Dogs bite people of all ages, but young children aged 10 and under account for a large portion of dog bite victims. While many dog bites do not require medical attention, those that do often leave the victim with severe and sometimes even fatal injuries.
Dog owners have a responsibility to properly train their dogs, monitor them for signs of aggression, and keep them restrained to protect the safety of others. When they fail to do so, serious consequences may result.
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries as the result of a dog bite, a Mississippi dog bite lawyer can help you pursue financial awards. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 to discuss your case with our team.
The Dangers of Dog Bites
Some dog bites result in immediate and noticeably severe harm, and others leave the victim with seemingly mild injuries. Even if they do not anticipate any complications, infections can develop quickly and cause systemic illness, scarring, and permanent tissue damage. According to Healthline, signs of infection include:
- Warmth at the wound site
- Pus or oozing fluid
- Intense pain
In addition to infections caused by untreated wounds, certain bacteria and viruses carried by dogs can lead to infection in humans, as well. Rabies may present an especially serious concern if the dog did not appear to have an owner or the victim knows the dog did not have a current rabies inoculation.
When dogs attack young children, they often suffer severe injuries, particularly to the face and neck. Older children and adults tend to experience more injuries to the hands and lower arms, legs, and groin areas. MedlinePlus lists common types of dog bite injuries, which include:
- Cuts or lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Broken or crushed bones
- Torn tendons or ligaments
Some dog bite injuries require one or more surgeries to correct the function and appearance of the affected area to the extent possible.
In 2018, 38 people died as a result of dog attacks. This number may seem low, and dog bites that cause fatal injuries do occur much more rarely than other types of accidents. However, because of the fact that dog owners can prevent the majority of bites from occurring, this statistic represents a staggering level of irresponsibility and carelessness. According to the National Canine Research Council (NCRC), preventable factors that often contribute to fatal dog bites include:
- Lack of an able-bodied person to intervene
- Unfamiliarity with the dog
- Failure to spay or neuter a dog, resulting in territorial behavior
- A victim’s inability to protect themselves based on their age or physical condition
- The owner’s failure to socialize the dog
- The owner’s mishandling, abuse, or neglect of the dog
If you or your child suffered a severe or fatal dog bite injury as the result of the dog owner’s negligence, a Mississippi dog bite lawyer can help you seek financial recovery. Contact the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Mississippi’s One-Bite Rule
In many states, the owner of a dog who bites another person and causes their injury holds responsibility for their damages. However, twelve states, including Mississippi, have what attorneys often refer to as the “one-bite rule.”
In Mississippi, a victim or their family can only hold a dog owner liable for their damages if the animal had previously shown aggressive behavior or tendencies. Essentially, the victim must demonstrate that the owner had prior knowledge or reason to believe that the dog may bite. These prior incidents often refer to bites but could also include other aggressive behaviors such as lunging or growling at someone.
Because of the difficulty of proving aggression prior to a documented bite in the past, many people feel that liable dog owners basically get a free pass to allow their dog to bite someone once with no repercussions. In these cases, victims and their families may find the assistance of a Mississippi dog bite lawyer particularly helpful in establishing liability in their case.
Financial Awards in Dog Bite Cases
Once a lawyer proves the fault of the dog owner in your dog bite case, they can help you pursue financial awards for your damages. The types and amounts of recovery you may receive depend on the specifics of your case, but they may include compensation for:
- Emergency medical care, surgeries, and other ongoing healthcare costs
- Lost wages for time you had to miss at work to recover
- Loss of future wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or if you lost a loved one who provided you with financial support
- Pain and suffering for your physical, emotional, and mental distress
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one to a fatal dog bite injury.
An attorney can help you assess your damages and pursue adequate financial awards.
Mississippi Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims
Mississippi has specific time limits, known as statutes of limitations, within which victims and their families can file dog bite claims. Victims can typically file personal injury claims on the grounds of premises liability, for which they seek compensation for their own injuries, within three years of their injury. Similarly, family members can usually file a claim for the wrongful death of a loved one within three years of the date of their passing. A Mississippi dog bite lawyer can get started on your case as soon as possible to help you avoid potential delays.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today to Get Started
The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have witnessed the extensive harm dog bites can cause, not just to the physical well-being of the victim, but also to their emotional health and financial stability. If a negligent owner’s failure to protect you or your loved one from their dog resulted in severe or fatal injuries, we can help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Contact our legal team today at (800) 816-0755 to speak with our legal team about your case.