If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Jackson, it can be a painful and emotionally traumatic ordeal. For many dog bite victims, the physical and emotional scars can last a lifetime. Children are particularly vulnerable to dog attacks.
While most of us trust that the dogs we encounter will be friendly and non-aggressive, we depend on their owners even more to keep the dog adequately restrained and never place a dog with known aggressive tendencies in a situation where they might attack.
Dogs bite over 4.5 million people every year, statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association estimate. More than 800,000 people need to seek medical attention for those bites. Dogs are powerful animals that can inflict a great deal of damage when they bite down, especially if they refuse to let go. To make matters worse, bites can easily become infected and can even spread disease.
If a dog bites you and inflicts serious harm, you have the right to expect fair compensation from the animal’s owner. Your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses can be overwhelming, and you shouldn’t be forced to pay for them out of your own pocket. If this has happened to you or someone you love, speak to an experienced dog bite attorney right away.
If you or a loved one, especially a child, has been injured after a dog bite or attack, the legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC is prepared to seek monetary compensation, for reimbursement for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other related damages, from the animal’s owner or another responsible party.
We pride ourselves on giving you straightforward, personalized, and transparent legal advice while making sure that we support you every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation with a Mississippi dog bite lawyer, call us or reach out to us online.
Mississippi Laws on Dog Bite Liability
Mississippi is one of only a handful of states that has yet to enact a specific statute that covers dog bite claims. Previous court cases in the state have established a precedent for what is known as the “one bite rule.”
Mississippi requires that the dog in question must have previously shown that it could be aggressive for the owner to be held legally liable. That means that a dog bite victim could be entitled to compensation if they can prove that the dog showed signs of past dangerous behavior, the owner knew or should have reasonably known that the dog could be dangerous, and that the owner should have anticipated an attack.
Mississippi also imposes a statute of limitations, or a set time limit, on when an injury victim can sue for money damages following a dog bite. The lawsuit must be filed within three years of the dog bite incident, otherwise the courts will automatically toss out the case.
Note that individual Mississippi cities and towns may also have leash ordinances and other compliance requirements that can also affect an owner’s potential liability.
Who Pays When a Dog Attacks?
The question you may have on your mind after reading about Mississippi’s one bite rule is, “Who pays when a dog attacks someone?” Depending on the circumstances, most of the time, the answer is the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy.
In many cases, the owner of the dog that attacked you or your child might be owned by a friend, neighbor, or relative. It’s understandable that you might be uncomfortable seeking money from someone you know. But it’s important to remember that, in most cases, the money won’t come out of the dog owner’s pocket. Instead, the insurance company will pay the claim. This is precisely why the dog owner has paid homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Whether it falls on the dog owner directly or their homeowner’s insurance policy, having a lawyer on your side is your best option to pursue justice. The Jackson dog bite lawyers at Derek L. Hall, PC have the experience and know-how to take on insurance companies and aggressively negotiate for fair financial compensation for your injuries.
Serious Injuries from Dog Bites and Dog Attacks
Dog bites and dog attacks can leave serious injuries and scars that may last a lifetime. Canines are powerful animals that can inflict a major damage depending on their size.
Some of the more common serious injuries attributed to dog bites and dog attacks include:
- Puncture wounds
- Crushed or fractured bones
- Head injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Infections including Pasteurella, MRSA, Tetanus, and other bacterial infections
- Emotional trauma
The severity of the bite or attack may leave lasting scars on the body, but it can also scar the mind and leave behind fear and trauma.
In addition to the physical injury of a dog bite, these types of wounds may also become infected, especially if left untreated. The Centers for Disease Control has found that up to 18 percent of dog bites result in wounds infected with bacteria. This can lead to complications, illness, and lengthen healing time.
Animal attack injuries such as dog bites can also lead to the following diseases:
First Steps After a Dog Bite in Jackson
What do you do if you have been bitten by a dog? First, avoid panicking, although in the heat of the moment that is far easier said than done. Panic may cause the animal to become more aggressive, however. Try to put an object like a purse, backpack, or jacket between you and the dog. If the animal knocks you down, curl yourself into a ball, and protect your head and neck.
Make sure you wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water immediately after a dog bite. Cover the injury with a clean bandage and get medical help as soon as possible. Make sure that an experienced medical professional takes a look at the wound. They can apply stitches if needed, but more importantly, they can better clean the wound and prevent infection.
You also need to report the bite attack to 911. Since Mississippi is a “one bite” state, it is important to formally establish that the dog has a history of aggressiveness by notifying authorities. Be sure to get the owner’s information to determine that the animal is up to date on vaccinations.
Depending upon the circumstances, animal control officers can seize the dog to remove it from the area, either temporarily or permanently, to prevent harm to other citizens.
Here is a quick summary of what to do after a dog bite incident:
- Seek medical attention.
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Report the dog bite to police or animal control.
- Collect and retain all medical paperwork related to your injuries.
- Consult with an experienced attorney.
Find Out How We Help Victims of Dog Attacks in Mississippi
It is a scary situation when “man’s best friend” turns into your worst nightmare. You need to remember after a dog bite attack, you don’t have to suffer alone.
The caring and compassionate legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC can advise you on your best options to pursue compensation from the responsible party that enables you to regain your health.
If someone else’s dog has bitten you, call Derek L. Hall, PC or reach out to us online right away. We offer a free no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Jackson dog attack lawyers.