When man's best friend becomes vicious and causes injuries, the dog owner may be held responsible for the victim's damages. This might include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and more. However, it's important for claimants to understand that every dog bite claim is different and has its own unique facts and details.
As such, the amount that dog bite victims in Tennessee can claim will depend on a number of factors, such as the nature and extent of the injuries caused, the amount of pain inflicted, and the reason for the dog attack.
This article will explore the average dog bite settlement in Tennessee to help victims understand how much they can expect when filing dog bite claims. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions such as Do most dog bite cases settle?
Tennessee's Dog Bite Law
In Tennessee, dog bite regulations are based on strict liability, with the owner being solely responsible for any damages (injuries and monetary losses) caused by their dog. This means that the owner is liable for losses caused by a dog bite, irrespective of the dog's previous conduct or the owner's awareness of any potential aggression.
Dog bite liability is addressed in Tennessee Code Annotated § 44-8-413. It states that dog owners will be held accountable for injuries caused by their canine companions while the person who was hurt is in a public area or legitimately in a private place. This includes the owner's property.
However, if a person breaks into the owner's house and is bitten by their dog, he or she will not be liable for any damages since the person accessed their property illegally. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like Who pays if a dog bites my dog in Tennessee?
The Average Settlement Amount for Dog Bites in the State
Dog bite settlements pay an average of $5,000 to $15,000 for minor injuries, while more serious cases can result in settlements of between $15,000 to $50,000. However, it is important for claimants to remember that the amount that they can claim will vary, depending on a number of factors. This includes the following:
The Nature and Extent of the Dog Bite Injuries
The extent and severity of the dog bite injury that the victim suffered in the attack are pivotal in determining the amount that they are due. There's no doubt that dog bites can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries, and the more severe the injuries, the more a victim can expect to claim.
That's because personal injury cases are centered around injury compensation, and a more serious injury will result in the need for more medical care, rehabilitation, procedures, and lost wages.
The Associated Medical Costs
Both past and future expenses are taken into account when determining the amount that a victim is due. Blood tests, infection control, surgical procedures, rehabilitation, and lengthy hospital stays can contribute to higher settlement amounts.
Victims must ensure that they keep records of hospitalization, doctor visits, medical bills, and more to enhance their chances of getting a higher settlement amount.
Insurance Policy Limits
Another important determinant is the dog owner's insurance policy limits. Most cases are settled within the bounds of these maximum amounts. If the defendant has a smaller policy limit, the victim may not be able to recover a higher amount.
Pain and Suffering and Other Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and the general effect that a dog attack has had on the victim's quality of life. These losses are more difficult to estimate, but they are frequently an important part of the settlement amount.
The Quality of Legal Representation
Although a victim might have the evidence and the means to obtain compensation, having a good understanding of the relevant dog bite and personal injury laws in play is a must. An experienced dog bite lawyer will know how to present the evidence in a compelling and effective way.
They will also account for future expenses and conduct thorough investigations into the incident to ensure that the dog bite victim is able to recover the maximum amount.
Whether the Attack Left the Victim with Permanent Scars or Disfigurement
Dog bites can be gruesome, and because dog attacks typically involve a piercing or breaking of the skin, they can leave victims with lifelong scars and disfigurement. In such cases, victims may be able to recover a higher settlement amount.
The Victim's Role
In some instances, the victim's behavior may be taken into account when determining a fair settlement amount. If the person who suffered the attack was partly to blame for what happened due to negligence or provocation, the settlement sum may be reduced.
Whether the Victim Was Unable to Work Because of Their Injuries
Lost wages can place a significant burden on the family of the victim. In some dog bite cases, the injured person is able to work because of their injuries. In general, the more serious the injuries and the longer the time the victim is unable to work, the greater the settlement amount.
The Strength of the Case
The quality of the evidence, such as medical records, images of injuries, and witness accounts, can have a substantial impact on the negotiation process. Claims that are backed by a lot of evidence are more inclined to settle for higher amounts.
An experienced dog bite attorney in Nashville can help victims determine what a fair settlement amount will be. They are also skilled negotiators and can make a compelling argument to ensure that they stand a good chance of getting the compensation they rightly deserve.
Nashville Dog Bite Attorneys Are Here to Help
A dog bite case can leave victims and their families reeling. If the attack occurred because of the dog owner's negligence, then victims can get a decent settlement to cover their damages. However, it is important to remember that the amount that a claimant may obtain will depend on a number of factors, such as the nature and extent of the injuries suffered.
A reliable Nashville dog bite lawyer can help claimants recover the maximum amount for their injuries. Victims can contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for expert legal advice and aggressive representation to secure maximum compensation.