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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Responding to a Canine Incident: How Do You Defend a Dog Bite Case?

In Nashville, Tennessee, dog bite cases are not uncommon, affecting many people each year. When an attack from a dog occurs, it presents a challenging situation, both for the owner and the injured person. Navigating these cases involves understanding the specifics of dog bite laws and the rights of everyone involved.


This article delves into the complexities of dog bite defense, exploring how owners can respond to a lawsuit. Readers will gain insights into the legal strategies used in dog bite cases, the role of personal injury lawyers, and how to present evidence and arguments effectively.


Dog owners need to know how to protect themselves legally in the event of an attack, and this guide provides the necessary knowledge to navigate these challenging situations.


What Are the Dog Bite Laws in Tennessee?

What Are the Dog Bite Laws in Tennessee?


Understanding the laws in Tennessee is crucial for dog owners and those who might get bitten. The state follows specific rules that decide who is responsible if a dog bite occurs.


One fundamental law is strict liability. Under this law, if a dog bites someone, its owner can be held responsible, even if they did nothing wrong. If their dog injures someone, they might have to cover costs, such as medical bills or other damages related to the injury.


Another important rule is the one-bite rule. This one is a bit different. It says that a dog owner may not be held responsible the first time their pet bites someone, but only if they had no reason to think the pup could be dangerous.


If a dog has never shown signs of aggression or bitten anyone before, the owner might not be liable for the first bite. However, suppose a dog has previously bitten someone or shown aggressive behavior. In that case, the owner might be responsible for any future bites because they knew there was a risk.


Moreover, in these cases, things such as whether the injured person provoked the dog or if they were legally allowed to be where the bite occurred can also affect the outcome of a dog bite lawsuit.


When someone teased the dog or was trespassing, the dog owner might not be liable. These laws are complex, and understanding them can be challenging, which is why having a skilled personal injury lawyer can be essential in these types of cases.


Gathering and Presenting Evidence


In dog bite lawsuits, gathering solid evidence is vital for both the owner and the injured person. Each dog owner needs these facts to defend his or her case:


  • Images of the wound: Photos of the injury and the scene where the attack occurred can paint a clear picture of the event.

  • Medical reports: These reports are equally important, as they provide official documentation of the dog bite injuries, detailing their severity and the treatment needed.

  • Witness testimonies: A testimony plays a crucial role. People who saw what happened can offer valuable insights into the incident, sometimes revealing if the injured person might have provoked the dog or if the pet's action was uncharacteristic. Testimonies can become particularly significant in situations where provocation defense is claimed.

  • Past behavior: Another critical piece of evidence is the dog's past behavior. Suppose a dog has no history of aggression or previous incidents of biting. In that case, this information can strongly support the dog owner's case.

  • Veterinarian reports: These reports are also essential. They can show the dog's health history and temperament, providing context to its behavior during the incident.


Moreover, for owners, presenting evidence that the injured person might have trespassed or provoked the dog can be crucial in defending against strict liability claims.


In such cases, proving that the owner took reasonable measures to prevent the dog attack, such as proper fencing or warning signs, can help avoid liability.


Navigating the Legal Process in Cases Including Dog Bites


When someone faces a lawsuit, reacting quickly and understanding the legal steps is vital. Knowing that each action taken can significantly affect the case outcome is also essential.


The first move should always be responding to the lawsuit promptly. Ignoring or delaying it can lead to more problems, possibly even losing the case by default.


In these situations, the dog's owner often deals with their insurer. Insurance plays a significant role because it might cover some or all costs related to the lawsuit. However, it's not always straightforward.


Sometimes, insurance policies have specific rules about these attacks, and the coverage might depend on the dog bite statute in the area. Owners must check their policies carefully and talk to their insurer to understand what's covered.


Participating effectively in the legal process, such as discovery and trials, is another critical part. During discovery, both sides share information before the trial.


This is when evidence, such as photos of the injury, reports from the dog's veterinarian, and witness statements, are exchanged. Being organized and thorough during this phase helps build a strong defense or case.


Should Dog Owners Reach out to Experienced Attorneys?

Should Dog Owners Reach out to Experienced Attorneys?


In these cases, having a defense attorney is essential. The process can be complex, often involving specific dog bite statutes that vary from state to state. A skilled dog bite lawyer in Nashville TN understands these laws and knows how to handle cases involving strict liability or other legal concepts.


They can effectively argue whether the animal owner had taken reasonable steps to prevent the incident or if the injured person's actions contributed to the event. Personal injury lawyers can also deal with the insurance company, making sure that owners are not held liable.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys offers expert legal help for those in Nashville, Tennessee, who face a dog bite claim. Our team is committed to providing the guidance and support needed to navigate these legal challenges. They can advise on who is liable in a sidewalk slip and fall.


Final Thoughts


Understanding the law and dog bite statute is critical in navigating the complexities of these cases in Nashville, Tennessee. Whether you're a dog owner or an injured person, knowing about the strict liability and defenses available can significantly impact the outcome of a lawsuit. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help with other questions like Can my dog bite someone to protect me?


Seeking professional legal help is not just beneficial but often necessary for informed decision-making and effective defense strategies. Owners should consider contacting Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for knowledgeable assistance when faced with these types of cases.


Known for our commitment to "go to war for you," we provide the representation needed to navigate the complexities of dog bite injury claims.

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