Every year, 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog in the United States; 750,000 of those bites are serious enough to require medical attention, according to the National Institutes of Health. These injuries can cause significant expenses for a victim in terms of medical bills and lost wages. So, who’s liable for damages in this situation?
Understanding Mississippi’s Dog Bite Laws
Mississippi follows an older law regarding dog bites known as the “one free bite” rule. This law allows owners to assume their dogs are harmless unless shown otherwise. Therefore, only a dog’s first bite may prove the animal is a threat to others. It is after this point that the owner must take responsibility to control their pet so it does not harm anyone else.
However, pet owners must take some accountability. If they observe warning signs in their dog, such as growling, snarling, or snapping, they are expected to make the conclusion that their dog may pose a risk to others and take measures to prevent their dog from harming anyone (even if the dog has not bitten anyone yet).
What to Do After a Dog Bite
If you have been bitten by a dog, it’s important to administer first aid if the wound is superficial. If the wound is more serious, seek medical treatment. You may receive antibiotic cream or undergo rabies testing.
Once you have been treated, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Mississippi’s dog bite laws are complicated and require the advice of seasoned legal professionals to determine whether you have a claim. It’s important to note the statute of limitations for a dog bite injury is three years, in most cases. So, do not hesitate to call our firm for a free consultation right away.