Perhaps you thought you could trust your neighbor's dog until it attacked your child. Or maybe you were enjoying a day at the park as a family when an unleashed dog bit you or your child.
May 18 is the beginning of the annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week in the United States. Annually, in the United States, at least 4.5 million people suffer injuries after being bitten by dogs, and children make up at least half of this number. It is quite shocking to think so many people are bitten yearly, and the statistics put most of the blame on irresponsible dog owners. Fortunately, Tennessee residents who are bitten have the right to take legal actions against those irresponsible owners.
Dogs are known as man's best friend and provide companionship to many. Unfortunately, dog bites also occur quite frequently. The state of Tennessee has specific laws dealing with the responsibilities of owners of dogs, as well as the rights of victims suffering injuries resulting from a dog attack.
When it comes to injuries suffered due to animal bites, many questions come to mind. One question is if the animal type influences the victim’s right to claim for injuries suffered. Animal bite victims in Tennessee considering filing claims after suffering bite injuries may find that the animal type may play a role.
Tennessee dog owners may benefit from the recommendations of the owners of a dog in another state. After their dog attacked a veterinarian, they advise that all dogs should be muzzled when visiting the vet, as legal proceedings that follow a dog attack could be financially devastating. In fact, it may be wise to muzzle a dog whenever it is taken off one’s property, or in the presence of people other than its owners. Dog bites can cause significant personal injury that may result in substantial medical and other costs.
The American Veterinary Medical Association is the sponsor of Dog Bite Prevention Week during May. The aim of the week is to create awareness of potential risks of a dog biting and causing serious injuries to people. Every year, United States authorities, including those in Tennessee, receive reports of more than four million dog attacks in which people suffer injuries.
Tennessee readers often do not have to look far to find stories of horrific and devastating dog attacks. Unfortunately, these attacks often result in personal injury to children or the elderly who may be unable to defend themselves against a dog. Recently, State Farm Insurance has released data regarding dog bite cases reported across all 50 states, and found that Tennessee ranks number 19 in the nation.
Tennessee dog owners are likely aware of the controversy surrounding many breeds of dogs which are purportedly dangerous. A surge in reports of dog attacks resulting in personal injury has sparked Tennessee legislators to propose amendments to the Tennessee Code regarding "dangerous and vicious dogs." According to reports, the proposed legislation may specifically target breeds such as pit bulls and certain terrier breeds.
Several residents in Tennessee neighborhoods are becoming aware of a growing number of stray and loose animals roaming rural areas. According to reports from the Knox County Animal Control, incidents involving animal bites have nearly tripled in number from this time last year. Many people are unsure what to do in the event of an animal bite, and may be interested to learn that a personal injury claim can be filed if another person's dog is left unrestrained or unattended and an attack occurs.
Personal injury can cause serious bodily and emotional harm. For example, a 70-year-old woman is still struggling to regain the use of her right arm almost six months after she was attacked by a Knoxville police dog. The woman is now in rehabilitation to treat the many bites and punctures caused by the dog and to follow up on personal injury that resulted from being dragged to the concrete floor of her garage. The attorney representing the woman said she has more than $10,000 in medical bills since the June 9 attack at her home in Jacksboro. She is now suing the city of Knoxville and the police dog's handler for $450,000.It has been reported that the incident took place when a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois came up to the woman as she pulled into her garage. The plaintiff tried to shoo the dog away by clapping her hands and yelling and waving her arms. At some point the animal lunged at her, grabbing her by the right shoulder and arm. The woman's husband beat the dog off by hitting it repeatedly with a tree trimming pole. An animal control officer then killed the dog in the couple's yard with a 12-gauge shotgun blast.