Bradley County Dog Bite Lawyer

Being bitten by a dog can cause very serious injuries. While larger dogs can cause broken bones, torn tendons, and severe bleeding, even bites from smaller dogs can cause severe infection and sepsis.

Tennessee has passed a statute allowing people to hold the dog owners responsible for the actions of their dogs in many situations. Unlike some states, Tennessee allows people bitten by dogs in public places, or off the owner’s property, to hold the owner strictly liable. This means that the dog does not need to have a history of violence.

In other situations, a one-bite rule does apply, where the injured person must show that the owner knew about the dog’s violent past. An injured person should contact a Bradley County dog bite lawyer who represents the interests of people bitten by others’ dogs to collect compensation for their injuries. If another person’s pet has hurt you, speaking with a compassionate personal injury lawyer can give you the peace of mind necessary in order to recover.

Tennessee Dog Bite Laws

There are two ways that plaintiffs can collect damages from the owners of biting dogs. The first is a strict liability method, meaning that the dog owner is responsible regardless of the dog’s history. The second method is also contained in the statute and allows victims to sue for damages if the bite occurs on the dog owner’s residential property.

The plaintiff must be able to prove that they were on the property legally, as a visitor, tenant or with a legitimate business purpose. There must be proof that the dog owner knew or should have known of the dog’s violent tendencies. This is what is commonly known as a one-bite rule. The burden of proof is entirely on the plaintiff to show that the dog was known to be violent.

Understanding Strict Liability

Bradley County dog bite lawyers know that these attacks can occur in public or when the dog is on the property of another are assumed to place liability on their owners.

Exceptions to this include:

  • If the dog is a police or military dog performing its duties
  • The injured person was a trespasser on the dog owner’s non-residential property, such as a store
  • The dog was protecting the owner from an attack
  • The dog was confined in a kennel or crate
  • The injury occurred as the result of the victim taunting, harassing, or disturbing the dog

It is up to the dog’s owner to prove that these exceptions exist.

Statute of Limitations

One other aspect of the law to remember is the statute of limitations. This is a time limit imposed on all plaintiffs by the court within which they must file their cases. Plaintiffs only have one year from the time of an accident to file a lawsuit.

If you or your child has been bitten by another person’s dog, regardless of where the bite happened, contact a Bradley County dog bite lawyer. By analyzing the facts of the case, the lawyer will determine under which of the two options your case should be pursued.

If the bite happened in public, or on property that was not the dog owner’s home, the owner may be automatically responsible for your damages. Even if the bite happened at the owner’s home, a plaintiff may still prevail by showing that the owner knew that the dog was violent.