Keep your children safe from dog attacks this summer

By: Darrell Castle

Video Transcript

Hello, this is Darrell Castle. I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and on this video today, we’re talking about dog bites/dog attacks/dog-inflicted injuries. What is the best way to avoid a dog-inflicted injury?

Well, it’s to be safe around dogs, teach your children to be safe and just to act responsibly and in a common sense manner. Teach your children the old adage to let sleeping dogs lie. When the dog is asleep, leave him alone. You might wake him up and startle him.

Teach your children not to stare at dogs or look directly at them or to bother the dog or pet the dog without the owner’s permission. Don’t try to take the dog’s food when he’s eating or playing with a toy – common sense things.

Dog owners are under an obligation to act responsibly and keep their dogs from harming people, but you know sometimes they don’t. Sometimes dogs do harm people.

If you do have a dog-inflicted injury (an injury from a dog attack), what can happen to you? Well, you can have medical bills and these medical bills can be pretty high – I’ve seen them involving plastic surgery, when the bites were around the face especially. I’ve also seen eye surgery when the dog would bite the person around the eyes – this is especially dangerous for children. Also, pain and suffering; you are obviously going to have pain and suffering in damages. That’s another element of damages that you’re entitled to compensation for.

Then you might lose wages if you miss work and you’re entitled to be compensated for that. Even property damages – you can tear clothes and damage other property in dog attacks.

These are the ways dogs can hurt you, but how can you recover if you’re attacked by a dog?

Well the dog owner, to put it bluntly, has to have insurance. That is the way it is in our society today. If the dog owner lives in the home and he owns the home, then he has home owner insurance, and that’s good enough. If he rents the home, then perhaps he has renters insurance and that’s good enough.

Maybe he rents the home but he does not have insurance – what happens then? Well, somebody owns that home and somebody rents it to him. Perhaps the home owner who rents to the person has insurance. Well, that’s good enough too but you have to prove some things.

You have to be able to prove that the home owner knew there was a vicious dog there. He’s always going to say “Oh no, I had no idea.” But then you can ask him, “Are you saying you never drove by that house and checked on it? You never drove by that house you rented to these people to see if it was being damaged or anything like that? You never got a single complaint of a leak or something that had to be repaired so that you went to that house?”

Those are all questions for the person who owns the home and rents it to a person who does not have insurance.

I hope all that makes sense, folks and be careful out there with dogs; they can be dangerous.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog, we’d love to speak to you. You can call (901) 327-1212 or fill out one of the contact forms on this page to speak to one of our attorneys and set up a free consultation.