When someone’s dog bites you without provocation, you have the right to pursue compensation. Let our leading Nashville dog bite lawyer Chadwick Meyers from Meyers Injury Law help you navigate the legal process to gain compensation. Listed on the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 40 Under 40 and rated the best personal injury attorney in Nashville, we are committed to fighting for what’s fair.
Dog bites put numerous people in the hospital yearly, causing mild to major injuries. Hundreds of dog bite claims are filed in Tennessee annually. If you get injured by dog bites, you have the right to get compensation, but before that, you should know the dog bite laws in Tennessee and how a dog bite attorney in Nashville can help you with your case against dog owners.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries In Tennessee
- Abrasions: Injuries that do not penetrate the epidermis are known as abrasions. Abrasions typically do not result in excessive bleeding, but in severe cases, they can lead to scarring.
- Lacerations: Lacerations such as tearing of the skin and deep cuts are common dog bite injuries that affect the muscles, nerves, and even bones in the worst cases. Dog bites that cause lacerations should be taken seriously, as they can lead to other complications.
- Infections: A dog bite injury that has not been cleaned properly can get infected. These infections result from bacteria in the dog’s mouth that can come in contact with the tissue. Common symptoms of infection include pain, swelling, redness, and pus.
- Puncture Wounds: Punctures are smaller than cuts, but they can be deeper. This kind of injury occurs when the dog’s teeth penetrate the skin.
- Rabies: One of the worst infections you can get from a dog bite is rabies. You can only get rabies if the dog who bites you is not vaccinated. After being bitten, you can ask the dog’s owner if the dog was vaccinated. If not, then you should seek immediate medical attention.
- Tetanus: Although it is not as common as rabies, it is possible to get tetanus from a dog bite. Most dog bites that result in tetanus are contaminated.
- Avulsion: Avulsion injuries are when the dog bites and tears a part of the skin or tissues away. These injuries are serious and can require reconstructive surgery.
- Scarring: Deep abrasions, avulsions, and lacerations can result in permanent scarring, which is a common dog bite injury.
- Nerve Damage: If the injury extends to the nerve, it can lead to temporary or permanent loss of nerve function. In extreme cases, injuries from a dog bite can cause nerve damage, leading to temporary or permanent paralysis.
Dog Bite Statistics
- 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually in the U.S.
- Around 15% of dog bite injuries lead to serious infections.
- According to the National Canine Research Council, there were 38 fatalities in 2018 due to dog bites.
- In the United States, no more than 60 or 70 dogs are reported rabid every year, making rabies the least common injury for dog bites.
Dog Bite Laws in Tennessee
Before pursuing dog bite claims, victims should be informed about dog attack laws in Tennessee. If a person owns a dog, they have a legal duty to keep it under reasonable control. Dog owners should also be aware of any natural tendencies of the dog to be dangerous to the general public.
The exceptions to the legal duties of the owner include the following:
- If the injured individual had provoked the dog to bite.
- The injuries were caused by a police or military dog doing its duty.
- The injured individual had been trespassing on the dog owner’s property.
- The dog was confined in a kennel.
- The dog was protecting their owner from an attack by the injured party.
The one-bite rule in Tennessee states that if the injured were bitten on the property of the pet owners, they must prove that the owners knew about the dog’s natural tendencies. If they fail to do so, the owners would not be held liable for the animal attack.
What to Do After a Dog Bite?
Get Medical Attention
Dog attack injuries can be severe. If you get a puncture, laceration, or bruising from the bite, seek medical attention immediately. In extreme cases, you can fall during a dog attack and hit your head, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Refusing or delaying medical treatment after a bite can be bad for your health and your case, especially if you want to recover compensation for your injuries.
Get Information from the Dog Owner
As the dog bite victim, you must collect the dog’s vaccination history from the dog owner to learn if you need to seek immediate treatment for rabies after the bite. You can also have your Nashville dog bite attorney get a copy of the vaccination certificate from the pet owners. In case you cannot get this information, immediately visit the emergency room to ensure you don’t suffer from life-threatening infections.
Report the Incident
If the dog that bit you was a stray or off its leash on another person’s property, you should inform the local authorities immediately, so the dog does not hurt anyone else. The responding officers can also make a report of the dog attack, which can serve as sufficient evidence in your case. You can contact Nashville dog bite lawyers to get guidance on how to proceed with your claim.
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite In Tennessee?
Dog bite victims have the right to recover compensation for their lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering by filing a claim against the owner. Typically, dog bite victims have one year after the injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. In Tennessee, you should file a strict liability claim against the dog’s owner if you were injured on public or private property.
Dog bite claims can be confusing, so you should hire a Nashville dog bite lawyer who can help you file a case against the owner.
Why You Need to Contact a Nashville Dog Bite Attorney
Nashville dog bite lawyers can use their resources to investigate the accident on your behalf. This can include gathering documentation of the scene and interviewing any eyewitnesses. They can also collect veterinary records of the dog from the owner and information about any prior instances of dog bites.
Hiring Nashville dog bite attorneys can be beneficial for your case because they can collect your medical bills and records of other damages to prove the extent of your injuries. They can also handle the negotiations and paperwork involving your settlement with the insurance company, and protect your rights if the case goes to court.
You can contact us at Meyers Injury Law to schedule a free consultation with a Nashville dog bite lawyer. We will offer you legal guidance on how to proceed with your personal injury claim. If a dog bit you, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, emergency care costs, and other expenses.
The Nashville dog bite attorneys at Meyers Injury Law will diligently pursue compensation in your case. We recover millions of dollars every year for our clients. Contact us today and let us help you!