Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs are man’s best friend, but it can be terrifying and painful when they turn on you or your child and bite! If a dog has bitten you or a family member, you need an experienced Knoxville dog bite lawyer who can help. Dog bites can cause significant physical injury and long-lasting emotional trauma, and even after the scars fade, many dogs bite victims are left with long-term damage.
Even a “good dog” can turn vicious without warning. When this happens, The Higgins Firm wants to help. We combine skill and compassion to give you the best legal representation in Knoxville and the Knox County area.Tennessee Dog Bite Laws
The state of Tennessee requires dog owners to maintain control over their pets at all times and prevent the dog from running at large. It’s also not a “free bite” rule state, where a dog gets one pass before the owner is held responsible for the injuries inflicted. Even if the dog has never demonstrated signs of aggression before, Tennessee law has strict liability for dog owners. It may require them to compensate the victim for any damages and injuries inflicted by their animal.
There are a few exceptions to dog bite liability, however. A dog bite victim may not have a case if:
- The dog is a military or police dog acting in its official duty
- The victim was alarming, enticing, or otherwise harassing the dog
- The dog was protecting the owner from the other part, or that person’s dog
- the dog was otherwise secured in a crate, kennel, or other enclosure
Establishing the circumstances of the dog bite injury is essential. A dog owner may try to argue that you, the victim, were responsible for your attack. Knoxville dog bite lawyers can advocate on your behalf.Typical Injuries Sustained by Knoxville Dog Bite Victims
Many people may think of the family dog as primarily harmless, giving little nips of affection. However, dog bite injuries can cause traumatic injuries, seriously damaging, or even life-threatening injuries. Often, the victim may require reconstructive surgeries or painful physical therapy to heal and regain mobility or range of motion. Sometimes, the dog bite leaves permanent disfigurement or disability.
Common injuries from a dog bite include:
- A severe infection that can spread or turn septic
- Broken bones or fractures
- Nerve damage, sometimes permanent
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement, especially of the hands, face, arms, and legs
- Emotional trauma, including PTSD and a phobia of dogs or other animals
In more extreme cases, dog bites may infect the victim with rabies or other viral or bacterial infections. Sometimes, crush injuries can cause internal organ damage, or the bites may necessitate amputations of limbs or other body parts.What Kind of Damages Can I Receive from My Dog Bite Case?
Tennessee allows dog bite victims to seek three kinds of damages in a personal injury case:
- Punitive damages
As in many other types of personal injury cases, you may seek reimbursement of your medical expenses, including emergency treatment, hospital stays, or ongoing therapy to recover. You may also receive compensation for any personal property, such as clothing or a bike, damaged in the attack. If you had to miss work because of your dog bite injuries, then you're entitled to lost wages, as well.
Many dogs bite victims experience emotional trauma and may need treatment for PTSD. Or, the injuries could result in loss of enjoyment of life or reduced earning capacity. Emotional trauma and suffering are considered non-economic damages, and your Knoxville dog bite lawyer will also pursue those on your behalf.
If the dog owner was knowingly reckless or negligent, or if the dog had a history of violence or biting, then the courts may allow your lawyer to seek punitive damages, as well as financial measures that punish the dog owner and reduce the chances of them engaging in those actions again.Has A Dog Bitten You?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and suffered physical or emotional trauma from the attack, we want to help. The Higgins Firm is a team of experienced Knoxville attorneys specializing in dog bite injuries and other personal injury cases. We’re here to relieve the stress of legal action and protect your rights, allowing you to recover. We fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve! Call us today for a FREE consultation for your case.