What rules apply to dog bite injury claims in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Personal Injury

There are thousands of dogs living as companion animals in Tennessee, and most of them are very friendly animals. However, some dogs occasionally injure people when they become aggressive. Perhaps someone encounters a dog running loose in a park, or maybe an animal turns violent when someone visits their neighbor.

Dogs can cause severe injury when they bite someone, particularly if they are a larger breed. The wounds that they cause may develop severe infections or leave behind disfiguring scars. In extreme cases, dog bite attacks can break bones or cause such severe injuries that people require surgery and hospitalization. Those hoping to seek compensation after a canine turns vicious need to know the rules about such claims in Tennessee.

There are limits to an owner’s liability

Tennessee has a one-bite statute for dog attacks. Generally, this means either that the dog must have injured someone previously or behaved in a way that made the owner aware of its aggressive tendencies. Formal records of a prior attack that left people or animals injured could be enough to establish liability for the animal’s owner. So could signs that they hang up on their property or verbal warnings that they give visitors regarding the animal’s behavior.

Owners have a responsibility to train their animals and to keep them away from the public when they know those animals are aggressive. If the circumstances meet the criteria established in state law, those affected by a dog bite can potentially initiate a personal injury lawsuit.

There is a statute of limitations as well

People affected by the negligence or misconduct of others have legal rights, but those rights only last for so long. Those hoping to file a personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee usually only have one year from the date of the injurious incident to initiate legal action. If they fail to take appropriate action before the statute of limitations expires, they may have no right to sue or ask an insurance company to pay their bills. It is important that people are aware of that one-year statute of limitations so that they do not miss out on an opportunity to cover their expenses related to the dog bite incident.

Understanding the laws in Tennessee that govern dog bite attacks may benefit those injured by an aggressive animal. As can seeking legal guidance promptly after an attack occurs.


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