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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > General > What is Considered a Serious Injury in a Dog Bite?

What is Considered a Serious Injury in a Dog Bite?


Rising serious injury medical bills are the main reason the average dog bite settlement has more than doubled since 2013. Dog bite victims in South Carolina have multiple legal options, mostly related to dog owner or caretaker negligence. For example, if an owner or caretaker knows that an animal is potentially dangerous, that person is liable for damages. The “one-bite rule” might be the most common legal theory in dog bite cases. Even pet owner jurors often hold tortfeasors (negligent actors) liable for damages in these situations.

Because the average settlement has shot up, insurance company lawyers know their backs are against the wall in these cases. So, a Columbia dog bite lawyer is often able to negotiate a favorable out-of-court settlement in these situations. Such resolutions end cases sooner and give the litigants more control over the outcome. This outcome usually includes compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Physical Injuries

Animal attacks usually cause three layers of physical injuries: the knockdown, the bite, and a medical infection.

Typically, a pit bull or other large animal leaps at a small child or other vulnerable victim. The extreme force of the knockdown usually causes severe broken bones as well as head injuries.

Generally, doctors must use metal plates, pins, and other components to set these broken bones. These invasive procedures mean more down time and longer, as well as more difficult and expensive, physical therapy. Broken bones regenerate, but dead brain cells don’t regenerate. So, a brain injury is a permanent injury. At most, doctors can manage the symptoms.

Incidentally, even if the victim is young or has another inherent vulnerability, like a pre-existing physical condition, an attorney can obtain maximum compensation. Defendants cannot use victims’ vulnerabilities as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation.

When dogs bite, their teeth usually cause deep puncture wounds as well as severe tearing lacerations. The puncture wounds often pierce internal organs and cause massive internal bleeding. The tearing lacerations require specialized treatment at regional trauma centers.

Finally in this area, dog bites have high infection rates. That’s especially true if no one found the victim for several minutes. Usually, a Columbia personal injury attorney must file a separate legal claim to obtain compensation for infection-related injuries. These infections include sepsis bacteria, or flesh-eating bacteria, infections.

Emotional Injuries

Dog bite victims, especially younger victims, often sustain Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hypervigilance, depression, anger, and other PTSD symptoms make it almost impossible for these victims to function at home, school, or anywhere else.

We put PTSD in a separate category in this blog, but that’s not medically correct. PTSD is a physical brain injury. Extreme trauma alters brain chemistry and causes the aforementioned symptoms. Since PTSD has a chemical cause, it has a chemical solution. Therapy only goes so far. Almost all PTSD victims also need medication.

Once again, since PTSD and other brain injuries are permanent, medical only manages the symptoms. However, at this point, that’s the best possible result.

Count on a Dedicated Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.

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Slip & Fall

Marc Brown is an experienced slip and fall attorney that serves the entire states of South Carolina and Georgia.

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Dog Bites

If you need legal help with a dog bite injury, reach out to a South Carolina dog bite lawyer at the Marc Brown Law Firm.

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In cases of shootings and other crimes, victims can seek financial compensation by filing a civil claim for damages.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.


We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award