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Chattanooga Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bites are common injuries that can be quite serious. In many cases, dog owners can be held responsible for the injuries inflicted by their pets. If you have been injured in an animal attack, a Chattanooga dog bite lawyer could help you analyze your situation and understand your opportunities for financial recovery.

A dedicated personal injury attorney could provide crucial legal advice to help you seek compensation for your injuries and successfully file a claim for damages. A skilled Chattanooga attorney could represent your best interests throughout your case, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and present your claim in court.

Types of Dog Bites and Injuries

Many people are surprised at the severity of injuries and complications that can arise from a dog bite. Dog bites can cause:

  • Lacerations: deep cuts or tears that may extend beyond the skin to the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and bones
  • Puncture wounds: a particularly severe type of laceration where the dog’s teeth or claws create a deep puncture that typically requires medical attention to heal
  • Abrasions: scrapes and grazes that do not extend beyond the top layer of skin. Sometimes, these injuries are minor and can be treated at home, but more serious abrasions can lead to scarring or infection
  • Infections: occur when bacteria from the dog’s mouth or the injured person’s skin surface cause serious infections that complicate the injury
  • Psychological injuries: emotional trauma and lingering fears of being around dogs or other animals after experiencing a dog bite

The extent of damage that these injuries can incur ranges, but a seasoned Chattanooga attorney could help someone who suffered any of these symptoms file a dog bite claim against the negligent party.

Tennessee’s Unique Dog Bite Law

There are two generally recognized bases for dog bite liability: strict liability and the “one-bite” rule. State law incorporates both, and a skilled dog bite attorney in Chattanooga could explain the differences.

Strict Liability

Strict liability means that the dog owner is fully responsible for any injuries caused by their dog, regardless of whether the dog has behaved violently in the past. Dog owners will be found strictly liable if:

  • They do not maintain reasonable control of their dogs, or their dogs are running at large
  • The dog bite was not provoked
  • The bite was not on the dog owner’s residence, such as if the attack occurred in a public place or on private property not owned, rented, or inhabited by the dog owner

Strict liability does not apply if the dog is a police or military dog and they bit a suspect in the course of duty, if the person bitten was trespassing, if the dog was protecting its owner or another person from the injured party or their dog, if the dog was in a kennel, crate or other enclosure at the time of the bite, or if the dog was being provoked or harassed at the time of the bite.

One-Bite Rule

Under the one-bite rule, the dog owner is liable only if their dog has a known tendency to bite. If the dog has never bitten anyone, the first bite may not result in compensation. The owner could be held liable for the dog’s second bite and all instances afterward.

Let a Chattanooga Dog Bite Attorney Take on Your Case

Dog bite injuries are a particular category of personal injury governed by statutes that require a unique standard of proof. They also have their own type of economic and emotional impacts distinct from other kinds of personal injuries.

A Chattanooga dog bite lawyer who knows the state’s specific requirements for dog owner liability and has experience bringing these claims to court could be a valuable legal advocate. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.

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