Dogs are great companions and serve as honorary family members in some Mississippi homes. However, not all dogs are properly cared for and trained to be responsible when around strangers or in unfamiliar situations. A dog can quickly cause a victim serious personal injuries and losses, and when a dog attacks a victim may be left with long-term pain and suffering.
This post will introduce 3 important facts that readers should know about dog bite claims in Mississippi. This post is not offered as legal advice and should not stand as guidance on any specific question or case. All personal injury victims can speak with knowledgeable attorneys about their possible claims and damages.
1. Mississippi recognizes the “One Bite Rule”
Not all dogs have histories of violence before they bite or attack their victims. A dog may live a quiet and calm life up until the moment it lashes out and harms a victim. Because its owner may not have knowledge or notice of the dog’s dangerous propensities, Mississippi does not hold dog owners liable for their pets’ first bites. This is known as the one bite rule.
Once a dog has shown that it is a danger to others, though, its owner can be held legally responsible for the harm it causes. A case based on a dog attack arising from this situation will rely on evidence of the owner’s knowledge about the dog and the steps the owner took to prevent future attacks.
2. Mississippi limits pain and suffering damages
Damages are the awards of money victims receive when they prevail in personal injury claims. A victim can pursue their actual damages, which could include their medical bills, lost wages, and other quantifiable sums. They may also seek pain and suffering damages based on the stress, physical pain, or emotional distress they suffered from their attack.
In Mississippi, most personal injury victims are limited to pain and suffering damages’ awards of $1 million. The limit for medical malpractice-based pain and suffering damages is less. A personal injury attorney can help their client understand these and other considerations when seeking an award of damages.
3. Victims have 3 years to pursue claims in Mississippi
Like other jurisdictions, Mississippi imposes a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. Generally, such claims must be filed within 3 years of when the victim suffered their injury or losses. In the case of a dog bite or attack, the statute of limitations would begin to run on the date of the incident.
Three years may feel like a long time to file a claim, but it can pass quickly, leaving a victim with little time to bring their case to court. When a dog attack happens, it is important that a victim seeks the medical help they require to recover. When they are able, they can choose to contact a personal injury attorney for guidance on how to seek the recovery of their losses.