3 Things to Know About Tennessee Dog Bite Laws

aggressive dog

Tennessee dog bite laws can be confusing, which is why we want to share some things you should know about them. Here are 3 things you should know about Tennessee dog bite laws:

1. Legal Duty of the Owner

Dog biteYou may be wondering what your obligation as an owner is or what your rights as someone who has been injured by another person’s dog are. According to the statute, the owner of the dog will face strict liability if either of these situations happen:

•The owner of the dog should keep the dog under reasonable control at all times and prevent their dog from running at large.

•The dog owner is responsible regardless if the dog has shown natural tendencies to be dangerous or the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous natural tendencies.

This section on Tennessee dog bite laws means that if the dog is allowed to run around and causes injury to someone in a public place, such as the road or sidewalk, the owner is responsible. It also includes if that person is on another person’s private property lawfully. The part about a dog “running at large” means that the owner is responsible if the dog is allowed to roam free or if the dog gets out without the owner’s knowledge.

2. Exceptions to the Rule

There are a few exceptions to the legal duties of the owners listed above. They include:

•If the injured person provoked the dog
•The dog is a military or police dog and the injuries occurred during its duties
•The injured person was trespassing on the owner’s private, nonresidential property
•If the dog was confined in a crate or kennel
•If the dog was protecting the owner or other innocent party from an attack by the injured person or a dog owned by the injured person

Any of these scenarios could be used as the defense for a dog owner who has bitten someone. The most common ones are the dog being provoked and the person was trespassing.

3. The “One Bite” Rule

dog baring teethAnother one of the Tennessee dog bite laws you should know about is the “One Bite” rule. This rule states that just because someone was bitten by a dog on the owner’s owned or rented property or property they have permission to be on, doesn’t mean that they are at fault. The One Bite rule stems from the requirement that the injured person has to prove the owner knew or should have known their dog had dangerous tendencies. If you cannot prove this, then the owner and dog get “one free bite,” because a court will not hold the owner responsible for their dog’s actions since it was an unforeseeable act.

Now you know more about Tennessee dog bite laws. Do you think you have a personal injury claim when it comes to a dog bite? Contact us today to set up a free case review to speak with one of our lawyers.

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