Dog Bites

Memphis Dog Bite Lawyer

“Our Attorneys Help Dog Attack Victims Obtain Complete Financial Compensation”

At times, man’s best friend can be anything but. A majority of American households own at least one dog. While some dogs may live their entire lives without biting a human, any dog – regardless of its breed, its size, or its history – is capable of biting and/or attacking a human. These are not inconsequential or trivial incidents: a dog bite can leave the victim with scars and disfigurement, significant cuts and lacerations, and diseases such as rabies.

If you have been attacked by a dog in Tennessee, the law affords you the right to seek compensation from the dog’s owner. What must be proven by the victim in a dog bite injury case is heavily dependent on the facts. The Memphis dog bite law firm of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, can assist you in preparing and presenting your case.

When a Dog Owner is Strictly Liable for Your Injuries

A general rule in Tennessee is that a dog owner is held strictly liable for the injuries his or her dog causes to others who are either on public property or are lawfully on the private property of another. “Strictly liable” means that the injury victim does not need to prove any negligence or recklessness on the part of the dog’s owner in order to recover compensation: the mere fact that the dog attacked the victim and caused injuries to the victim is sufficient to require the dog owner to compensate the victim (note that this general rule is also followed in the vast majority of states).

Exceptions to the General Rule

Tennessee law carves out important exceptions to the general dog bite rule. While some of these exceptions mean that the plaintiff must produce evidence of additional facts in order to succeed in his or her claim, some exceptions will bar any recovery at all.

  • The residential exception: Tennessee law has a peculiar exception that some have called the “residential exception.”  Specifically, if the victim is lawfully on the property of the dog owner and the property owner’s dog bites the victim, the victim cannot prevail under a strict liability theory. Instead, the victim must prove that the dog owner had some foreknowledge or reason to know of the dog’s vicious propensities. This can include knowledge of a previous attack or other evidence that would have alerted a reasonable dog owner that the dog was prone to attack humans.
  • Trespassers: Trespassers on private property are not protected under the “strict liability” dog bite law. Unless the dog owner or some other party is negligent under some other legal theory, a trespasser cannot normally recover damages for a dog bite.
  • Military and police dogs: A military or police dog owner engaged in official duties is not liable to another (such as a suspect in a criminal investigation) who is bitten by the owner’s police or military dog.
  • Provokers or agitators: Those who provoke an attack or agitate a dog attack (by mocking the dog, teasing the dog, or taunting the dog, for example) are not able to recover compensation for their injuries.

How a Dedicated and Compassionate Tennessee Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help

The skilled advocates at Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, know that a thorough investigation and preparation for a dog bite lawsuit can mean the difference between success and failure. That is why we look carefully at the facts and circumstances of your particular case before recommending a trial strategy for you designed to maximize your opportunity to obtain financial compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to discuss your case by calling (901) 388-5805.

2820 Summer Oaks Drive,
Bartlett TN, 38134
Douglass & Runger is an association of attorneys, not a partnership. Douglass & Runger serves clients in the greater Memphis area, including Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Cordova, Germantown, Lakeland, in addition to the surrounding counties, including, but not limited to, Chester County, Fayette County, Hardin County, Hardemann County, Lauderdale County, Madison County and Tipton County Tennessee. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The transmission or receipt of any information on this website is not intended to, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions, or would like to set up a consultation to discuss your case, please contact us at help@douglassrunger.com , all rights reserved.

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