Search Site
Menu
How Does Tennessee’s Residential Exclusion Affect Dog Bite Lawsuits?

Dog bites happen far more frequently than many people suspect, and they can come with no warning. Imagine your child playing with friends in their yard when a dog suddenly rushes up and sinks his teeth into your child’s arm. This happened recently in southeastern Tennessee, potentially causing nerve damage that could affect the child’s ability to use that arm.

Unfortunately, the child’s parents might have difficulty recovering damages from the dog’s owners for their child’s injuries. Under Tennessee law, a dog owner has a duty to keep their dog under control and to prevent it from running at large. Dog owners who fail in that duty, such as by letting the dog escape the owner’s property, are usually liable for the resulting injuries, regardless of whether they are at fault. However, if the dog bite occurs on the dog owners’ residential property, they are protected by a “residential exclusion,” which requires the plaintiff to prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had dangerous propensities.

In this case, the dog was owned by the family that resided on the property where the child was bitten, and they claim that the dog, which they purchased less than two weeks before the attack from a man they claimed not to know, was never aggressive toward them or their own children. Therefore, not only is the dog’s attack on the child covered by the residential exclusion, but the victim’s attorneys will need to prove that the dog owners are either lying or leaving out information that points to liability.

Fortunately, there may be ways to find out the truth. The owners denied that the dog attacked them and their family, but they evidently said nothing about whether it ever attacked anyone else. They purchased the dog less than two weeks before the attack, but Animal Control told them to find the original owner and get the dog’s records. If the prior dog owner told the current owners the dog was dangerous, it would help build a case for liability.

The skilled dog bite injury attorneys at Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. in Bristol, Tennessee have more than 75 years of combined legal experience representing personal injury victims. If you or a family member has been injured by a dog bite, we are ready to put our skills and knowledge to work for you. Call our law firm at 423-797-6022 or contact us online to schedule your free introductory consultation.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Our Office
  • Bristol Office
    777 Anderson Street
    Bristol, Tennessee 37620
    Phone: 423-797-6022
    Fax: 423-764-1179
TESTIMONIALS
  • "Myers Massengill II has represented me for the last four years in my original divorce case and in subsequent returns for other issues..." "  -Shirley Schultz

  • "When we were in crucial need of both knowledge and competency due to a legal situation, Mr. Myers Massengill of this firm spent the time we needed..."  -Geoff Stunkard

  • "Throughout my two years working with Mr. Massengill, I was treated with the utmost respect and courtesy..."  -Debbie Compton

  • "Mr. L. Carter Massengill handled my case with the utmost courtesy, efficiency and professionalism... "  -Karla Jolene Leybold

  • "Mr.Carter Massengill and staff most respectful and nicest people to help quickly resolve your legal issues and with a positive outcome..."  -Brandon Thorpe

  • "Carter's assistance in navigating the complicated path through the Disability appeals process was instrumental in her approval. We can't thank him enough."  -Scott S.

  • "Thank you for helping me win my case. "  -Jenna.

  • "I am very pleased with the service from Myers and his staff. Very professional and personable at the same time . I felt like my case mattered to them . I would highly recommend their services (and a special thank you to Pam ..you guys have been so helpful)"  -Rhonda.

  • "Carter Massengill did an excellent job helping me with my disability. He did a great job along with his assistant Sandra. Honest and helpful people to deal with. I would definitely recommend him."  -Patty.

  • "Attorney Carter Massengill is hands down one of the most trustworthy and genuine individuals you will ever meet. Rest assured that you are in good hands and that he is going to do everything in his power to take the best care of you and your case, along with expediting the process as quickly as possible. It's rare that an attorney possesses such great attributes in the sense that he is easy to talk to and when he says he is going to get something done, he does it! His office staff is the best. They know their clients and have excellent communication skills. It helps when you are going through a difficult situation. They are a great team and you would be very fortunate to have them represent you! We were able to settle out of court for exactly what we were asking for and this was with me having pre existing pain from fibromyalgia. I am extremely blessed to have hired such a wonderful attorney."  -C.M.

AWARDS & AFFILIATIONS
DISABILITY VIDEO
PERSONAL INJURY VIDEO