Protect Your Children from Dog Bites at Halloween and All Year Long!

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Posted on October 05, 2017

Halloween’s just around the corner and that means millions of little ghosts, ghouls and goblins will out and about in search of delicious treats! And while we think trick or treaters are cute, our four-legged friends can be frightened by these unusual sights and sounds and may react with barking, snarling and, unfortunately, biting.

According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States with almost 1 in 5 of these bites becoming infected. Don’t let this happen to your children at Halloween or any time during the year.

What should my child do if an unfamiliar dog approaches?

  • Stop! Stay still and be calm
  • Do not panic
  • Do not make loud noises
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog
  • Say "No" or "Go Home" in a firm, deep voice
  • Stand with the side of your body facing the dog. Facing a dog directly appears aggressive to the dog
  • Slowly raise your hands to your neck, with your elbows in
  • Wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away

What should I do if my child is bitten or attacked by a dog?

  • Immediately wash wounds with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream and cover wound with a clean bandage.
  • Seek medical attention if:
    • The wound is serious (uncontrolled bleeding, loss of function, extreme pain, muscle or bone exposure, etc.).
    • The wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen, or if you develop a fever.
    • It has been more than 5 years since your last tetanus shot and the bite is deep.
  • Anyone bitten by a dog is at risk of getting rabies, contact your local animal control agency or police department to report the incident if:
    • If you don't know if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies.
    • If the dog appears sick or is acting strangely.
  • If possible, contact the owner and ensure the animal has a current rabies vaccination. You will need the rabies vaccine license number, name of the veterinarian who administered the vaccine, and the owner's name, address, and phone number.

Your legal right to compensation

Finally, if you or someone you love has been bitten in a public place, or had permission to be on the property of the dog’s owner when you were bitten, you have a legal right to compensation for damages.

To discuss the specifics of your dog bite or other animal attack case, please contact the personal injury lawyers of Popowski, Callas & Shirley, P.A., in Columbia. We offer a free consultation and charge no attorney's fees unless we win compensation in your case.

For more information on how to prevent and treat dog bites

The CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provides additional information on to prevent and treat dog bites at

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Trust Your Instincts: Signs of Daycare and School Abuse

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Posted on October 05, 2017

Every day, millions of parents drop their children off at schools and daycare facilities trusting their kids will be well cared for and protected. Although the vast majority of children return home each day safe and sound, sometimes abuse does happen. A general rule of thumb is if you suspect something isn’t quite right, err on the side of caution and do some investigating.

Signs of Negligence or Abuse

  • Withdrawn or reclusive behavior
  • Acting out in social situations
  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, welts, scratches or other signs of a physical altercation
  • Fear of meeting new adults
  • Recurring nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Extremely agitation when around other crying children
  • Changes in bathroom habits
  • An unusual knowledge of or interest in sexual matters

Take Action Immediately

The above list is far from comprehensive. Again, if you even suspect there is an issue with the safety and well-being of your child, act immediately!

  • Remove your child from the person or facility you suspect of negligence or abuse


  • Take your child to the doctor or hospital for a medical evaluation. This is especially critical if you suspect sexual abuse. NOTE: Most states require medical professionals are required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse.


  • Seek counseling for your child if needed


  • Contact the director of the school or daycare with any questions. If you are not 100% satisfied with their answers, contact local law enforcement officials.


  • Consult a personal injury attorney with expertise in these situations to ensure your legal rights are protected


If your child has been harmed at school or day care, please contact our law office in Columbia, South Carolina, for the experienced legal advice and representation. The initial consultation is free and you will pay no up-front costs and no attorney's fees unless we secure financial compensation in your day care or school injury claim.

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SC Rules for Workers' Compensation

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Posted on October 05, 2017

Workers’ compensation is insurance design to provide wage replacement and cover medical expenses for employees injured on the job. In exchange for this coverage, an employee’s rights to sue their employer for negligence is waived. Worker’s compensation is state administered program and requirements and benefits vary greatly by state.

Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions employers have regarding this program in South Carolina.

As an employer in South Carolina, am I required to provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance?

Generally, if you regularly employ four or more workers you must provide workers’ compensation insurance under South Carolina law. The law makes no distinction between the number of full or part-time employees.

There are, however, some exception, including agricultural employees, railroad employees, railway express employees, Textile Hall Corporation employees and certain commission-based real estate agents.  Any employer with a total annual payroll in the previous year of less than $3,000 are also exempt regardless of the total number of workers employed.

If I’m required to provide workers' compensation insurance can I elect NOT to cover my employees? 


How do both employees and employers benefit from workers' compensation insurance?

Workers' compensation pays for a portion of lost wages and medical care for employees injured on the job. Workers' compensation also compensates employees who suffer permanent disability or disfigurement. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault approach which limits the employer's liability to those benefits provided by the Workers' Compensation Act; it is an inclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries.

What is the definition of “employee” with regard to workers’ compensation?

For workers’ compensation the definition of employee is quite broad and includes full-time and part-time workers, adults and minors. The law also requires employers to cover employees of sub-contractors if the sub-contractor does not offer workers’ compensation coverage.

Am I required to provide workers’ compensation for volunteers?

No, unpaid volunteers are not subject to the workers’ compensation regulations.

As a sole proprietor or partner, am I covered under workers’ compensation?

No, sole proprietors and/or partners are considered business owners and are not covered but can elect to be covered if active in the running of the business.

Can I require employees to pay for workers' compensation insurance or some of their medical costs? 

No. It is illegal to require employees to pay any portion of the premium for workers' compensation insurance or to pay for any medical treatment resulting from a job-related injury.

How are my workers' compensation premiums determined? 

How much an employer pays for workers' compensation insurance is determined by a number of factors including: number of employees, total wages, type of job, and the employer's history of accidents and claims.

Can I self-insure for workers' compensation? 

Yes. Hundreds of employers in South Carolina are self-insured. In order to self-insure, an employer must apply, meet certain financial and other requirements, and be approved by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission.

What am I required to do when an accident occurs on the job? 

The first, and most important, obligation is to ensure the injured employee receives prompt medical attention. The employer is also required to report the injury to the insurance carrier, who reports it to the Commission.

What options do I have in case of a disagreement with the injured employee about compensation or medical treatment? 

An employer can request a hearing before a Commissioner, as can the injured employee. This hearing is usually held in the county in which the injury occurred.

How is compensation determined for an injury? 

Workers' compensation pays for necessary medical treatment, loss of wages during the disability, and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. If an injured employee is unable to work for more than seven days, the employee is eligible for payment for lost wages. This compensation is limited to two-thirds of the employee's weekly wage, limited to the current weekly wage in South Carolina. If the employee is out of work for more than 14 days, the employee is entitled to compensation from the day of the accident. The award for total disability or death is limited by law to compensation for 500 weeks. Paraplegics, quadriplegics, and brain-damaged workers are eligible for lifetime benefits. Compensation for partial disability is determined by the Commission from medical reports, testimony of the parties, and the impact of the disability on the injured employee's livelihood.

How are disputes settled over whether an injury occurred on the job? 

The commissioners are responsible for hearing and deciding contested cases, for conducting informal conferences with employers and employees, and for approving settlements and hearing appeals. A single commissioner hears the case first. The commissioner's decision may be appealed to the full Commission, and in turn to courts at various levels.

Information for this article excerpted from

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