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What is the Dog Bite Statute?

Dog-2Dog bites are among the most common personal injuries that can occur to any child or adult. You can never predict when a dog will attack you. Even the gentlest dogs can cause you harm. If you’ve suffered from a dog bite, the first thing you will want to do after seeking treatment is contact a personal injury lawyer. A dog bite may not only cause psychological trauma and permanent disfigurement, it can also cause death. Personal injury lawyers in Nashville, TN can help protect you from the disastrous effects of a dog bite by offering you legal assistance when filing a dog bite lawsuit. Below is a detailed overview of the Tennessee dog bite statute.

Strict Liability

In 2006, a 60 year Old woman named Dianna Acklen was killed by 3 dogs while taking her regular walk in a rural residential neighborhood. This prompted the Tennessee Legislature to pass the Dianna Acklen Act of 2007, which abolished the First Bite Rule. Under that law, a dog owner had been exempted from liability if their dog had never attacked or bitten anyone before. The Dianna Acklen Act, by contrast, established Strict Liability for certain dog bite injuries, regardless of whether or not the dog in question has displayed vicious tendencies before.

The new law obligates dog owners to keep their dog(s) under reasonable control and on a leash. In the event that a dog owner breaches this provision, they can be subjected to civil liability for the damages suffered by a victim, no matter if they are in a public place or on the private property of another.

Exceptions

The law does not apply if:

  • The injury was caused by a military or police dog during the performance of  its official duty
  • The injury occurred when the victim was trespassing upon the private, nonresidential property of another
  • The injury occurred because the injured person disturbed, enticed, alarmed, harassed or otherwise provoked the dog
  • The dog attacked irrespective of being confined in a kennel or crate when the injury occurred

In every dog bite case, there may be valid claims of negligence, which is not easy to establish. It is therefore essential that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact The Law Office of Eric Beasely for more information and access to a team of highly competent personal injury attorneys in Nashville.