Although most dogs are known for their friendly nature, some can grow aggressive, causing harm to other dogs and bystanders. Unfortunately, millions of people each year sustain injuries from dog bites. Although there are minimal ways to prevent them, there are some steps you can take after a bite to make the recovery process a bit easier.
This blog will highlight some important steps to take after an attack and how you can prove liability in the state of Tennessee.
Seek Medical Care
Did you know that around one in every five people bitten by dogs needs medical attention? For the most part, a dog's bite can break skin leading to large lacerations and potential infection. Not to mention, some dogs are not vaccinated against rabies, so it’s best to seek medical attention right away.
Like any accident, you want to collect information from the other party so you can easily contact them after you’ve sought medical attention. Some important information you should gather immediately from the other party includes the owner’s name, phone number, and address. You can wait until you’ve sought medical attention to gather info regarding the dog's breed and vaccination status.
Gathering witnesses is key to a successful insurance claim. If the accident happened in a public area, try to get a bystander to take a statement for you. You can still file a claim without a witness, but it may be a bit more difficult to prove.
File a Report
After the incident, it’s advised to call your local animal control agency to file a report. They will open an investigation into the bite, and if the situation is severe, they may take the dog into quarantine for further observation.
Similar to reporting to your local animal control agency, you want to file an additional report with your local police station.
Document The Event
Be sure to take record all of your injuries, including pain and any mobility issues. You can document these things in the form of journals, photos, and medical records. Try to write down your recollection of the incident as soon as possible, so your memory is fresh. The more documentation you have, the easier it will be to prove liability.
Tennessee passed the Dianna Acklen Act of 2007, which designates strict liability for any dog-related injuries under certain circumstances. These circumstances include when the owner of the dog fails to keep the dog under “reasonable control” and if the dog is running at large. Reasonable control means the dog was not well contained or on the loose.
The owner is defined as a person who had control over the dog at the time of the accident but does not include a person who was temporarily keeping control over the dog. In a recent case, represented a liquor store that was accused of liability over two dogs that attacked a woman. Davis argued that the store could not be held liable under Tennessee Code § 44-8-413 because they only had temporary custody of the dogs.
Speak With a Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bites are a lot more common than you think, which is why we have immense experience handling cases on both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s sides. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance for your recovery needs. If you’re in the Brentwood, Lebanon, Hendersonville, or Smyrna area and are in need of assistance with a dog bite case, do not hesitate to reach out to our office today,
Contact us today at (615) 866-3938 or visit our Contact Us page to get started on your free case evaluation.