Harrison County Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog owners in Harrison County are only liable if they allow a dog to attack after they have notice of the animal’s dangerous nature. These so called “one-bite” laws can make it difficult for injured people to recover damages after a dog bite.
However, just because a case is difficult does not mean that it is not worth pursuing. A negligent dog owner who fails to control a dog known or reasonably known to have dangerous or vicious propensities, either because of the dog’s breed and/or prior episodes of aggression, may be liable to provide compensation for all your injuries. Proper compensation could include such things as payments for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
A Harrison County dog bite lawyer may be able to help you hold dog owners responsible for the actions of their animals. This includes investigating the dog’s past as well as gathering evidence of how the attack occurred.
Dog Bite Laws in Harrison County
Harrison County is in one of a few states that still recognizes the “one-bite” rule for adjudicating animal attacks. This means that plaintiffs demanding compensation for a dog bite must prove that the owner knew or reasonably should have known the animal had a vicious or dangerous disposition.
According to Poy v. Grayson, 273 So. 2d 491 (1973), the plaintiff may meet this legal barrier by:
- Proving that the dog in question had previously exhibited a violent disposition, or
- Showing that the conduct of the animal could have reasonably put the owner on notice that the animal was dangerous
As a result, to prevail in a dog bite case, a plaintiff can show that the owner had actual knowledge of an animal’s violent pasts. Alternatively, the injured person may introduce evidence that the owner should have reasonably expected that the animal would bite. To accomplish this, evidence may include instances of past bites, knowledge that the animal was unusually aggressive, or meets the standards of a “dangerous dog” as provided under applicable law. A Harrison County dog bite lawyer could help plaintiffs meet the burden of proving the animal’s propensity for violence.
Proving a Claim after Satisfying the One-Bite Rule
The mere fact that an owner had notice that their animal was dangerous does not automatically make them liable for a bite. Plaintiffs must still prove that the owner was either negligent in allowing the bite to occur or intentionally set the animal on the injured party.
In negligence claims, a plaintiff must prove that the dog’s owner was careless in allowing the bite to happen. These include situations where a dog is running in public while off a leash or if an owner does not properly contain the animal within their property. However, defendants may also argue that the dog was merely protecting property or that the plaintiff taunted the animal into attacking.
Cases of intentional attacks are somewhat easier to prove. If the attack happens on public property or the property of the plaintiff, the defendant is liable for any case where the defendant ordered the animal to attack. On the other hand, proving these cases in situations on the defendant’s own land can be difficult, especially if the defendant accuses the plaintiff of trespassing. A Harrison County dog bite lawyer could help prove that a defendant is liable for an attack.
Let a Harrison County Dog Bite Attorney Handle the Details
Pursuing a claim for a dog bite injury in Harrison County is a complicated legal matter. Mississippi still follows the one-bite rules that allow many defendants to successfully argue that they had no reason to suspect an animal would attack. Plaintiffs bear the burden of not only proving that a defendant’s dog inflicted an injury, but also that the defendant knew that there was a chance that the incident would occur.
A Harrison County dog bite attorney may be able to help. An attorney could help you or a loved one both investigate the dog’s history in the community and prove that an owner was negligent in allowing the bite to occur. You may have as little as three years from the date of the attack to demand compensation. Contact a Harrison County dog bite lawyer today for a free consultation to get started on the path toward full and complete recovery.