Mississippi Dog Bite Attorneys
Dogs can either be man’s best friend or his worst enemy. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely been seriously injured because of a vicious dog. We’re truly sorry that you’re dealing with a lot of pain and suffering. Our Mississippi dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call our office today to set up a free consultation.
A dog attack is a frightening experience that can leave lasting effects, both physical and emotional. The pain and suffering you may feel after a bite is an unfair burden that has been thrown on you by a negligent dog owner.
You deserve compensation to help you recover from these injuries. Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC can help you seek justice and obtain the appropriate compensation.
Compensation can help you recover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Permanent injuries
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
If a dog owner has failed to control their dog or properly warn others about their potentially dangerous dog, you should not have to pay the price. At Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC, we hold dog owners accountable for their negligence and work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
How to Know if You Have a Dog Bite Claim
Generally speaking, if a dog bites you and you’ve been seriously hurt because of this, you may have a claim. There are things that go into determining whether you have enough evidence to have a claim.
First, you’d have had to collect evidence for us to be able to look at the evidence. You as the victim need to take photos and videos of the scene, the dog, and your injuries. Having animal control come over to make an official report is also a great idea. You will also want to have the contact information from anyone who saw the dog attack you, as well as insurance information from the dog handler/owner.
Once you have some evidence to consider, you can look at the details.
To understand whether or not you have a claim, think about this:
- Why did the dog attack you?
- Where did the dog come from?
- Could it have been prevented?
- Were you seriously injured?
We ask these questions to better understand the strength of your case. Dogs sometimes attack because they feel threatened. Sometimes, they attack because they’re abused or innately vicious. We look into whether you were invited into someone’s home and then attacked by their dog, or if you were walking past the property minding your own business.
We also consider where the dog came from. Did it break out of a yard with a bad fence? Was it off leash before it attacked you? This can show if the owner is responsible for your injuries. Let’s say, for example, that you were over at a friend’s house for dinner. You were having dinner in the backyard, when the dog came barreling out of the house through a swing door that wasn’t latched. The dog attacks you and leaves you pretty badly injured. The owner of the dog would likely be liable for your injuries because they didn’t restrain that dog.
Which leads us to discuss if this incident could have been prevented. Was there something that the owner or handler could have done in order to prevent the incident from happening? If there was something they could have done that they knew they should’ve done to prevent this incident, they can be deemed liable. It’s our job to investigate it fully to determine their level of liability.
Lastly, your injuries are considered, too, when determining if you can or cannot file a claim. If there was a little puppy that growled at you and bit your pants but never touched your skin, odds are you don’t have a claim for a dog bite. If someone’s big dog came after you, however, and tackled you to the ground and scarred up your face, you probably have a very strong claim.
The Aftermath of a Dog Bite
A dog attack can leave you feeling anxious, afraid, and physically hurt. It is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible after the attack for a professional, comprehensive analysis of your condition and your injuries. Be sure to take extensive, dated notes about your diagnosis, the cost of your treatment, and any other pertinent details.
Injuries commonly suffered after a dog bite include:
- Puncture wounds
- Torn or ripped skin
- Infections such as tetanus and rabies
- Facial injuries
- Deep tissue damage
Shortly after a doctor has assessed the situation, contact our Mississippi dog bite attorneys. Proudly serving all of North Mississippi, the team at Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC is available 24/7 to assist. Helping you is what we do.
How a Dog Bite Claim Works
You usually have two parties involved with a dog bite claim to start off with. They would be the victim (you) and the liable party, which is typically the dog owner/handler. It could also be a dog sitter, in some instances. Then there are two more parties involved once the case really gets going— your Mississippi dog bite lawyer and the liable party’s insurance company. They are going to be adversaries in this long battle.
From there, you file the claim and go over evidence. You determine the strength of the case and get started.
You are essentially telling the liable party’s insurance company that they’re responsible for paying your damages in the claim. Your damages are costs related to your injuries, lost wages from time missed at work, and emotional damages.
Compensation is affected by your role in causing the accident. You may be partially at fault for the accident, if you did something wrong. This typically isn’t the case with dog bites, but it does happen. For example, if someone was trespassing in the home when the dog attacked, they’re likely not going to be eligible for the claim. A lot of cases involve a victim, however, who was minding their own business.
If you were deemed partially at fault, though, your compensation award would be reduced by the percent you were found guilty of.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
The insurance company might help you get a small settlement, but this amount could be meager compared to what you are entitled to under the law. You need a persistent and experienced attorney who can stand up for you and fight for the full compensation you deserve.
We understand that you are in a lot of pain and distress following a dog attack – let us help you recover. Our team can be by your side from start to finish, guiding you through the legal process whether we settle out of court or go to trial.
Frequently Asked Dog Bite Questions
What should I do after a dog bite?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite incident or a dog attack, particularly here in Mississippi, there are a few things that you should think about first and foremost. First off, if you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog or been involved in a more serious dog attack, the first thing to do is get the medical attention that you need. Everything else can wait.
Again, first and foremost, get the medical attention that you need. We want you to get better. Frequently in dog attacks the injuries are a lot more than a little snippet on the ankle. We have seen situations where people have been attacked literally within an inch of their life. We’ve seen horrible disfigurement. We have seen situations where people die, and it happens more often than we’d like to admit. These can be very serious, catastrophic injuries, even near fatal situations in which vulnerable people or children are viciously attacked by dogs. Get the medical help that is needed, first and foremost, and continue that medical treatment until the doctors say otherwise. First and foremost, we want people’s health to be protected.
The medical treatment and the ongoing treatment as doctor’s direct are also important from a legal standpoint because it helps create that record of the injury and what the victim is dealing with. From a legal standpoint, eventually we would go back to those records to be able to show the extent of the injury, what the prognosis is for the future, and develop a plan where there’s going to be ongoing treatment in the future and what that plan of care is going to look like. Get the medical treatment you need and get the ongoing treatment as your doctor recommends.
At some point, invariably, if the dog owner is responsible for these attacks – and they usually are – attention is going to turn toward the legal claim. The first thing to keep in mind in a dog bite case, or really any personal injury case, when you start thinking about the legal aspects, is that there are very strict time limits for bringing a claim. When we’re talking about personal injury claims, and dog bites fall into that, most states have a strict, spelled-out time period for when the claim can be brought. Here in Mississippi our general statute of limitations, as it’s called, is three years. Most dog bite and dog attack claims fall within that three-year statute. That time period can be affected by other circumstances.
The easiest example I can give is when children are involved. Sometimes we can get that extended because of the minor. The important thing to understand is that you don’t want to toy around with that time limit because, if a claim is not brought within the statutory time period for bringing a claim or filing a lawsuit, then you forever lose your right to file that claim. You will not be able to bring the claim or resuscitate it, and the claim will be forever barred, preventing you from getting paid. Those time limits are very strict. They’re very harsh if you miss them, so you don’t want to do that. Don’t wait on bringing your claim.
The third thing that is really important is, when you do start thinking about the legal aspects and pursuing a claim against the at-fault party, it’s really important that you have legal representation helping you. I can tell you from experience with multiple dog bite and dog attack cases over the course of my career that these types of cases are unique. The way that you pursue a dog bite or dog attack case is different than the way you pursue a car wreck, a slip and fall, or a medical malpractice case. It is its own unique type of claim, and you really need not just legal representation but legal representation that handles personal injury claims on a regular basis— representation that has some experience and a track record of success with these particular types of cases. There’s a number of aspects to a dog bite or dog attack case that are just different in how you approach them, from the type of evidence that you’re looking for to the type of experts involved and other legal considerations. Looking for an attorney to represent you that has a track record and experience with those types of cases is very important.
Particularly in a dog bite case versus other types of cases, it’s all the more important that you just don’t talk to the insurance company for the other party or try to deal with the adjusters on your own. That’s a recipe for real problems for yourself. With all of that, kind of summing it up, if you or a loved one are involved in a situation where you’ve been the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, get the medical help you need. When you start turning to the legal aspects, absolutely get you legal representation. Make sure that you’re getting legal representation that has some experience and a track record of success, not just in litigation of personal injury claims but in litigation of dog bite and dog attack claims. Do not try to talk to that adjuster for the other party or the insurance company on your own. If you focus on these things, it’ll get you on the right track to getting compensated and treated fairly on your claim.
I’m Brad Morris, with Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC. If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite or dog attack injury, or any other type of personal injury, we’re here to help. Reach out to us through our website or give us a call. We’ll try to get you pointed in the right direction and get you the help you need. Thank you.
What if the owner of the dog doesn’t have insurance?
A question that comes up sometimes in dog bite cases or dog attack cases is, “What if that dog owner does not have insurance? What do you do with a claim like that here in Mississippi?” The answer is, first of all, we’re going to assess that situation from top to bottom. Sometimes, people say they don’t have insurance, but they actually do.
The first step in that situation is to make sure that you don’t just take them at their word, and that you’re actually exploring every option for available insurance coverage against the party who owns the dog who caused the injury. That’s not just true in dog bite and dog attack cases, that applies to a lot of personal injury cases. We all know insurance companies like to hang on to their money and if they can find a way to deny coverage or reduce the value of the claim, they’re going to do that. Sometimes that includes just denying the coverage exists or denying that coverage applies to a given situation, even though it may.
In a situation where a dog owner is liable but does not have insurance, there are still a couple of avenues to look at in terms of the victim getting properly compensated and recovering. One avenue is looking at your own insurance. There are options and avenues where you potentially may have coverage available to you through your own homeowner’s policy, depending on where it happened, but also through other policies that may apply to that situation. Was the person who was injured on the job at the moment, for instance? Workers’ comp may come into play if that person attacked by the dog, for instance, was checking the water meters, or if they were there on the property for business purposes such as repairing a roof or doing some other type of work.
The other option beyond your own insurance or other insurance coverage, that may come into play outside of that defendant, is to just proceed with the claim and obtain a judgment through trial or verdict, and then collect against that judgment on the responsible party. That could involve garnishing wages, attaching assets, and ongoing collection efforts against them. Once you have a judgment in place, there typically is, in most states, a time period for collecting on that judgment. In Mississippi, that is typically seven years. The good news is once you enroll that judgment, if you haven’t fully collected on it at the end of that seven years, as long as you don’t let it expire, you can oftentimes go back and renew that judgment to extend it for an additional seven years, and you just continue that process in order to collect on them.
That’s where good investigative work really comes into these cases. Dog bite and dog attack cases are a great example of where investigation really matters. It involves looking for the insurance coverage and the ability to pay for the claim that has to be done on the front end. It’s not just coverage that that defendant has or says they have or don’t have, it’s actually digging a layer deeper under that of what’s available and looking to the next level to see if there’s other coverages out there that may apply to the situation. If there’s no insurance coverage, it’s looking to other assets that can be collected upon or collected against in the event of a judgment.
All of that, though, really requires legal assistance. There’s just virtually no way that a person can do that on their own without legal help, and not just run-of-the-mill legal help. You’ve really got to have someone involved who does litigation regularly, someone who has some experience and a track record of success on these dog bite and dog attack claims, and experience collecting judgments and running down the insurance. Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC, that’s what we do. We have a record of success to show that. If you have any questions, just reach out to us through our website or give us a call. We’ll try to get you pointed in the right direction. Whether it’s a dog bite claim or some other type of personal injury, the main thing is we want to try to get you the help you need.
How much is my dog bite case worth?
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.
How long is my dog bite case going to take?
I had a client that we’re representing on a dog bite case recently ask me, “How long is it going to take for my dog bite case to be litigated here in Mississippi?” It’s a fair question, and I think they were asking just from the standpoint of the fact that dog bite cases are different than other types of injury cases. The reality is that a dog bite case, in terms of timeline and how long it’s going to take to work that case to conclusion, is going to follow a very similar timeline to other personal injury litigation. Every case is unique. These time periods that I’m about to give you are sort of rules of thumb; they’re not etched in stone or anything.
Most of the time the length of litigation and how long it’s going to take to reach conclusion is going to have a lot more to do with factors such as how bad the injuries are, how much damages are at stake in the case, and how clear the liability is. Sometimes, liability is clear from a commonsense standpoint, but liability may be heavily contested in fault, from a legal standpoint. In other words, if there are a lot of damages and the insurance company wants to drag things out, then the case can be highly contested from a liability standpoint and take longer.
Sometimes, there are just legal issues or evidentiary issues that have to be worked through. Those are all factors that kind of play into any personal injury case and how long it takes to pursue the case. Generally speaking, if the case is not a catastrophic injury, or sometimes even if it is (depending on the damages that are involved, how contested liability is in the case, and how complicated the evidentiary issues are in terms of getting evidence to prove the case), cases can potentially be resolved within three to six months pre-suit, if there’s not a whole lot of argument or complexity around those issues. If the case is being litigated and suit is having to be filed, then typically things move more into a six month to twenty-four month range or longer, just depending on the complexity of the case.
Complexity is driven by the value of the case and the extent of damages. For instance, if there’s a lot of ongoing treatment, sometimes things are delayed because you really need to get a sense of the person’s recovery or what type of treatment they’re going to need in the future before you can fully resolve things. Damages, contested liability, and evidentiary issues are usually what’s driving the length of time, so the more complex all of that is, the longer litigation can go, and that’s typically six months to twenty-four months, sometimes longer, from the point where you hire an attorney.
All of this is, again, specialized and is going to be unique to your case, and that makes it all the more important to have good quality legal representation involved who can walk you through every step of the way. Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, we have had great success representing people on dog bite and dog attack cases. If you have questions about this or other areas, just reach out to us on our website, or give us a call, and we’ll do our very best to get you the help you need and get you on a path to recovery.
How does a beware of dog sign affect my claim?
When we’re dealing with dog bite cases or dog attack cases, the question often comes up, “What about the Beware of Dog sign?” Whether the dog owner had one or didn’t have one, the client always wants to know how that plays into the claim. It can vary. Most of the time, a Do Not Trespass or Beware of Dog sign ultimately has very little impact on the outcome of the case. That’s not to say they’re insignificant or they’re totally irrelevant, but, it’s just that, normally in my experience in dealing with dog bite and dog attack cases, the other factors and other facts in the case tend to play a much larger role in determining liability and certainly in determining damages and determining fault than those types of signs. The reason for that is, usually, almost without fail, and certainly in the cases that I have seen or been around, whether there were signs or whether there were not signs, the dog bites or dog attacks usually take on one of two scenarios.
In the first scenario, the dog left the dog owner’s property and attacked someone off property, in which case, the signs are completely irrelevant. It was the dog that left and attacked them. In the other scenario, the person who was attacked, the victim was a guest of that dog owner on their property. In other words, they were invited over or asked to come onto the property, either as a social guest or as a business guest. Think of someone there to perform some type of maintenance work, checking the meter on their house or socially just for a visit, such as children coming over to play.
In those situations, even with the signs there, factually and ultimately what determines the outcome of the case is not the sign and not the victim seeing or not seeing a sign, or knowing or not knowing about the dog or the history of the dog, but much more on the dog owner and the history of the dog, the dog owner’s knowledge of that dog’s breed, of that dog’s past behavior, of prior incidents involving the dog, signs and signals of an aggressive behavior or violent aggression towards humans that that dog has exhibited. All those things come a lot more into play normally in these cases than the ‘Beware of Dog’ sign. Normally the signs aren’t there until after the bite or the attack happens, but, even when they are, it’s these other factors that typically have a lot more impact on the outcome of the claim than a sign.
It’s a great question that comes up a lot in these cases, but hopefully that helps answer any outstanding issues or questions people have about that. As with any dog bite or dog attack case, each one stands on its own unique set of facts and there’s multiple levels of complexity to those cases. Even if it seems like a simple case, there are typically multiple levels of complexity in dog bite and dog attack cases, from the damages to proving liability and apportioning fault that really require experienced counsel being involved.
At the Brad Morris Law Firm, we have had some success litigating these cases. We’ve been involved in some cases that had really sad and almost catastrophic injuries involved; sometimes these cases even involve death. We’re available through our website or through our phone to try to get you on the path to justice and a full recovery. If you, a family member or loved one have been the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, reach out to us. We’ll try to get you pointed in the right direction and answer your questions.
How do I know if I have a qualified dog bite case?
On the subject of dog bite and dog attack cases, we’ve handled a number of them at our firm. A question that often comes up is, “How do I know if I have a qualified dog bite claim, particularly here in Mississippi?” The quick answer to that is, if you were attacked by someone else’s dog, what we want to look for are the things showing that that owner had some knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensity. That’s kind of the gold standard here in Mississippi in these types of cases.
A lot of times people mistakenly call that the “one-bite rule”, meaning that if the dog hasn’t ever bitten anyone before or attacked anyone before you can’t prove liability on that owner. It’s as if to say the dog basically gets one “free bite” without getting them in trouble or getting the owner in trouble, and that’s just not true. That’s not the law here in Mississippi, and that’s now how it works. The reality is, most of the time where there is liability for a dog bite or dog attack, there are any number of warning signs, any number of indications and past events with the dog that actually did give that owner a warning about the dog’s aggressive nature, about their dangerous propensities that end up leading to a finding of liability on that dog owner.
The only way really to sort that out is digging into the details of the case, the history of the dog, and the history of the dog owner and then looking at how all that comes together and interplays with the victim. Oftentimes, the nature of these cases is such that neighbors or family members are the victims. It’s people who know the dog owner or know their dog. It’s not always a stranger. More often than not, the victim is someone who has had some prior interaction or relationship with the dog or dog owner, and all of that comes into play. What type of dog is it? What’s the history of that particular dog? What is the history of that particular dog owner? What’s the history of the dog and the dog owner with the victim?
The only way that you’re really going to get to the bottom of all that and really get a good read on the case is by having someone involved in your representation that has actually worked one of these cases before. You need to understand the nuance of the law in Mississippi, if it’s a Mississippi case; if it’s in another state, you need someone who has worked through those types of cases but also digs into and understands the rules in that particular location because they do vary. The laws on dog attacks, dog bites, and owner liability has evolved differently across the states, so it’s important to understand what those local rules and local laws are. You just can’t do that without digging into the details of the particular case.
Reach out and contact an attorney that not only litigates personal injury claims, but who has some experience litigating cases involving dog bites and dog attacks because the laws are going to be unique. They can dig into the specific facts of your case to really do a full assessment of the claim. At the Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC, we have had success pursuing dog bite and dog attack cases, particularly in some situations that were really bad attacks involving catastrophic injuries. We’re here and available through our website and through our phone number. If you have questions or just want to inquire about a situation involving a dog attack on you or a loved one, give us a call and we’ll try to answer your questions and get you the help that you need.
How do I choose the right attorney for my dog bite case?
In our firm, we actually get inquiries about dog bites a lot more frequently than I think people would think, especially during the warmer time of the year, because statistically more dog bites happen during that time. We particularly have been involved in some cases that I would say go beyond a dog bite to a dog attack, where dogs have attacked sometimes grownups but particularly children, which is quite frequent. Actually, young children are the number one victims of dog attacks. The question has been asked of, “How do I choose the right attorney in a dog bite or dog attack case?”
When you’re looking for an attorney in that type of case, it is similar in process to what you want to look for with any type of injury case. First of all, you are bringing a claim for personal injury. A lot of times in dog bite or dog attack cases, the injuries can be very severe, especially when children are involved. The first thing you want to look for is someone who, on a general level, handles personal injury cases regularly, who has experience handling personal injury cases. I can tell you from experience, dog bite and dog attack cases are typically litigated more often than other injury cases just because the insurance carriers, the defendants who own the dog, oftentimes are more apt to dig in and defend the case. Part of that is financial because there are typically significant damages at stake. The other part of it is because they as dog owners are sometimes indignant and emotionally tied to their dog – “It wasn’t the dog’s fault, it was your fault,” – and the insurance carriers see that as an opportunity as well to dig in and defend the case and fight the case to try to reduce the amount of damages that they have to pay.
In my experience, dog bite cases get litigated more often than other types of cases, so it is important when choosing at attorney that you’re choosing an attorney who regularly litigates personal injury cases on a general level and personally pursues personal injury claims on a daily basis, because they’re going to know the ins and outs of proving liability, proving damages, and getting you maximum value for your case. More specifically, dog bite cases are nuanced cases. What I mean by that is you don’t prove up a dog bite case the same way that you prove up a car wreck case or a medical malpractice case or others. The way that you prove up the case is by bringing in the right type of experts as well as the right type of evidence that you’re going to be looking for in support of the claim.
I think something that people should look for and is really helpful are attorneys who have actually had dog bite cases— attorneys who have actually worked up and litigated dog attack cases, and who have had success doing that. At the Brad Morris Law Firm, we have handled a number of these cases and we’ve had some really great success with them, sometimes dealing with some very horrific and difficult situations. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog attack, we’re here to help and answer your questions. You can reach out to us by phone or through our website, and we’ll try to get you on the right path, get you the answers you need, and get you the help you need.
Does insurance usually cover dog bite injuries?
When it comes to dog bite and dog attack injuries, a question that often comes up is, “Will insurance even cover this? The fact that somebody owned a dog and their dog attacked me, is there even insurance out there to cover my injuries or cover the harm that was done?” The answer to that here in Mississippi and pretty much in most states, is, yes, probably so. Most dog bite and dog attack claims are brought under coverage of that dog owner’s home liability policy. They have homeowner’s insurance or, in some cases, if they’re not a homeowner, renter’s insurance that includes some liability coverage. Typically, those policies are going to cover any claims arising from injuries on that property and, by extension, animals or dogs that are on that property that are part of the owner’s property.
These cases, because of that, in the insurance aspects, among other things, really are kind of unique cases. If you’re involved in a dog bite or a dog attack case, sorting through the insurance coverage and getting the coverage on the case is just one of many aspects on which you really need an attorney involved who has worked on these types of cases before. You not only have unique challenges with the damages that arise in these cases and in proving liability on the owner of the dog, but also with the insurance coverage.
The only way to ultimately answer that question and get to the bottom of what insurance coverage is available is digging into the facts and details of the case. You have to get into what type of policy that dog owner has, what exclusions or restrictions are involved, and the particular facts of the case. A lot of times certain homeowner’s policies or property liability policies actually address certain types of dogs or breeds of dogs that the property owner has. Sometimes they even charge the property owner a higher premium because they own certain types of dogs, because the insurance companies know that there’s a higher risk of some form or dog bite or dog attack happening, so they actually charge more under the policy. In other instances, there may be specific exclusions from the policy, where it’s not covered or where they pay for additional coverage so that it is covered. That’s why you’ve really got to have an attorney involved to sift through all these different issues in a dog bite or dog attack case.
The short answer to the question is, yes, most of the time there is insurance coverage available to cover a dog bite or a dog attack; you just need an attorney who knows where to go look and find it. At the Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC, we have had significant experience and some good success helping clients who were victims of dog bites or dog attacks get justice and compensation for their injuries. If you or a family member have been the victim of such an attack, we’re here and available. Contact us today through our website or by calling the law firm, so that we can get you on the right path, get your questions answered and get you compensation for your injury.
Can someone other than the dog owner be responsible for my injuries?
When it comes to dog bite and dog attack cases, a question people sometimes ask is, “Could someone other than the dog owner be responsible for the injuries in the case?” Like a lot of legal questions, it always depends on particular facts and circumstances. Yes, in some instances, someone other than the dog owner could be responsible for the injuries. Let me give you an example.
Frequently, dog bites and severe dog attacks are against young people and small children. A classic scenario where someone other than the dog owner might be held responsible for the injury to that child would be when that child is in the care of someone else. The parents have placed that child in the care of a daycare or school, or some other person or entity, who has been placed in the role of looking after that child and caring for them during a particular period of time, and the dog bite or dog attack essentially happens under that person’s watch. In that situation, yes, there may be some responsibility still on the part of that dog owner, but, if the person responsible for looking after that child or responsible for the care of that child is involved in the situation, and that’s a person who’s different than the dog owner, then there could be potential liability on them for some or all of that fault, depending on the particular circumstances.
For instance, if they did not watch the child and let the child wander over into the yard, where a vicious dog was, or if they let the child willingly go up and pet a strange dog that then turned on them, they could bear some responsibility for those injuries. That actually comes up quite often.
There are other scenarios, not necessarily involving a child, but perhaps a person working, who has to go on the property or who has to go into situations where there’s a dangerous dog who turns on them and attacks them. That potentially turns into an on-the-job injury and implicates workers’ compensation or implicates some other form of liability on that employer for the injury that would be separate from the dog owner.
Yes, there are multiple potential scenarios and situations where, in a dog bite injury or a dog attack case, someone other than the dog owner ends up bearing some or all of the responsibility for the victim’s injuries. Again, all of these potential scenarios are just case-specific, fact-specific and local law specific. You have to have legal representation involved working on your claim in that situation who understands litigating personal injury cases, but, more specifically, litigating dog bite and dog attack cases and who understands the local law and how it applies to those circumstances. You need someone with experience in those cases who can get all the facts together and really work up the case that it needs to be.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a dog attack, we have had some success pursuing those types of cases here at the Brad Morris Law Firm. Over time, they’ve ranged from relatively minor or not severe injuries to some very severe injuries with lifelong implications for our clients. We’ve been able to get them fair compensation, when the circumstances justified that, and we’re here to answer your questions and get you pointed in the right direction if you need help. Reach out to us through our website or give us a call, and we will do our best to get you the help you need.
Call Our Mississippi Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you want help defending your dog bite claim, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Mississippi dog bite lawyers. You are important. Your story should be heard. Don’t hesitate to call. Set up your free consultation today.