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Dog Bite Claims and Who Is Responsible in Tennessee

dogs playing

Summer months are near and that means an increasing number of people will be outside with their dogs enjoying the many parks in the Memphis area. Because of this, we see an increase in dog bite claims in the Mid-South area during summertime. While your pet's actions may be unintentional, Tennessee laws hold most dog owners liable if their animal bites another person. To learn more about Tenessee's strict liability dog bite laws, click here.

If your dog does bite someone, there are certain defenses that will preclude the owner from being liable, including:

  • If the dog was unjustifiably provoked or angered by the victim
  • If the victim was found to be unlawfully trespassing on residential or business property where the bite occurred
  • If the dog is primarily used as specialized police or military animal
  • If the dog was protecting the owner from an attack by the injured party
  • If the animal was secured in a kennel, pen, or crate at the time the bite occurred

If your dog bit someone outside of the above-listed scenarios, you could easily be held liable for the damages sustained by the victim. These damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent scarring and impairment, and out-of-pocket expenses related to the incident. These claims can be very costly, so usually, a dog owner will rely on his/her homeowner’s insurance policy to cover the damages.

The homeowner’s insurance company will typically take over once they have been notified of a possible claim. They will defend the case on behalf of the dog owner and cover any damages when necessary. It is important to know that many insurance policies will not deny coverage if the dog is one with predisposed aggressive tendencies, such as a Pitbull, Rottweilers, and Chows. If your insurance company precludes such dogs from coverage, you can take out a separate policy for this coverage. This is highly recommended for any dog owner. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog or animal attack, you need expert legal representation that will guide you and your family thru the legal process, allowing you time to heal while we take care of the rest.

We have been highly successful in representing children and adults who were injured due to a dog attack in and around the Memphis area. These cases require a tremendous amount of investigation, compassion, and legal knowledge by your attorney to ensure you will receive the compensation you deserve.

All consultations are free and we work strictly on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay us nothing if we are not successful in obtaining a settlement or judgment for you.

Call 901-526-9494 for confidential and free case analysis, or email Attorney Brian Chiozza, at brian@chiozzalaw.com or text us at 1(901)545-9390 for immediate assistance.


The Chiozza Law firm has years of courtroom experience in handling all types of misdemeanor and felony charges, including driving offenses, drug charges, theft of property, passing bad checks, and many other felony matters.   

For more, visit The Chiozza Law Firm, on Facebook and Twitter, or

www.901Law.com, the Memphis Law Firm for all your legal needs!


This Blog/Website is made available by the Lawyer or Law Firm Publisher for educational purposes only, as well as to give you information and a general understanding of the law. It is not to provide you with specific legal advice. By reading this blog, you understand there is no attorney/client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Posted by Brian Chiozza at 7:35 AM
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