Watch this video about your dog bite claim value in Mississippi. Then call the Brad Morris Law Firm for a free consultation and case review.
What is my dog bite claim value?
Recently, I was representing a client on a dog bite case. A young child had been seriously attacked by a dog. One of the questions the parents had is, “What is a dog bite case worth in the state of Mississippi?” This is one of those situations where the only right answer is an answer that’s annoying to some people, but it’s the honest truth, and that is that it depends. If you’ll hear me out, though, I can walk you through what it depends on.
The reason it depends is that what’s going to drive what that case is worth is how severe the injuries were, as well as what types of damages are involved. Another part of it – we’ll talk through damages in a moment – is liability. How clear is liability on the dog owner? Finally, other legal aspects and considerations are involved in terms of venue, where you’re located, potential jury, potential legal challenges on appeal, etc. Let’s address each of these individually.
In terms of damages, especially when we’re talking about a dog bite or dog attack case, they can really run the full spectrum, from relatively minor injuries of just breaking the skin, of needing a quick emergency clinic or ER visit up to very serious injuries. We have seen injuries in cases that involved massive catastrophic injuries, not just to adults but sometimes to young children. Frequently in dog attack cases, there can be significant personal injury, not just to limbs or organs but horrible disfigurement. Sometimes people are put in a life-threatening situation where attacks can hit the jugular in a person’s neck and can cause severe bleeding. The injuries can be severe, the complications from those injuries can be severe. Frankly it’s more common than we’d like to admit or talk about, but people die from dog attacks and, frequently, the victims who are killed in dog attacks are either vulnerable people or young children.
In those types of cases, you’re looking at potentially the full range of damages that are available under the law. You have to take into account past medical treatment, any future medical treatment that’s going to be needed, as well as pain and suffering, both past and future. If there’s a death, there’s funeral expenses. In the case of death or a situation where there’s permanent injury, there are also lost income and wages, or lost potential of future earning capacity. That all gets factored into the value of that case, and that’s just talking the extent of the injuries.
Beyond that, there’s a host of issues that come in on just determining liability. Dog bites and dog attacks in particular, more so than most other personal injury cases, are cases where the defendants and their insurance carriers almost always assert some form of contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff. They almost always try to assert that the plaintiff played some role in causing the attack by provoking the dog or being somewhere they shouldn’t have been. You start interplaying with the laws of apportionment of fault, and those vary from state to state. In some states, if the plaintiff is only one percent or five percent at fault, that could be a complete bar to any recovery. In other states, a plaintiff can recover as long as they’re less than 50% at fault.
Here in Mississippi, we have what’s called pure comparative fault. Even if the plaintiff is found some part at fault, the defendant is still going to be liable for whatever percentage is assigned to them by the jury for paying that towards the plaintiff’s injuries. Liability, the likelihood of a verdict, the apportionment of fault potentially between the parties, all of that is really at play at a higher and more complicated level, usually in these dog attack cases, than other personal injury cases. That has to be taken into consideration, and that’s before you get to the third thing that I mentioned, which is just other legal considerations.
This is an aspect of the law that is frankly still evolving in a lot of states. I think that’s true here in Mississippi as well, where aspects of liability when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks still haven’t been fully developed by our appeals courts. There’s frequently the potential for protracted appeal or for legal challenges to whatever verdicts or judgments happen in these types of cases, so you have to be prepared for that as well and factor that into calculating what a dog bite or dog attack case is worth, here in Mississippi as well as other places.
What it boils down to is all of those different factors and how they come together in your particular case are going to impact the value of your dog bite case here in Mississippi. That’s why I started with the answer of it’s really hard to talk about the value of the case without knowing all the specifics and really digging into it, because it really does depend on all these different factors. What is important is having legal representation that has experience in litigating personal injury claims on a daily basis, that has specific experience with dog attack cases. I’m glad to say that myself and my firm have really had some success with those types of cases, particularly some cases that were some really sad circumstances. We were able to get justice for the victims, and through that have built up expertise and experience that is available to put to work for others.
If you or a loved one have been involved or are the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, where another party is at fault for that, we’re here to help. Just reach out to us through our website or call us, and we’ll do our best to get you the help that you need.
Were you or a loved one injured from a dog bite in Mississippi and have questions about you dog bite claim value? Contact the experienced Mississippi dog bite injury attorney, Brad Morris, today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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