Dog on a leash that is showing teeth and barking

What is the Tennessee “One Bite” Rule?

Understanding Tennessee Dog Bite Injury Laws

Sustaining a dog bite injury is a devastating situation, and when the injury is severe, it can make it that much more of a frightening experience. When a dog bite injury occurs due to a dog owner's careless acts and negligence, victims have the right to pursue compensation. Here's what you need to know about the "one bite" rule in Tennessee.

When Is a Dog Owner Liable for a Bite?

Under Tennessee's "one bite rule," it does not mean that an owner is allowed one "free bite" before they can be held liable and sued for a dog bite injury. Also known as "residential exclusion," under the one-bite rule, if a bite occurs on property owned by a dog owner, the injured claimant must prove that the owner knew or should have reasonably known that the dog had dangerous propensities.

If you've been injured by a dog bite, you have one year from the date of the dog bite incident to file a claim.

Strict Liability for Dog Bite Injuries

Strict liability means that the dog owner is held liable if a dog bite injury occurs, regardless of whether the injured person could have done anything to prevent it. A dog owner is liable if their dog bites someone, whether the owner did anything wrong under the following circumstances:

  • The person was not trespassing or breaking the law at the time of the incident, and;
  • The injured person did not rile or provoke the dog.

Dog Owner Responsibilities in Tennessee

Under Tennessee laws, dog owners have the following responsibilities:

  • To keep the dog under reasonable control at all times.
  • To keep the dog from running loose.

Dog owners who breach the above duties can be held liable for any damages suffered by a person injured by the dog while in a public place or who was lawfully on the owner's or other's private property.

Suffered a Dog Bite Injury? We Can Help.

A dog bite can result in a severe injury, and the healing process can take a toll on victims physically, emotionally, and financially. If you sustained an injury from a dog bite that could have been prevented, we are here to protect your rights against negligent dog owners and hold them accountable.

At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we are an advocate for the injured. When pursuing a personal injury claim, we are here to guide you and give you support through every step of the process. We'll be in your corner fighting for the compensation you deserve.

We are here for you. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. Contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC today at (901) 526-2126.