It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World: Animal Attack Injuries and Compensation

Many Americans share their homes with furry companions, considering their pets to be part of the family. Whether a cuddly cat or energetic pup, pets provide a kind of joy that warms the heart unlike any other.  

But pet interactions are not always pleasant. What happens when a neighborhood dog’s bite lives up to its bark, leaving you with a painful injury? If you or a loved one have been a victim of an animal attack, it’s time to seek the guidance and support of an experienced dog bite lawyer at Hoffman Law Firm. 

Keep reading to learn more about securing the compensation you deserve, then contact our team to get started.

animal attack, dog bite attack, animal attack injuries

What Do You Do When You Get Attacked by an Animal? 

Coming face-to-face with teeth or claws when an animal goes from furry friend to foe can be a traumatizing experience. In the aftermath of an animal attack, there are a few steps to get you on the road to recovery – and well on your way to recovering damages: 

  • Seek medical attention: Prioritizing your health is the first step on the road to recovery. Even minor injuries can have hidden complications, so it is crucial to seek treatment from a medical professional as soon as possible. In fact, animal bites can lead to permanent scarring, serious infection, or even death. 
  • Gather evidence and record the incident: Whether the animal belongs to a neighbor or an unidentified owner, it’s important to get the contact information of all parties involved – and witnesses too. Contact information will help your personal injury lawyer build a case that maximizes the compensation you receive.
  • Locate a personal injury attorney near you: Our team of personal injury attorneys at Hoffman Law Firm specializes in many types of accidents, including animal attacks. We will gather details on your specific case and consult on what type of damages you are eligible for. Schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers today!
  • Initiate the insurance claim process: The owner’s homeowner’s insurance may cover the dog bite incident, requiring you to file a claim with their insurance company. Speak with your personal injury attorney to navigate the claim process and determine if this is the right course of action for you. 

Who Is Liable in an Animal Attack? 

Pet owners have a responsibility to the community to properly train and/or restrain their animals in order to prevent a potentially dangerous attack. Each state has its own laws and statutes when it comes to liability in an animal attack. Here are some examples:

Strict Liability 

Animal owners in states with strict liability are fully responsible if their animal bites or attacks someone – and must pay damages. There are no exceptions to the rule, even if the animal was provoked. 

One Bite Rule

In these states, owners are not liable for first-time attacks. They could, however, be liable if the owner knew the animal had dangerous tendencies. For example, pet owners of allegedly aggressive dogs, like pit bulls, could have had a reason to believe their dog may be dangerous. 


States without animal attack statutes will investigate to see if the owner was negligent in their responsibility to protect others from harm. If the owner failed to properly restrain their animal while on a walk or repair a hole in a fence, they could be considered negligent if their animal escaped and attacked someone. 

Provocation and Other Exceptions

Each state may have exceptions to its animal attack statutes. Under South Carolina law, if a person’s provocation or taunting caused the animal to attack, the person attacked is held liable for their injuries. The right to compensation may also be reduced, or dropped altogether, if the attacked person was trespassing on the pet owner’s property at the time of the attack. 

Common Types of Animal Attacks and Injuries 

Animal attacks can vary in severity, from a mild scratch to a deep bite wound – and are often dependent on the type of animal or breed. Some of the most common animal attacks are by cats and dogs. 

Cat Attacks

According to reports, about 45.3 million American households have a cat as a pet. Cats can scratch or bite, transferring bacteria that may result in tissue infections. This type of infection, if left untreated, can move to other areas of the body – and in severe cases, cause blood poisoning. Those infected may experience flu-like symptoms and can be fatal if left untreated. 

Dog Bites

According to the American Pet Products Association, over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs nationwide. Dog bites can also range in severity, and are classified using this scale: 

  • Level 1: Aggressive bites that do not affect or touch a person’s skin
  • Level 2: Bites that make contact but do not break the skin 
  • Level 3: Bites that result in shallow, single bite wounds
  • Level 4: Single bites that leave deep wounds 
  • Level 5: Multiple bites that leave deep wounds 
  • Level 6: Severe bites that can lead to loss of flesh or death

Dog attacks can have a long-term impact, leaving behind nerve damage, scarring, and infection. 

Keep in mind that injuries are not always physical in nature. Emotional trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be experienced following an attack, with unseen scars impacting victims for years to come.

Are You the Victim of an Animal Attack? Contact Hoffman Law Firm Today! 

Being scratched or bitten by someone’s pet can take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being. In the aftermath of an attack, navigating the legal system on your own can be incredibly overwhelming – and add unneeded complication during an already stressful time.

Plus, you only pay us if we win your case.

At Hoffman Law Firm, our specialized team of personal injury lawyers in Charleston, SC is here to help. With full compensation as our goal, we will assess the South Carolina laws and gather evidence to strengthen your claim. 

We have established a reputation for success here in our hometown, with our deep roots earning our clients’ trust! Our team offers exceptional service each step of the way, keeping you informed as your claim moves forward. To meet with a dog bite lawyer or another member of our team, schedule your free consultation today. 

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