 440 (1985) (quoting Giles v. Russell, 255 S.C. 513, 180 S.E.2d 201.)
Under SC Code § 47-3-110, a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by a dog that “bites or otherwise attacks” another regardless of the owner’s negligence. S.C.Code Ann. § 47-3-110 (1987). The statute imposes strict liability on owners, except where the victim provokes the dog. Pursuant to Elmore v. Ramos, 489 S.E.2d 663, 327 S.C. 507 (Ct App. 1997), strict liability in SC also applies to situations where the dog merely jumps on a person playfully and causes injury.
“I was injured by a dog that attacked me. Hammack Law Firm got me the help I needed and kept me in the loop during the entire claim. Paul called me personally on several occasions just to check on me.”
Our dog bite attorneys and staff at Hammack Law Firm are committed to our clients. With more than 15 years of litigation and trial experience, Paul Hammack has received an AV rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell. Paul has spent the last 15 years working for insurance companies, so he knows the industry secrets and he can put that knowledge and experience to work for you.
Hammack Law Firm recently represented a fine lady who was visiting the home of an individual. She knocked on the door at the front steps, and when the homeowner opened the door, a small dog rushed out to “greet her.” The dog leash wrapped around her feet, causing her to lose her balance and fall from the steps. She sustained a severe injury to her foot and ankle and had to undergo surgery. The insurance company told her she had no claim. The adjuster actually said that it was my client’s fault. We were able to obtain a settlement for a confidential amount above $200,000.
While every case is different, Hammack Law Firm has helped numerous people who have been injured in dog bites or attacks. If you have a need for an experienced dog bite attorney who will give you the personal service, compassion and care that you deserve, call us today. Don’t let the dog bite without a fight. “Your success is our success s.” Better call Paul. 864-326-3333