Were you the victim of a dog attack?

Dogs can inflict severe harm. Whether a dog bites you, knocks you down, or causes severe lacerations, a dog bite or attack usually requires immediate medical attention. A dog bite can put you at risk for rabies or an infection, it can require stitches and leave scars, and it can leave you with emotional scars, as well. A dog attack almost always is a shock, and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is not uncommon in these cases.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. The caring and compassionate attorneys at Bill Easterly & Associates can help relieve your financial burden by securing compensation that will cover your medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Having represented numerous dog bite cases, our attorneys know that, in some cases, the owner of the dog that bit you is a family member or friend, and you understandably may feel uncomfortable pursuing compensation.

It’s important for you to know that in almost all dog bite cases, it is the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy that will cover the compensation you deserve. To that end, we will work skillfully and persistently with the insurance adjuster to get the full financial reward you need to move forward and live your life again.

Don’t hesitate to call Bill Easterly & Associates at (615) 244-2222 today. One of our Nashville personal injury lawyers will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We’re here to help.

Begin Building Your Case Immediately

If someone’s dog bites you and you suffer injuries, you shouldn’t wait long before beginning to build your case. You can start at the attack scene by taking a photo of the dog, your visible injuries, and other relevant evidence.

Follow these steps below to ensure you’re able to recover a monetary award from the dog owner:

  • Call 911. If you’re seriously hurt, calling 911 will bring medical emergency responders, and the police can also help to quarantine the dog.
  • Secure the dog. If possible, keep the animal confined to one area so it can’t hurt anyone else. If the owner is nearby, notify them of what happened.
  • Obtain information from the owner. Write down the name of the dog owner, their contact information, and details about their dog, such as age, breed, date of its last vaccinations, etc.
  • Complete an incident report. If the attack happened in a public place, notify the owner or manager and ask to fill out an incident report. Get a copy of it and also request the name of their liability insurance company. It is also always a good idea to report the incident to animal control. If the animal has a history of biting people, it shouldn’t be in the owner’s possession.
  • Seek medical attention. Dogs can carry rabies, bacteria, and diseases that they pass along to humans. If you didn’t receive emergency medical attention, then it’s crucial that you see a doctor to treat your wounds to minimize the risk of infection.
  • File a claim. Whether the incident occurred on private or public property, you could file a claim with the owner’s liability insurance company for compensation.
  • Hire a lawyer. Speak to a Nashville dog bite lawyer from Bill Easterly & Associates. We’ll provide you with the necessary legal representation and recover the maximum financial award you deserve.

Dog Bite Laws in Tennessee

There are state laws and statutes that apply to animal attacks and dog bites. Specifically, when a dog bites a person, the owner could be held financially liable for any injuries it causes.

Tennessee law imposes a combination of one bite liability and strict liability. The one-bite rule applies when the bite occurs at a private residence, commercial property, or farm that the dog’s owner leases, rents, or occupies with permission, and states that the owner must know or should have known that their dog would exhibit aggressive behavior.

Strict liability applies when the bite occurs in a public place or a third party’s private property. Per Tennessee law, an injured person can hold the dog owner strictly liable if:

  • The dog caused the injured party’s injuries or damaged personal property
  • The injured party was in a public space or legally on private property

The victim may alternatively be able to prove negligence on the dog owner’s part. That means you must show one of the following:

  • The owner is liable for injuries their dog inflicted due to their negligent actions;
  • The animal was in a place they shouldn’t have been; or
  • It was known that the dog had vicious propensities or tendencies.

Laws for dog bites and attacks are complex and confusing. Every state, city, and municipality has its own set of rules. If you don’t know the legalities in Nashville, you should contact Bill Easterly & Associates and speak with one of our Nashville dog bite attorneys.

We understand the various statutes that determine liability in this type of situation. We’ll ensure the owner faces the consequences of their actions, and you receive compensation for the suffering you endured.

Common Injuries Associated With Dog Bites

Most insurance claims are based on bodily harm inflicted by the dog bite. Property damage doesn’t happen as often, but sometimes a personal item can break during the attack. Depending on the severity of the incident, you could suffer minor or life-threatening injuries. More severe physical trauma can sometimes lead to permanent medical conditions or even death.

The most common injuries people sustain after a dog bite include:

  • Traumatic brain injury from being knocked down
  • Torn tissue or muscle
  • Damaged nerves
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Rabies or tetanus
  • Broken bones
  • Infections

Going to the doctor is necessary after all the injuries listed above. Some people require lifelong treatment to manage ongoing pain or deal with an animal attack’s psychological effects. Medical bills can be expensive and add up after a while, especially if you need consistent, ongoing care. Those costs should not be your responsibility. Your Nashville dog bite attorney will determine liability and where to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Factors Contributing to Compensation in a Dog Bite Case

If you choose to file an insurance claim with the at-fault dog owner’s liability insurance company, the settlement you receive will depend on various elements. Generally speaking, the more severe the injury, the higher the compensation.

If you only sustained a small wound and made a full recovery within a week, you likely wouldn’t receive much money, if anything at all. Conversely, if you end up with a permanent disability from the attack, you could likely pursue the maximum settlement amount available.

Examples of factors that could lead to a higher insurance settlement include:

  • Longer duration of necessary medical treatment
  • Permanent disfigurement, impairment, or disability resulted from the attack
  • High total expenses
  • Doctor-prescribed medications to manage pain or symptoms
  • Significant effect on the quality of life
  • Unable to work due to the injury

Examples of factors that could lead to a lower insurance settlement include:

  • Full recovery made after the injury
  • Most doctor appointments were for evaluation rather than actual treatment of the injury
  • No emotional or psychological trauma experienced
  • Total costs are low
  • The attack did not lead to diminished quality of life
  • Prescription medication wasn’t necessary
  • Minimal pain or complications occurred

Your Nashville dog bite injury attorney will review all the details of your case and advise you on the settlement amount you should pursue. We understand the factors of a case that can increase its value and make you eligible for more significant compensation. Even if the injury wasn’t that serious, you still shouldn’t have to pay for your own costs. We’ll be sure to calculate the right amount that covers all your expenses and compensates for your physical or emotional damage.

Determining the Available Damages After Suffering From A Dog Bite

You’re entitled to financial compensation if another person’s dog bites you in Nashville, as long as the incident meets all the elements of the one-bite rule or strict liability. To determine an appropriate value, insurance companies will look at the damages the victim incurred. Damages include two separate subcategories: economic, or actual expenses, and non-economic, or intangible losses.

Economic damages in a dog bite case may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages in a dog bite case may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Calculating damages is challenging, especially when it comes to non-economic damages. Determining the right value for something like emotional distress depends on the contributing factors of an insurance settlement mentioned earlier. Insurance companies will usually look at all those factors as a whole to come up with the appropriate amount to offer. More severe injuries can result in higher settlements, while minor injuries can lead to lower settlements.

Filing A Civil Lawsuit After a Dog Bite

You could sue the dog owner directly if negligence existed at the time of the incident. Negligence is the legal theory that one party’s failure to provide a reasonable degree of care to another led to their injuries. There are five elements you must show to prove negligence successfully:

  1. Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care;
  2. Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
  3. Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their action or inaction, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
  4. Proximate cause: Their breach was the direct cause of your injury; and
  5. Damages: The event resulted in damages.

There’s a statute of limitations you have to comply with if you want to file a lawsuit. This is a strict deadline, and if you miss it, you’ll lose your right to seek compensation for this matter. The statute of limitations in Tennessee is one year for injury to a person and three years for personal property damage.

When you file a lawsuit, another type of damage might be available. Punitive damages aren’t a form of compensation. They punish the at-fault party for their actions and aim to deter similar misconduct in the future. For a jury to determine that you deserve punitive damages, you must provide clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner acted with intentional fraud, malice, or recklessness.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Bill Easterly & Associates

Our Nashville dog bite attorneys will fight persistently for the justice you deserve. When another person is the reason you suffered harm, they should face the consequences. We have over 25 years of experience helping our clients recover the compensation they need to heal. We know you’ve experienced something traumatic, and we will work diligently to reach a favorable outcome in your case.

We care about our clients. You can expect one-on-one attention, legal guidance, and emotional support from start to finish. We’re available 24/7 to answer your call and be there when you need us the most. At Bill Easterly & Associates, we have a dedicated team of Nashville dog bite lawyers who will remain by your side until the very end. Call us at (615) 244-2222 to schedule your free initial consultation if you were the victim of a dog bite.

Immediate Help. Exceptional Outcomes.

How Our Tennessee Attorneys Can Help You

No case is too small or too large for our team of experienced attorneys. We have the skills and resources it takes to pursue all types of personal injury cases. If you’ve suffered at the hands of a negligent party, we want to make sure you are compensated, and the negligent party is held responsible. We start by getting to you know and the facts surrounding your case.

Every case is unique, and we treat them as such, priding ourselves on making sure you have our full attention and focusing our efforts on building a successful case for you. Here’s how we can help:


Investigate Your Claim: We want to get to the bottom of the “how” and “why” of your accident. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your incident. This allows us to gather evidence that can strengthen your case and help us identify all responsible parties involved. Leave all the legwork and paperwork to our team.


Build a Compelling Case: With evidence in hand, we work to build a strong and compelling case in your favor. Whether we are going to court or negotiating with an insurance company, by building a solid case, we can help you maximize the amount of damages you may be able to recover.


We Are Your Advocate: Unfortunately, insurance companies and negligent parties will not take you seriously unless you have an aggressive attorney on your side who fights for your rights. These parties may use tactics that manipulate or take advantage of a victim in order to keep from paying out hefty compensation packages. Having an attorney backing you up signals to these parties you are serious about getting everything you are entitled to.


Focus on What’s Important: You. Your health and safety are what’s most important. Let us tackle the paperwork, the negotiating, and the back and forth, while you focus on your health and the well-being of your family. Trusting the team at Bill Easterly & Associates takes an immense weight off of your shoulders.


Demand the Full Compensation You Deserve

We genuinely believe that you should not have to pay the price for someone else’s negligent and dangerous wrongdoing. For this reason, you can trust our legal team to do everything within our professional power to make sure you are not stuck with the financial repercussions of a serious injury-causing accident. We are ready to put decades of experience and practice to work for you! To schedule your free consultation, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.

Immediate Help. Exceptional Outcomes.

Hear From Our Clients
Tristan Vogel

Bill & his team handled my injury case with total professionalism and respect. I was never left out of the conversation and if I had a question, they had an answer. Never having been through anything like this before I was worried it would be a stressful headache. Fortunately this wasn’t the case. Between his team and the other party’s insurance we settled for higher than I expected/demanded. I highly recommend his office and will be sure to send anyone I know in need of help their way. Many thanks you all!

Jeffrey L.

“I endorse this lawyer. I went to school with Bill and he is truly among the best and brightest lawyers out there.”

Marcus H.

“When I hired Bill to represent me in my workers’ compensation claim, I was receiving $238 per week while out of work. Bill found an error in the way the insurance company calculated my wages, and he got my weekly check raised to $352 almost immediately. This couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Michael L.

“Bill Easterly & Associates let me know just what I needed to do during my time of need. If I had any questions they took the time to answer them. His office kept me informed and up to date on my case.”

William G.

“I worked for a company for 36 years when I was severely injured on the job. I spent over a year working with the state to get my worker’s compensation case taken care of & wasn’t having much luck. I decided to ask for help. I called Bill Easterly & Associates, & spoke with Bill, who was very friendly. Right away Bill & his staff began to work on my case. After just a few short months Bill & his team reached a settlement I was more than pleased with! I am thankful for Bill & his team; without them I would not have been able to receive the assistance I needed.”

Steve S.

“Bill Easterly & Associates, took care of every detail from start to finish with my case. If not for their extreme persistence, I would not have received any medical help nor assistance with all the bills that my employer refused to help me with when they were legally responsible. I was shocked when my settlement was reached for the sum they told me I would receive from the first day I chose them. I was able to relocate to Florida & join my family with a new lease on life.”

James C.

“Bill, I want to thank both you, Craig, and Jim for all the work that was put into yesterday’s trial. I realize that the Judge’s ruling was a direct reflection of the work that you put into my case. I thank you and can’t wait to share your name with others!!!!!”

Sam K.

“I am very appreciative for Bill Easterly & his staff. They helped my family & I during an extremely troublesome time & for this I have extreme gratitude. They are the best!”

Tracy T.

“Bill Easterly & Associates was very professional, honest, polite, and respectable of my needs. They were very accommodating in assisting me with a troubled time. I would definitely refer attorney Easterly to anyone in need of a lawyer.”

Nellie G.

“Bill Easterly & Associates was very helpful to me when I needed someone. I just want to thank him for getting all the bills paid & taking care of my needs. I want to let you know how grateful I was for your staff’s assistance. Whenever I called or left messages they were quick to call me back, as well as very helpful & knowledgeable.”

Mia G.

“Bill Easterly & Associates have been wonderful to our family. The firm fought for a fair settlement for my case and took away all of the stress that came with my accident. Bill and our assigned paralegal were very nice and kept me informed and updated on my case. Bill Easterly himself was available to answer questions that I had and that made me feel special and that he truly cared about my case. This firm shows total professionalism. Great job! I highly recommend this firm!”


“Bill Easterly and Associates are the best!!! I had a workman’s comp case resulting from an injury at work and they handled everything with compassion, skill, and diligence. They went up and beyond my expectations and I recommend them to everyone!!!!”


“Several years ago I suffered an injury which required surgery and many weeks of additional hospitalization, as well as months of painful recovery. Feeling that I had a real legal issue, I began to dial up some of the more ‘well-known’ legal firms in the Nashville area. However, with each cold, harsh rejection, my heart and hopes sank deeper….until my niece said, “What about this guy, Bill Easterly?”

From the moment Bill & I spoke, I knew I had reached the right person for the job. Bill went to bat for me immediately and stayed with me the whole way, He and his staff answered all my questions knowledgeably and honestly and were always considerate of my needs and wishes. They guided me through a confusing and sometimes frustrating process with the utmost care and professionalism; I felt I couldn’t have been in better hands.

When my case was finally resolved, I was pleased with results. I can truthfully say that now, should the need ever arise again, Bill Easterly and Associates will be the ONLY telephone number I will call for my legal work.”


“Bill and his team went above and beyond for me in two different cases. His office was always able to answer my questions or return my calls. Bill was always happy to help with anything he could, case involved or not. I have and will continue to highly recommend the services of Bill Easterly & Associates to anyone in need!”


“I never worked with an attorney before Bill. After I got hurt at work it took the insurance company several weeks to get me in to see a doctor, and while I was out of work my checks were always late, so a friend suggested I call Bill. He took my case and I immediately began to see my situation get better. His staff took care of scheduling my doctor appointments and made sure that my checks came on time. After the doctor released me to return to work, Bill was able to settle my case in less than three months, and for more money than I ever thought I would get. I highly recommend Bill Easterly & Associates.”

Chris E.

“I had the pleasure of having Bill Easterly and Associates represent me during a worker’s comp. case back in the spring of 2009. During the entire ordeal which involved surgery, and an arduous road to recover, Mr. Easterly and his staff were professional, kind, and worked very hard on my behalf. Mr. Easterly himself worked directly for me, and handled the entire situation with a high degree of care and expertise to the point where I felt like I was the only case he was working on. Furthermore, if I ever had any questions, I knew I could contact Mr. Easterly himself directly to get any issues resolved. I would recommend Mr. Easterly and Associates to anyone looking for excellent legal counsel especially if it involves a worker’s comp. case.”

Randon W.

“Bill Easterly and his team of associates including: Whitney, Annbern, and Bethany are amazing, they have all been like family to me and represented me and my case as if it were their very own. I cannot express how truly thankful I am for the effort and amount of time and work they have put into my case, even through my being impatient under some circumstances. Even though I rarely spoke with them every time I received a phone call or E-mail from Mr. Bill or his associates it has been nothing but great news. I would strongly recommend Bill Easterly and Associates to any and everyone with any type of Workers Comp. or personal injury case to them. I’ve had such a wonderful experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better job. Thank you guys so much.”

P. Burns

“Bill Easterly and Associate are awesome they took my case and did all they could do to make sure I was stress free and I really appreciate their professionalism and the patience they showed me when I became frustrated. I want to thank you for the work you provided but most of all you and the staff Annbern you are a true angel so mild mannered Whitney your patience Bethany your cheery disposition on the telephone and Mr. Bill Easterly your determination and fight on my behalf thank and may you all continue to be a blessing to all you meet. True Angels here on earth. If you need a team that will fight for you BILL EASTERLY AND ASSOCIATES IS THE BEST WAY TO GO.”

Leslie H.

“GREAT People!!!! GREAT Service!!!!!”

Shannon B.

“I called Mr. Easterly a little over a month ago to take over my case because the attorney I started off with had not even looked at my emails in the three months he was supposed to be working for me… Bill has settled my case/claim already and I could not be happier with the outcome. He had personally made calls to me, which made me feel like a person and not just dollar signs. His paralegal, Whitney, is also amazing. She always returned my emails and calls immediately, and was more than patient with me asking a million questions. I hope no one I know is seriously hurt in an accident like we were, but if so I highly recommend you call Bill Easterly and Associates. Not to mention, Bill Easterly is pretty hot ;).”

Ron M.

“Bill has been my attorney for many years on many cases. I have always been pleased with him and his staff for all they have helped me with. Very professional.”

Mark M.

“Bill Easterly handled my case better and faster than I was told to expect, due to the circumstances of the case. He definitely exceeded my personal expectations and I am more than satisfied with the outcome. Would recommend him to anyone. He’s a great guy.”


“I called several accident law firms and none were as knowledgeable and sincere as this firm. Mr. Easterly and his associates were amazing! They took the time to listen and answer any questions I had. I’m also grateful they helped me deal with the not so helpful insurance company. They went above and beyond! Very pleased!”

Keith R.

“Throughout my entire case, Mr. Easterly and his staff were supportive and diligent in handling my claim. Mr. Easterly provided the one-on-one attention that I needed. Thank you for everything!”

Nicole P.

“Bill Easterly and his staff were very courteous and friendly. They made me feel like family. When I walked into the office you would’ve thought I had known them before. When it came to them assisting with my case they were awesome. If they told you that they were going to do something or call you back they did. Mr. Easterly and staff took care of my case in an effective and timely manner making me feel like I was the only client. This is the kind of attention you need when you are hurt. If I needed assistance again, I would definitely use them. I would recommend him without hesitation! They should be the first and only attorneys you call when in need! Great group of people! Thank you!”

Muyala M.

“Mr. Bill Easterly and his staff are very friendly and reliable. They are ready to answer any questions that I have and let me know step by step what is going on with my case. I really recommend them to anybody.”

Irene F.

“Bill Easterly and his staff are amazing to work with. I met Bill years ago when my little girl got hurt and he has been my go to lawyer ever since. If he doesn’t specialize in something I have questions about he always takes the time to send me in the right direction. His staff is very professional and on top of things at all time. Thank you Bill for everything you have done for my family.”

Valerie C.

“Bill is knowledgeable and professional. The staff is helpful, friendly and prompt to respond to questions or concerns. Would recommend without reservation.”

Brenda B.

“When I interviewed attorneys for my case, Bill Easterly was hands down the best choice! Not only was he straight to the point, his confidence was contagious! Bethany was on top of my case every step of the way! Every step was explained to me and I was prepared for what would happen throughout the process. I told a friend that I loved my attorneys, she said,

“You don’t hear anyone say that, ever!” But I can recommend Easterly and Associates without hesitation!”

Norma B.

“Bill Easterly and Associates took my case when no one else would and got me a decent settlement. I highly recommend them.”

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