Summer means more people spending more time outside, but that time in the sun doesn’t come without some risk of injury. Numerous studies have found an increase in specific crimes like assault and battery during warmer months, with some researchers theorizing that increased heat causes discomfort and irritability that effectively leads to violent behavior in individuals.
Another study found that this phenomenon may even be true for dogs. While many of us think of dogs primarily as lovable pets, a study of a hospital in China that treated more than 40,000 dog bite cases confirmed that statistics indicated dogs may also become more aggressive in hotter temperatures.
If you or your loved one suffered severe injuries from a dog bite in South Carolina, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. Jebaily Law Firm can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Why Do Dogs Attack?
As the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states, dogs may bite people for any one of a number of possible reasons. Even dogs that are typically very playful and friendly with no history of aggressiveness can suddenly lash out in certain circumstances.
Some of the explanations offered by the AVMA include dogs that bite when they feel personally threatened or the need to defend their perceived territory. Dogs can also bite when they feel similarly threatened after being surprised.
In certain cases, dogs could bite because they simply do not feel well. Dogs that are suffering from certain illnesses or are overheated may wish to be left alone and could react aggressively to some attempts by adults and children to pet them.
Some dogs may simply be too aggressive when playing with people. While most dogs keep their biting during play times more to gentle “nipping,” the bites may become more violent if the manner of play is too forceful.
Signs of Aggression in Dogs
Everyone should understand the signs of a possibly aggressive dog. Parents should be especially certain to communicate these warning signs to small children, who often do not immediately notice these behaviors.
Some of the most common signs of aggression in dogs include:
- Exposed teeth
- Ears pricked forward
- Lunging forward
- Arched body
- Stiff walk
- Guarding a possession
If you notice a dog displaying any of these behaviors, keep your distance. If it is your dog, remove them from the situation immediately.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries in South Carolina
Many other states have what is referred to as a “one bite rule,” which allows dog owners to escape liability for dog bites when dogs had no previous history of aggressive actions. South Carolina state law is quite different.
When a dog bites a person in South Carolina, the dog owner is strictly liable to the victim for all damages — regardless of whether the owner knew that the dog had violent tendencies. Victims may be entitled to various damages.
Compensatory damages are typically a combination of economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are for tangible losses that can be calculated and proven, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages are more subjective types of harm such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, and emotional distress awards.
Were you or your loved one bit by a dog in South Carolina? Call Jebaily Law Firm right now or contact us online to receive a free consultation that will allow our attorneys to provide a complete evaluation of your case.