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Dog Bite: What Kind of Compensation Can I Get?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2022 | Dog Bite

Dog attacks can be extremely dangerous and vicious, sometimes causing serious and significant injuries. In many cases, dog bites can cause permanent disfiguring scars that last for a lifetime. Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks. Because children are smaller, dogs often target and bite children’s faces, requiring multiple surgeries.

If you or a family member has been attacked by a dog and suffered serious injuries, you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. The best way to win that compensation is to contact a lawyer who has knowledge and experience in successfully handling dog bite cases. You may be wondering, What kind of compensation can I get? An attorney, such as those at Batson Nolan, who knows dog bite law in Tennessee will be able to answer your questions and fight for you to be compensated for your injuries. Contact us today.

Tennessee Dog Bite Law

Tennessee’s dog bite law is located in Tennessee Statutes Section 44-8-413. Under the law, dog owners are strictly liable if one of two situations occur:

  • The dog is not kept under reasonable control by their owner or
  • The dog is running around at large.

If either of these situations happens and someone is attacked by a dog, the owner will be strictly responsible. What this means is that it doesn’t matter if the dog has previously shown a propensity for violence.

This is important because, in the past, many states had a “one bite rule” when it came to dog bites. The “one bite rule” allowed a dog at least one bite to a victim before their owner could be held responsible for their dog’s actions. A dog owner could be held responsible only after the second bite or second attack. But this 2007 law eliminated the one bite rule and allows victims to hold dog owners responsible anytime the dog is not under control, regardless of whether the dog has shown a propensity to violence.

Types of Compensation in Dog Attack Cases

The categories of damages that you can receive after a dog bite injury are the same as those damages categories you can receive in other personal injury cases like car accidents, slip and falls, defective products, and medical malpractice. In many of these instances, the case won’t go to trial or involve the deliberation of a jury. It is more common for personal injury cases to settle before reaching the trial stage. So your Tennessee dog bite attorney will often be able to negotiate an agreeable dog bite settlement in a more timely fashion. Here are the types of compensation you can receive in a dog attack case:

Past Lost Wages

If the dog bite injuries caused you to lose time from work, then you can seek reimbursement for those past lost wages.

Future Lost Earning Capacity

If your injuries have caused long-lasting or even permanent disabilities, then you can seek money damages for the future lost wages you may experience going into the future years. This is not just simply adding up your current wages going into the future. This is about presenting evidence about the loss of your future earning capacity. This number, in theory, can be huge, depending upon your likely vocational and career path.

Unpaid Medical Bills

If there are any unpaid medical bills for past treatment, the amount of the bills is put into the pot and can be sought.

Future Medical Treatment

You can also present evidence of the need for future medical treatment. If, for example, your doctors tell you that you will need another surgery years in the future to make the scars from the dog attack less visible, you can claim the cost of that future surgery. And it’s not only the surgery but the present-day value of the cost of all follow-up treatment. An expert may be necessary to calculate these future medical costs. This amount can be put into the mix and become part of a settlement or jury verdict award.

Pain and Suffering

This category of damages is designed to compensate the dog bite victim for the actual pain and suffering the victim has experienced. Pain and suffering is the most difficult to calculate. Unlike lost wages and unpaid medical bills, there are no receipts that can be used to come up with a pain and suffering number. This is where an experienced Tennessee dog bite lawyer comes into play. A knowledgeable and skilled dog bite attorney will be able to use their years of handling these cases to determine a fair and full settlement amount that includes the pain and suffering and other categories of damages.

Loss of Life’s Pleasures

Compensation for the loss of life’s pleasures is for the fact that the injured person cannot do the things they used to do for fun and enjoyment. An example of this kind of compensation is injuries and disabilities that cause an injured person not to be able to engage in hobbies and fun activities they used to do with their friends or family.

Loss of Consortium

A loss of consortium claim is only allowed if the injured person is married. The loss of consortium claim is made by the spouse individually. They are a separately named plaintiff in the lawsuit. A loss of consortium claim is designed to compensate the spouse for the losses they suffered when their husband or wife was horribly injured by a dog. The spouse can seek damages for the loss of comfort and services their injured spouse would normally provide but now can’t due to the injuries.

Experienced Tennessee Lawyers Waiting for Your Call!

If you have been attacked and bitten by a loose and uncontrolled violent dog, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Tennessee dog bite attorneys at Batson Nolan have decades of experience in successfully handling dog bite cases. We are a client-focused law firm and are here to answer all your questions with honesty and compassion. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.