Owning a dog for companionship is not the only reason someone would adopt a canine pet. Protection is a very popular reason. A guard dog can do a lot in terms of preventing thieves from breaching entry to a property. Loud barking alone is more than enough to scare burglars away. If someone chooses to trespass on a property with or without ill intent, he or she may not necessarily be entitled to sue after being bitten by a dog. This would be due to Mississippi statutes that make it difficult for someone unlawfully present on the private property to sue.
Does this mean, however, a homeowner could order his dog to violently and viciously attack a trespasser?
Use of Force in Mississippi
Mississippi is a state that affords great protections to those who use force to preserve life and limb. Ordering a guard dog to attack is one way people try to protect themselves against serious threats. Such persons may be best served speaking with an attorney to gain a full understanding of self-defense laws in Mississippi and avoid crafting their own interpretations, interpretations that might be both wrong and unlawful.
Remember, the law is very clear on what is deemed justifiable and what would fall out of the sphere of justifiable. Make no assumptions about the legality of self-defense and use of force. Seek qualified legal counsel for advice.
Not everyone truly understands how self-defense law works, though. Criminal and civil penalties may be the result of violating acceptable self-defense parameters.
The Trespasser’s Lament
A trespasser who wanders on a property may not have legal recourse if bitten by a guard dog. If the trespasser, however, does not pose a threat to anyone, mentions the property owner he or she trespassed by accident and is going to immediately leave, and the property owner and guard dog both misjudge the situation and the dog aggressively bites the trespasser. The inflicted dog bite on the trespasser might actually open doors for a civil suit.
A qualified Jackson personal injury lawyer would need to look over the case to make an assessment of fault and negligence. Would any actions on the part of he owner make the scenario an instance of an intentional tort? Would Mississippi’s “pure comparative negligence system” factor into the situation due to the trespasser’s unauthorized presence?
Obviously, these are not questions that someone not versed in the law is capable of answering. Only an attorney who understands the complexities of personal injury law would be able to examine how these question tie into harm suffered in a “self-defense” situation.
Not Really Self-Defense
Directed a dog to attack when not under any threat or serious danger is doutbfully self-defense. Whether using fists, weapons, or an attack dog, hurting someone severely and outside the legal parameters of acceptable self-defense may open someone up for a civil suit.
Whether serving as the plaintiff or defendant in such a civil suit, procuring the best available legal counsel would be in one’s best interests.