Understanding South Carolina's Dog Bite Law

Those injured by a dog bite or in a dog attack are fortunate that South Carolina has a special statute dealing specifically with these types of injuries.

The law is contained in S.C. Code § 47-3-110 and is entitled Liability of owner or person having dog in his care or keeping:

Whenever any person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. For the purposes of this section, a person bitten or otherwise attacked is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, when the person bitten or otherwise attacked is on the property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this State, by the ordinances of any political subdivision of this State, by the laws of the United States of America, including, but not limited to, postal regulations, or when the person bitten or otherwise attacked is on the property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner of the property or of any lawful tenant or resident of the property. If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.

This law does several important things. It creates strict liability against the owner or the person responsible for a dog as long as the injured party was in a public place or legally on private property. The only exclusion is if the injured person provokes the animal.

Strict liability is a legal term than means automatically responsible. Under South Carolina's dog bite law their is no "one free bite" defense. If the dog bites someone then in almost all cases the owner is automatically responsible. If no one claims the dog belongs to them then the "having the dog in his care" language will make the injury the responsibility of whoever is feeding or housing the dog.

The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, is a Lexington Dog Bite Attorney office representing people who have been injured in South Carolina. To discuss your dog bite claim with our office call 24 hours a day at 1-888-302-0714. There is no cost for your initial meeting with an attorney about your case.

Categories: Animal Attacks
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