Across the United States, injuries because of dog bites have been rising steadily over the last decade. The costs involved with regard to dog bite injuries have risen even more during this time, while more than a third of homeowners’ liability insurance claims relate to dog bites. Tennessee is no different.
When one considers that every sixth person bitten by a dog requires medical care, with one in 14 victims will require emergency care, the first question that comes to mind is who is responsible for the medical bills? Tennessee legislation stipulates that the dog owner is considered legally liable when his or her dog bites a person. However, a residential exclusion is also included in the law which, in principle, making Tennessee a mixed liability state. A residential exclusions means that when the attack takes place on the owner’s property, the owner can only be held liable if the injured party can prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog is dangerous and may bite.
Dog bite injuries can be devastating, particularly when the victim is a child. Apart from the expensive medical procedures that may be required, victims also regularly suffer psychological injuries which may require treatment. Very often, victims remain fearful of dogs for many years to come after an attack.
Filing a personal injury claim after suffering injuries because of a dog bite is often not an easy decision. In many cases, the owner of the dog is someone known to the family. Consulting with a Tennessee personal injury attorney on the matter may not only provide the necessary information and advice, but may also allow for the lawyer to prepare and handle any claims filed on the victim’s behalf.
Source: dogsbite.org, “Dog Bite Victims“, Accessed on Oct. 10, 2015