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Tennessee Dog Bites & Animal Attacks



If you have been the victim of a dog bite attack in Tennessee, you may wonder if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be due compensation for your medical bills and other losses. A Tennessee lawyer can help.

What Does Tennessee Law Say About Dog Bites?

There are two basic categories of dog bite laws:

  • Strict liability: States with strict liability dog bite statutes hold dog owners fully responsible for injuries their animals cause. It does not matter if the dog had ever behaved violently in the past.
  • The "one-bite" rule: This rule holds dog owners liable only if their dogs had a known propensity for violence. The most obvious example would be that the dog had bitten someone before. Thus, the owners are off the hook for "one bite."

Tennessee employs a combination of these rules. The law imposes strict liability for bites that occur under certain circumstances. Dog owners are strictly liable if:

  • Their dogs are running at large and not under reasonable control.
  • The victim did not provoke the attack.
  • The attack occurred in a public place or on private property not owned, rented, or inhabited by the dog owner.

This last rule refers to Tennessee's residential exception. Tennessee is the only state that has such a rule. A dog owner is not strictly liable for injuries caused by his or her dog that occur at the owner's residence. This is an important point to keep in mind if you are invited to the home of a person who has a dog.

Where Do You File a Tennessee Dog Bite Lawsuit?

For Tennessee dog bite injury claims worth more than $25,000, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate Tennessee Circuit Court or Tennessee Chancery Court.

If your Tennessee dog bite claim is for less than $25,000, you would file your personal injury lawsuit in the Tennessee General Session Court that has jurisdiction.

Your Tennessee dog bite lawyer can tell you which specific court is the appropriate court to resolve your dispute.

Locate a Local Tennessee Animal Attack Lawyer

Dog bite victims suffer physical and emotional trauma. It can be reassuring to know that your legal interests are in the hands of someone who knows just how the dog bite laws work in your state. Call now to speak with a Tennessee dog bite attorney at 877-913-7222.