How Do Dog Bite Lawsuits Work in Tennessee?

The legal system is not universal. Laws vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Dog bite laws are no exception, and if you are wondering how dog bite lawsuits work in Tennessee, you are likely in need of a Nashville personal injury attorney. If you were attacked by a dog and bitten in Tennessee, depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation for any bite-related losses.

Dog-Bite Laws: Strict Liability and the One-Bite Rule

There are two fairly basic dog-bite law categories. The strict liability dog bite laws state that the owner of the dog is fully responsible for any injuries caused by their animal. The animal’s history of behavior does not come into play.

Under the one-bite rule, dog owners are only responsible for their dog’s behavior if there is a past history of violent acts done by the animal. If an animal is known to have bitten before, the owner has knowledge of their dog’s nature. If the dog has never bitten before, they are not liable for damages caused by their first known bite.

Tennessee Dog Bite Laws

Tennessee’s dog bite statutes are a combination of the two aforementioned laws. There are strict liabilities in place for bites under certain conditions. Under Tennessee law, dog owners are strictly liable if their dogs are loose and not under their control at the time of the bite, if the victim in no way encouraged or contributed to the attack, and if the bite took place on public property, private property that belongs to someone else, or any property that is not owned or rented by the dog owner.

Tennessee is the only state with a residential exception, and this statute states that dog owners are not liable for injuries caused by their dog if the attack occurred on their property. This is a very important factor that governs the outcomes of many dog bite incidents. If you are invited to the home of an individual with a dog and that dog bites you, you have no rights for damages because the bite took place at the residence of the dog and its owner.

Filing Your Dog Bite Claim

Under Tennessee law, dog bite injuries that have caused more than $25,000 damage would involve filing the lawsuit in the Tennessee Circuit Court or the Tennessee Chancery Court. For dog bite claims that are less than $25,000, your personal injury suit can be filed at the Tennessee General Session Court in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Your Tennessee dog bite lawyer will know which jurisdiction applies and which state laws apply to your dog bite claim and will guide you through the process from start to finish.

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