Chattanooga Dog Bite Injury Attorneys

Have You Suffered Injuries From a Dog Attack?

Our dog bite attorneys are dedicated to making the legal process accessible and easy for our Chattanooga neighbors. We offer risk-free legal advice via 1 on 1 consultation with our lawyers, and we never charge fees upfront for Chattanooga dog bite cases.

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If you or someone you care about has been bitten by a dog in Chattanooga, you might feel scared and unsure about what to do next. Dog bites can be painful and frightening, and they can often leave more than just physical wounds.

Our team understands how hard this time can be for you and your family. We’re here to help guide you through the legal process and work towards getting you the support and compensation you need. With our caring and understanding approach, a Chattanooga dog bite lawyer from The McMahan Law Firm can help you through this tough situation.

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We Make It Simple

Our goal is to make personal injury legal services affordable and easy to access. Get in touch with our attorneys today for a free case review.

Maximizing Your Compensation

Insurance companies will always try to pay as little as possible, and they use tactics to trick claimants into accepting less. We’re here to help make sure you get every dollar you need and deserve.

No Fees, Unless We Win

If you’re worried about being able to afford legal representation, know that our Chattanooga dog bite lawyers only get paid if we recover compensation for you. So you don’t pay any upfront, out-of-pocket expenses to hire us!

Tennessee Dog Bite Law

In Tennessee, the dog bite law is detailed in Tennessee Code Annotated § 44-8-413. The statute outlines several key aspects:

  • Strict Liability for Dog Owners: The owner of a dog is under a duty to keep the dog under reasonable control at all times and to prevent the dog from running at large. A breach of this duty subjects the owner to civil liability for any damages suffered by a person injured by the dog in a public place or while lawfully on private property​​.
  • Definition of “Running at Large”: A dog is considered to be running at large if it is uncontrolled by its owner on someone else’s property without the property owner’s consent or on a highway, public road, street, or any place open to the public. The law does not distinguish between dogs roaming freely and dogs escaping enclosures accidentally; in both cases, the owner can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the dog​​.
  • Exceptions to Strict Liability: Exceptions to this rule include situations where the dog is a police or military dog performing its duties, the injured person was trespassing on private property, the dog was protecting its owner or another person from attack, the dog was securely confined, or the injury occurred due to the injured person provoking the dog​​.

One-Bite Rule

Tennessee’s one-bite rule means if a dog has never bitten anyone before, the owner might not be responsible. If someone was trespassing or teasing the dog, or if the dog was working (like a police dog), the owner might not be held responsible. There are some exceptions to these rules, however, and it’s in your best interest to have a Tennessee dog bite lawyer go through the unique details of your case to help determine liability.

How Dog Owners Can Potentially Beat “One-Bite” Claims

In Tennessee, dog owners can potentially defend against “one bite” claims under certain circumstances:

  • Trespassing: If the injured person was trespassing on private residential property or a farm, the dog owner may not be held liable.
  • Provocation: If the injured person provoked the dog, this can be a defense for the dog owner.
  • Working Dogs: If the dog is an on-duty working dog, such as a police dog or emergency rescue dog, the owner may not be liable for injuries caused during the course of the dog’s official duties.
  • Injury on Owner’s Property: If the injury occurred on non-commercial property owned or rented/leased by the dog’s owner, the “one bite” rule applies. This means the owner is not automatically liable unless it can be shown that they knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities.

In these situations, the dog owner may have a valid defense against claims for damages resulting from a dog bite or attack.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases in Tennessee?

You have one year from the dog bite to start a legal case in Tennessee.

McMahan Law Firm breaks down how they can help with Chattanooga dog bite injury cases

How Can a Chattanooga Dog Bite Attorney Help?

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a dog attack in Chattanooga, a dog bite attorney can make a big difference in recovering compensation for injuries.

  • Knowledge of Tennessee Animal Attack Laws: A local lawyer will know all of the rules that apply to dog owners in this state and what a dog owner is expected to do to prevent dog bite injuries. If a dog owner didn’t follow these rules and you were hurt because of it, an attorney can help show that.
  • Taking on the Insurance Companies for You: Insurance adjusters might try to pay you less than you deserve or say the bite wasn’t the dog owner’s fault. An attorney can talk to the insurance companies for you and work to make sure they understand what happened and why you should get money for your injury.
  • Finding Your Maximum Compensation: Compensation doesn’t just cover doctor bills. If you had to miss work or if you’re in a lot of pain because of the bite, you might get money for that, too.

Our dog bite attorneys in Chattanooga are here to guide you through every step of the legal process, from understanding the law and how it applies in your situation to talking to insurance companies and making sure you get the money you need to recover from your injury. We’re on your side and work to help make things right for you.

Cost of a Dog Bite Lawyer

Our dog bite lawyers only get paid if you win your case. This is called working on a “contingency fee.” We also provide free consultations to help you understand your rights and the legal options available to you. You never have to commit to hiring a lawyer after talking to them about your legal rights, so you have everything to gain by contacting a Chattanooga dog bite lawyer at The McMahan Law Firm as soon as possible!

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What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

5 Star Reviews

I want to thank each and every one involved in my case. I have no doubt I would not have succeeded on my own. I’m glad I listened to my sister advising me to use an attorney. The McMahan Law Firm is tops. Thanks again.

5 Star Reviews

Very impressed and thankful for the manner in which you do business… most certainly for the people… from greeting [me] at the door throughout all business handled. Please never fail to keep up the good work. Thanks again.

5 Star Reviews

I just wanted to thank you for the all the hard work that the McMahan Law Firm has done for me. I appreciate your patience and determination, and of course your super skills in the courtroom. This has been life changing for me and my family, God bless all of you!! Thanks again and take care.

5 Star Reviews

Your team makes the clients feel like their case is important no matter how small the case may be or how small the benefits may be.

5 Star Reviews

Brent was always honest, thoughtful and understanding. We are grateful for the time you spent on us.

5 Star Reviews

I feel that the McMahan Law Firm put me first. I’m very satisfied with the results that I received from them, and I would recommend them to anyone. I thank you very much.

5 Star Reviews

Jay [is] a very good lawyer, and he was also concerned about my well-being. Janice was always there to answer any questions that we had.

5 Star Reviews

I want to thank you again for representing me. The McMahan Law Firm is not only a good law firm; [the staff and lawyers] are good people as well. I would recommend you to a friend or enemy. Thank you again.

5 Star Reviews

Julie Gee did an outstanding job for me and I greatly appreciate it. I would recommend her and the law firm to anyone. Thanks for everything.

5 Star Reviews

Guys listen! My Attorneys Jill Crouch and Brent who run the place are the most proficient accident attorneys I've ever witnessed! No lie, I got awarded an amount bigger than a yearly salary from an 18 wheeler accident settlement through them!! (If you know, you know!) I get paid sometime this month! It took less than a year to settle and the ONLY reason it took that long was because the treatment was extensive and needed months to complete. If you're EVER in an accident in the state of Tennessee, MCMAHAN LAW FIRM NEEDS TO BE YOUR FIRST CALL AFTER THE AMBULANCE!!! THIS GROUP OF ATTORNEYS ARE CHANGING, SAVING AND REVIVING LIVES!! TRUE STORY!



What To Do If You’re Injured by a Dog Bite

If a dog bites you: 

  • Stay calm
  • Get to a safe place
  • Get the dog owner’s information and the names of any witnesses
  • Get medical help right away
  • Write down what happened
  • Don’t talk to insurance companies
  • Call a lawyer

Our Results Speak For Themselves!

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Most Common Dog Bite Injuries in Chattanooga

In Chattanooga, dog bite incidents can lead to a range of injuries. Some of these injuries are physical, causing immediate harm and possibly requiring extensive medical treatment, while others are psychological, affecting the victim’s emotional well-being.

Puncture wounds are one of the most common injuries from dog bites. These wounds are caused by the dog’s teeth penetrating the skin, often leading to deep tissue damage and a risk of infection.

Lacerations involve cuts or tears in the skin, which can be quite severe in dog bite incidents. These injuries may require stitches and can leave lasting scars.

Strong bites, especially from larger breeds, can result in broken bones. Hands, arms, and legs are particularly vulnerable during a dog attack.

Nerve damage can occur from deep bites, leading to loss of sensation or motor function in the affected area. This type of injury can have long-term consequences.

Soft tissue injuries include damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries can be painful and may require extensive treatment and rehabilitation.

In severe cases, dog attacks can be fatal. Wrongful death in dog bite cases typically involves serious injuries leading to loss of life.

Dog bite victims often experience emotional trauma, such as fear, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can have a profound impact on their overall well-being.


Dog Breeds With the Highest Attack Rates

Certain dog breeds are statistically more likely to be involved in attack incidents. This is often due to a combination of factors, including the breed’s size, strength, and genetic predispositions. 

However, an individual dog’s behavior is heavily influenced by its environment, training, and treatment by its owner. The following breeds are known for higher attack rates, but it’s important to recognize that responsible ownership and proper socialization can significantly reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior in any dog.

Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls are often cited for their involvement in bite incidents. This breed’s strength and tenacity can make bites particularly dangerous. 


Rottweilers are powerful dogs with a protective nature, which can lead to aggressive behavior if not properly trained and socialized. They require firm, consistent training from an early age.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and loyalty, but they can be protective and territorial.

Mixed Breeds

Mixed-breed dogs can inherit traits from multiple breeds, potentially increasing the risk of aggressive behavior if they have ancestry from more aggressive breeds. 

Other Large Breeds

Other large breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers and Siberian Huskies, may also have higher attack rates. Their size and strength can contribute to the severity of injuries in an attack.


Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Law

When a dog bites you, it can leave you with a lot of questions. What can you do next? Who is responsible? Can you get help with your medical bills? We’ve put together some common questions people have about dog bite laws in Chattanooga. These answers will help you understand more about what happens after a dog bite, how the law works, and what steps you might need to take.

Yes, in many cases in Tennessee, the dog owner can be liable for a dog bite.

There is no automatic rule requiring euthanasia for a dog that bites a person. The decision is typically made by local animal control authorities who consider the specifics of the incident. Factors like the dog’s previous behavior, whether the bite was provoked, and the severity of the injuries inflicted play a role in this determination. 

Tennessee uses both strict liability and the one-bite rule.

In Tennessee, you can seek compensation if you are bitten by a dog, provided your situation aligns with the legal requirements. 

Under Tennessee’s dog bite law, the owner may be held liable for injuries caused by their dog, especially if the dog was not under reasonable control or was running at large. Exceptions include if the injured person was trespassing, provoking the dog, or if the dog was a police or military dog on duty. 

Additionally, the “one bite” rule applies in certain cases, requiring proof of the dog’s prior dangerous behavior for owner liability. It’s important to consult legal guidance in such cases to understand your rights and the applicable laws.

You can recover damages for things like doctor bills, lost work, and pain and suffering.

The one-bite rule might apply, but there are exceptions, especially if the bite occurred in a public place or if the dog was running at large.

Whether you have to go to court for a dog bite case depends on how the case develops. Many dog bite cases are settled outside of court. This means the person who got bitten and the dog owner (or their insurance company) agree on an amount of money to be paid for the injuries without going to court. Lawyers often help with these talks to reach a settlement that’s fair. 

Going to court can take more time and be more stressful, so many people prefer to settle if they can. But, if an agreement can’t be reached, then the case might go to court. Each situation is different, and the decision to go to court will depend on the details of the case, what both sides want, and the advice of your lawyer.

Schedule a Free Case Review with a Chattanooga Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, contact us for a free conversation about your case. We’re here to help you with your dog bite case.

If you’re dealing with a dog bite in Chattanooga, our team is ready to help you understand your rights and work towards getting you the help and money you need for your injury.