Articles Posted in Dog Bite Law

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shutterstock_51833230-300x199A dog is often referred to as “man’s best friend” and is considered by many to be a part of their family. They offer their family unconditional love; entertainment and a lot of them provide protection. However, when they attack someone they can cause serious physical and emotional trauma.

If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog, there are laws in Nashville that will protect your legal rights. Contact a Nashville dog bite attorney to find out what your rights are and whether or not you are entitled to compensation under these laws.

What To Do After A Dog Bite

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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.

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angry dog with bared teeth

The laws regarding liability in dog bite cases vary from state to state. In Nashville, Tennessee, the most pertinent aspect of the law is the so-called One Bite Rule. If you are bitten by a canine, the circumstances under which the bite occurred are of vital importance when taking your case to court – the same goes, of course, if you are the owner of the offending dog.

The First Victim Free?

What, exactly, does the One Bite Rule entail? The rule essentially forgives the dog and owner of a bite or attack on another person; provided that there is no previous history of an attack by that dog. The dog, therefore, is legally “allowed” one bite, and the owner is shielded from prosecution in a civil case.

Essentially, a Nashville dog bite attorney would tell you, the owner of a dog that bites a single person had no reasonable expectation that their domesticated animal was capable of such an act. Only if the dog was to bite or harm another person in a similar manner as the first victim would the owner and canine be rendered liable.

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