We’ve all heard the horror stories. A person or their child is walking down the street or in a park, and out of nowhere, a dog runs up and attacks. It is the stuff of nightmares. While some people manage to only suffer minor injuries, such as a small bite that breaks the skin, there are many cases where the dog causes severe injuries and, sometimes, even death. While Mississippi does not have any statutes or written laws concerning dog attacks, it does have a court-made rule called the “one bite rule.”
Typically, under the one bite rule, a dog owner will not be responsible for an attack unless the dog has attacked someone before. In other words, the dog owner would get a free pass for the first bite. Over time, our courts have loosened the one bite rule, such that if a dog owner knew or had reason to know that the dog had a violent disposition, then the dog owner would be responsible for any injury that the dog caused.
In all dog bite cases, the trickiest part is proving that the dog owner knew of the dog’s violent disposition. But proving it is actually a lot easier than a lot of people (including many attorneys) realize. If the dog has been known to attack other animals or react to people or animals in a threatening way, such as growling, then that helps to establish notice. Additionally, many people, towns, and counties often recognize that certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls, are known to have more violent dispositions than other dogs, which also helps during litigation.
If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog attack, immediately seek medical help as your injuries could be more extensive that you are aware of. Be sure to hold on to any and all medical records that you are given. After receiving a medical evaluation and treatment, contact an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to begin gathering the necessary information, organize the facts of the attack, and get your case moving so that you can receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. In the end, the goal is to bring justice to those who have been viciously attacked and awareness to all dog owners as to their responsibilities in these types of horrific situations.