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Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts injured in dog attack

Earlier last month, it was reported that Republican state senator Kerry Roberts was attacked by a dog while out riding his bike. Roberts and his wife were out in Robertson County when a dog ran into the road and bit him in the calf. The attack ended when a man in a pickup truck blocked the dog. It is reported that the senator rushed to NorthCrest Medical Center’s emergency room and received 12 stitches. Animal control officials captured the dog, and it was confirmed it was up to date on his shots.

Dog Safety Tips

According to the ASPCA, millions of people get bitten by dogs every year. Since it is becoming more and more common for families to own pets, animal bites are also becoming more common. According to the Humane Society of the United States, a national animal advocacy group, one should never:

  • Look a dog directly in the eyes;
  • Disturb a dog that is sleeping;
  • Approach or pet an unfamiliar dog; or
  • Disturb a dog that is chewing or playing with a toy.

It is recommended you seek medical attention if bitten, and report the bite to your local county health department, animal control agency, or police.

Tennessee Dog Bite Law

Tennessee’s dog bite law appears in section 44-8-413 of the Tennessee Code. It is a more complex law than other state dog bite statute, because it provides a mixture of strict liability and “one bite” liability depending on the specific circumstances.

Strict liability means that a dog owner is held liable if their dog bites, regardless of whether the owner could have done anything to prevent it. It is irrelevant whether the owner should have known their dog was dangerous. The law in Tennessee allows an injured person to hold a dog’s owner strictly liable if:

  • The dog caused the person’s injury or damage to the person’s property; and
  • The injured person was in a public place or lawfully in a private place.

One bite liability occurs when the owner knew or should have known that the dog might bite (knew of the dog’s “dangerous propensities”). It then becomes relevant whether the owner took steps to prevent the bite. One bite liability applies in Tennessee when people are on private residential, farm, or non-commercial property that the dog’s owner owns, rents, leases, or is occupying with the owner’s permission.

Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers

At Calhoun Law, PLC in Nashville, we deal with all kinds of personal injuries. Dog bites are no different- they are personal injuries. Our priority is to help you get your medical and recovery costs covered if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Do not hesitate to contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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