What Should You Do if You Get Bit by a Dog in Bloomington?

Experiencing a dog bite is a sudden and traumatic event that can leave you in a state of shock, feeling uncertain about what to do next. But knowing what to do after a dog bite attack can profoundly impact both your recovery process and the potential legal recourse you may pursue. 

Understanding and following the steps will help to protect your health and legal rights:

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Given the potential for serious infections and complications resulting from dog bites, your first priority should be to seek immediate medical attention.

In addition to treating physical injuries, healthcare professionals will also provide critical documentation detailing the extent and nature of your injuries. This medical record will be a pivotal piece of evidence if you later decide to file a dog bite claim.

2. Report the Incident

Reporting the incident to local authorities is a crucial step. Contact local animal control authorities or the Bloomington Police Department to report the incident as soon as you can, and save police records that will serve to sustain your case.

For safety reasons, the Indiana State Department of Health requires the reporting of animal bites within the state. This mandate is not only crucial for public health but also plays a significant role if you intend to file a dog bite claim. Ensuring this step is completed can be vital for the success of your claim.

These entities will document the incident, and if necessary, initiate an investigation, further strengthening your legal case.

3. Gather Information

Details about the dog, its owner, and any witnesses present at the scene can prove invaluable as evidence in a legal claim.

You should aim to collect the following information:

  • The dog owner’s name and contact details
  • The dog’s breed, size, and any distinctive markings
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Details of the location and circumstances of the incident

Be as thorough and detailed as possible in gathering this information, as it can be the foundation to build a strong case and maximize your possibilities for compensation.

4. Document Your Injuries

Photographs provide a visual record of your injuries immediately after the dog bite, capturing details that could later be forgotten or healed. 

Additionally, diligently keep records of all medical treatment received, including consultations, prescriptions, and therapy sessions. This documentation will contribute to building a comprehensive case that accurately reflects the extent of your injuries and the subsequent medical attention required.

5. Consult a Lawyer

Finally, seeking the counsel of a dog bite lawyer in Indiana is a wise step to take. 

According to Indiana Code § 15-20-1-3, dog owners in Indiana can be held liable for damages if their dog bites someone who is behaving peaceably and is lawfully in a place. A local attorney can help you navigate the complexities of Indiana law and secure the compensation you are entitled to, according to the damages you can prove.

What is the Law on Dog Bites in Indiana?

The law states that if a dog bites a person who is behaving peaceably and is lawfully in a place, the dog owner is liable for all damages suffered by the person bitten.

However, there are exceptions. If a person was unlawfully on the property, provoking the dog, or if the person was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies and chose to engage with the animal, the owner’s liability might be lessened. 

Understanding the nuances of Indiana’s dog bite laws can be complex, but our team can help you navigate the legal landscape and ensure your rights are protected.

Damages You Can Claim in a Dog Bite Case

Victims of dog bites may be entitled to a wide range of damages under Indiana law, which can broadly be divided into economic and non-economic damages:

Economic Damages

These include tangible expenses, such as:

  • Medical Expenses: Immediate and future treatment costs.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for missed work during recovery.
  • Property Damage: If any personal belongings were damaged during the incident.

Non-Economic Damages

These include intangible losses, including:

  • Pain and Suffering: The physical discomfort and distress suffered because of the bite.
  • Emotional Distress: Fear, anxiety, depression, or other psychological trauma as a result of the bite.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This includes a reduced quality of life due to the aftermath of the dog bite.

Determining fair compensation for your claim can be complicated, especially if your role as a victim is not easy to determine. But an attorney can help you define responsibilities and accurately calculate the damages you must claim.

When a Dog Attack Turns into a Tragedy – Dealing with Wrongful Death

In some unfortunate cases, a dog attack can lead to a tragedy – the death of a loved one. When this happens, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the dog owner. 

According to the Indiana Code § 34-23-1-1, the deceased’s spouse, children, or other dependents may seek damages for loss of love, companionship, and financial support.

The pain of losing a loved one is immeasurable, and while no amount of compensation can replace your loss, it can provide much-needed financial support during this difficult time.

How a Bloomington Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensated 

At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we believe you should never settle for less than you deserve. Our Bloomington personal injury lawyers have extensive experience dealing with dog bite cases and are committed to securing the maximum compensation for your damages. 

We’ll aggressively advocate for your rights and handle all legal proceedings, allowing you to focus on healing. Don’t navigate this challenging period alone. Let us help you through your journey toward justice. 

Reach out to us today for a free consultation.

Our lawyers that handle these types of cases