Blount County Dog Bite Lawyer
Whether you are an animal lover or connect better with humans, being attacked by a dog is an absolutely terrifying experience. At the office of Barnes Law, our Blount County dog bite lawyer can help you to understand your legal options and rights related to recovering damages following a dog attack. To learn more about how to get started and how we can help, please call us directly or send us a message requesting a free consultation. We are here to serve you.
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Damages from a Dog Bite
When a dog bites, the damages can be serious and lasting. Depending on the degree of the dog attack or bite, potential damages might include:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries, which could occur if the person falls and hits their head as a result of the dog bite;
- Bone fractures, which might occur from falling as a result of the attack or as a result of being bitten with such force that the bones actually fracture;
- Severe bleeding;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and
- Psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, fear of dogs, depression related to disfiguring and disabling injuries, and more.
The above injuries can lead to other damages, too, including high medical bills, lost wages and a loss of earning capacity, and pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Liability for a Dog Bite & Related Damages in Blount County
When you are bitten by a dog and suffer serious economic and noneconomic harm as a result, understanding liability–or legal responsibility–and who will pay for your losses is important. However, the law pertaining to liability for dog bites can be confusing to navigate on your own, which is one of the reasons that working with a lawyer is so strongly advised. In Tennessee, owners of dogs that attack could be held liable under Tennessee’s strict liability statute, but they may also be held liable under the “one-bite” rule.
Strict liability for dog bites in Tennessee
Civil liability for dog bites, the strict liability rule, is found in Tennessee Code Section 44-8-413 – Civil liability for injuries caused by dogs. Under this statute, the law holds that the owner of a dog can be held liable for damages caused by their dog, including both physical injuries (i.e. bites) and other damages, such as property damage losses, when:
- The dog is running at large (i.e. the dog is not being kept under reasonable control by its owner); and
- The victim of the dog bite/damages was not trespassing at the time of the attack and was not enticing, disturbing, alarming, harassing, or otherwise provoking the dog.
The owner of the dog can be held liable under this statute regardless of whether the owner knew of the dog’s propensity for aggression.
The one-bite rule is not in the statutes, and is a colloquial way of talking about liability based on a dog owner’s negligence. Essentially, the one-bite rule holds that if the owner of a dog knew that the dog had a propensity for aggression, based on the fact that the dog had bitten or attacked a person or animal in the past, then the owner is reasonably expected to restrain the dog to the extent necessary to prevent a bite. If the owner breaches this duty and the dog attacks, they can be held liable for the damages. Under this theory of liability, a dog bite victim can recover compensation for the full value of damages that they’ve suffered, including both economic and noneconomic harm.
Time Limits on Tennessee Dog Bite Cases
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should immediately seek medical care, report the dog bite to local animal control, and get the dog owner’s information. From there, you should call an attorney, as you only have a limited amount of time to file a civil action after a dog bite occurs. To be sure, Tennessee’s statute of limitations holds that you only have one year from the date of the dog bite to file a claim; if you breach this statute of limitations, you can be permanently barred from recovery.
Call Our Blount County Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Being attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience and one that no one should ever have to go through. Unfortunately, there are millions of dog bites reported nationally each year, some of which are very serious. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Blount County, call our Blount County dog bite lawyer at the office of Barnes Law for a free consultation and the support you need. We’ll start working on your case immediately.
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