Do South Carolina Premises Liability Laws Cover Dog Bite Injuries?
Premises liability laws are not just for customers who get injured at places of business. Homeowners are also legally responsible for preventable accidental injuries to people who visit their homes and outdoor areas that are part of the homeowner’s property. Premises liability laws apply when a guest gets injured in an accidental fall because of a slippery or uneven surface on the homeowner’s property. Social host liability, which is one type of premises liability, is applicable when a guest drives after getting drunk at a house party and gets injured in a DUI accident. Many personal injury lawyer websites make it sound like premises liability cases are one category of personal injury lawsuits and dog bite cases are another, but in some cases, premises liability laws may be applicable in the case of dog attacks that occur on the dog owner’s property. If you have been injured in a dog bite incident at the dog owner’s house, contact a Columbia premises liability lawyer.
Is It the Homeowner’s Fault If Their Dog Bites a Visitor to the Home?
Dog bite injuries are very common, especially in South Carolina, where almost half of all households have at least one pet dog. If the dog bites a visitor who had the owner’s permission to be on the property, then the injured visitor can sue the dog owner for premises liability. Premises liability laws do not apply if the injured visitor was trespassing, but they do protect guests making social visits, as well as people who visited the house in the course and scope of their work, such as home contractors. If an uninvited visitor knocks on the door and the homeowner lets them in, the visitor has recourse to premises liability laws if the homeowner’s dog bites them.
What Is the No Bite Rule?
Regardless of where the dog bite incident occurs, South Carolina’s dog bite laws offer a lot of protection to injured people, compared to other states. South Carolina is a strict liability state, also known as a “no bite” state. This means that, as long as the dog bit you, you have the right to sue, even if the dog has never behaved aggressively toward people outside of its human family. You must, however, prove that you did not provoke the dog to bite or knowingly make it feel threatened. By contrast, some other states are “one bite” states. In these states, plaintiffs in dog bite lawsuits must prove that the dog has a history of behaving aggressively toward people. The term “one bite” or “one free bite” is misleading, though, because other unprovoked acts of aggression can count as proof of the dog’s history of aggressive behavior, even if the dog has never bitten someone before.
Let Us Help You Today
The lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you were injured in a dog bite incident at the dog owner’s house. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.