It can be painful to experience an unexpected dog bite or attack. You may sustain injuries such as scratches and puncture wounds. It is important to seek medical attention for all dog bites, as they often get infected quickly.
Additionally, you may be wondering if you are able to collect compensation from the dog’s owner through a Gulfport personal injury lawsuit. It is imperative that you are aware of Mississippi law before pursuing a lawsuit. Mississippi has a “one bite” rule for dogs, meaning that an owner is only liable for a dog bite if the dog has shown dangerous behavior before. This dangerous behavior does not have to be a bite; behaviors such as growling, snarling, or snapping at people can count as well.
How To Prove Negligence
With the “one bite” rule in mind, you must prove that a dog exhibited dangerous behavior prior to their attack. You must also prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous, and that the owner should have been able to foresee that the dog would attack someone. This may be difficult to prove, especially if the you have not encountered the dog before their incident.
An experienced attorney can help prove negligence. It could be beneficial to gather witness testimony, including from the neighbors who know the dog, even if they were not present for the attack. While it’s less likely, there could also be video footage of prior incidents with the dog. Check with neighbors on this as well.
What Damages Can a Dog Bite Victim Recover in Mississippi?
Settlements vary based on the circumstances surrounding your case, but the average settlement for an injury from a dog bite can be between $30,000 and $50,000. Breaking this down, injured parties can receive compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include primarily medical expenses and lost wages. You may face extensive medical bills for the treatment of your injuries as well as rehabilitation in the future – all which should be covered by the responsible party. Some dog bites can result in bacterial infections that may require extensive treatment in order for you to recover. If your injuries are serious enough, you may have to miss work for a period of time, and you may struggle with returning to work. You may not be able to work at all after the attack, and it’s possible that you qualify for disability benefits.
Non-economic damages typically include pain and suffering. You might develop lasting emotional trauma from the attack. This can be challenging to calculate, but a qualified attorney will be able to determine these non-economic damages on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer For Your Dog Bite
It can be difficult to focus on your recovery while trying to build a case for a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can ease some of this stress by gathering evidence and witness testimony on your behalf. They can also calculate the appropriate amount of damages to request for you. Additionally, Mississippi has a statute of limitations of three years for all personal injury lawsuits, so working with a lawyer ensures your suit is filed in a timely manner. Contact a Gulfport dog bite attorney today for a consultation on your lawsuit.