Personal Injury Attorney Assisting Clients with Dog Bite Injuries
Did you know that around 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20 percent of those bites ultimately become infected. To put that figure another way, approximately 900,000 dog bite victims end up with infections as a result of their injuries. Furthermore, around 9,500 people require hospitalization due to the severity of their injuries. It is important to recognize that almost any dog can bite when it feels threatened and that a majority of dog bite injuries happen to individuals who know the dog’s owner. In other words, stray dogs typically are not the source of most dog bite injuries.
If you or your child recently suffered a serious dog bite injury, it is important to hold the owner accountable. You should not have to pay the extensive medical bills and surgical costs involved in recovering from a dog bite. Instead, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.
Statute of Limitations in a Mississippi Dog Bite Claim
It is important for anyone in Mississippi who has suffered injuries in a dog attack to know that Mississippi law (Miss. Code Section 15-1-49(1)) gives plaintiffs three years from the date of the incident to file a claim for compensation. While the statute of limitations does give you three years, the sooner you file your claim the sooner you may be able to receive compensation.
Who Is At Greatest Risk of a Dog Bite Injury?
While we cannot predict who will face injuries from a dog attack with any specificity, the CDC does provide important information about risk factors. According to the CDC, dogs are mostly likely to bite children. In terms of sex or gender, men are more likely than women to sustain a dog bite injury.
Why are children at such great risk of a dog attack? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), young children often do not understand how to interact with a dog, and young children may behave in ways that unknowingly agitate a dog. While dogs need to be trained properly and liability remains with the dog’s owner, there are steps that parents can take to prevent dog bites in young kids. Most significantly, parents should teach their children to leave dogs alone when they go to a space to be alone, such as a bed or crate. In addition, children should try to avoid running, yelling, or making sudden movements around a dog.
Mississippi Law on Dog Bites
Some states have specific dog bite statutes, but Mississippi does not. Instead of having a statute, Mississippi has what is known as a “one bite” rule. To receive compensation in a dog bite claim, the injury victim has the burden of proving the following:
- Dog exhibited a dangerous propensity or disposition before the bite occurred;
- Dog’s owner knew or should have known that the dog had a dangerous propensity or disposition; and
- Owner knew or should have known that the dog could attack.
In most cases, plaintiffs prove the above elements by providing evidence that the dog has bitten someone in the past and that the owner was aware of it. At the same time, it is still possible to prove those elements without clear evidence of the dog previously attacking and biting someone.
Our Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help
Are you facing serious injuries from a dog attack? our dog bite injury lawyer can assist with your case. We’re happy to work with clients in both Mississippi and Arkansas. Contact Harris Law Firm, PLLC today at 1-877-7144171