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Understanding South Carolina's Dog Bite Law

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 the "liability of owner or person having dog in his care or keeping"

The code essentially states that if a person is bitten or attacked by a dog while lawfully in a public or private place, then the owner may be held liable for whatever damages that person suffered while attacked or bitten. However, if the person is found guilty of provoking the dog to attacking or biting him or her, then the owner of the dog is not liable for the damages.

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.


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