Meigs County Dog Bite Lawyer 

Dog bites can cause very serious injuries and are one of the most common examples of personal injury lawsuits. Dogs’ mouths are extremely dirty and bites from even small dogs can become infected.

Larger dogs can, of course, cause deep cuts, torn tendons, or even broken bones. In many cases where a person is bitten by another’s dog, the dog’s owner may be assumed to be responsible for the injured person’s injuries. In still other cases, the dog’s owner will be responsible if the dog has a violent past. Tennessee’s dog bite laws are somewhat complicated and the extent to which an owner is liable depends on many factors.

A Meigs County dog bite lawyer can represent individuals who have been bitten by other people’s dogs. Consult a distinguished injury attorney who can help you understand your rights under the law, and can help you pursue the appropriate compensation for your injuries.

Dog Bite Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee law provides for two scenarios where a victim of a dog bite can hold the owner responsible. The first, called the strict liability method, makes the dog owner responsible for all damages of an injured person regardless of the dog’s history.

Under TN Code 44-8-413, dog bites that happen in a public space, or on private property not owned by the dog’s master, are assumed to be the fault of the dog owner. The dog’s owner may raise a number of defenses provided within the statute including:

  • The dog was a police or military dog performing its duty
  • The bitten person was a trespasser on private, non-residential property of the dog owner
  • The injury happened when the dog was protecting its owner or another person from attack by the injured person
  • The dog was held in a cage or crate
  • The dog attacked after being harassed or teased by the injured person

For all of these defenses, it is the responsibility of the dog’s owner to prove in court that one of these scenarios apply.

The second scenario occurs when the dog bite happens on the owner’s residential property. Here, the plaintiff must be able to prove two things. First, that the injured person was legally on the property by permission of the owner. Second, that the dog owner knew, or should have known, that the dog had a violent tendency.

This is a classic version of a one-bite-rule that essentially lets dog owners off the hook for first-time bites on their property. It is entirely the plaintiff and their Meigs County dog bite attorney’s responsibility to prove to the court that the dog’s owner knew of the dog’s violent past.

Statute of Limitations in Dog Bite Cases

One must also be aware of the statute of limitations. In short, this is a time limit that a plaintiff must satisfy in order to win their case. If this time limit passes, the court will not even consider the case.

TN Code 28-3-104 gives plaintiffs only one year after any personal injury to file a complaint in court. This is a very short period so time is of the essence. It is vital that a person contact an experienced Meigs dog bite lawyer who can help them pursue a case.

Talking to a Meigs County Dog Bite Attorney

Dog bites, even if they are completely accidental, may entitle the injured person to sue for damages. If the bite happens in public, or on private property that is not the owner’s home, the dog’s owner will be assumed to be legally responsible. If the bite happens at the dog owner’s home, the injured person will need to show that the dog owner knew of the animal’s violent past.

Regardless of where the bite happened, a Meigs County dog bite lawyer is here to help. An experienced attorney can work with injured individuals to understand the law as it applies to their cases and to pursue the compensation warranted by those laws. A Meigs County dog bite attorney can take care of the details so that you can focus on getting your life back on track.