How Our Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help

Are you struggling with the emotional distress, mental anguish, and physical pain of being a dog bite victim and the severe injuries it caused you? Adding legal responsibilities on top of everything would probably make things even more stressful for you. One of the main reasons that people hire our dog bite attorneys is to deal with the insurance company for them. We know how to build and advance a dog bite claim while completing all necessary interactions with the insurance company. There might be no faster way to take the stress of the situation off your shoulders than to hire us!

You can count on us to do the following and much more:

  • Conduct an initial free legal consultation with you
  • Investigate the dog bite incident and review the dog bite liability laws
  • Calculate the damages owed to you
  • Create a strong claim
  • Negotiate or litigate on your behalf

How Much Money Can You Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?

The laws regarding dog bites in Indianapolis are in place to protect people who have been injured by an animal attack, whether or not the owner was aware of their pet’s potential for aggression. If it is shown that the owner acted negligently or failed to take reasonable steps to prevent a bite from occurring, they can be held liable for the victim’s damages, including medical bills or even lost wages due to missed time at work. Every situation is different, but it could potentially range anywhere from a $50,000 to $5 million verdict or settlement.

When filing a lawsuit for dog bite injuries in Indianapolis, it’s important to remember that successful cases depend on the specific circumstances around the attack. Knowing if a warning was given prior to the incident, understanding how much control the owner exercised over their pet and other factors can help determine liability. Our attorneys, who are experienced in handling these cases, will be able to evaluate all details and advise you of your legal options and how to best proceed with your case and maximize your chances of obtaining appropriate compensation.

Immediate Next Steps After a Dog Bite Attack in Indianapolis

The steps that you take after a dog bite injury are important. You will be setting the foundation for a dog bite injury claim should you decide to file one later. Statistics say that a dog bite occurs every 75 seconds or about 1,000 attacks each day in the US.

Let our attorneys know if you did the following after the dog bite:

  • Received medical attention: Dog bites should be treated with medical treatment. Minor injuries that do not break the skin can be treated with first aid like a cold compress. If the bite breaks the skin, even in small amounts, then you need to go to urgent care because a dog bite can cause infections, rabies, and other medical complications. If the bleeding is profuse, then emergency medical attention is required.
  • Collected contact information: You will need to get contact and identifying information from the dog’s owner. Write down the information from any state-issued ID that you can. Depending on where the dog attack occurred, the insurance policy that you can file against will vary, so it might be difficult to figure out what insurance information to collect. Do not worry. Our attorneys can help decide what insurance policy or policies apply to your case.
  • Photographed the dog: Don’t forget to get pictures of the dog that bit you if you can and note any aggressive behavior that occurred during this difficult time. You won’t be able to get an ID card for the dog, obviously, so you will have to document it in other ways.

Read our full article on What To Do After a Dog Attack


What to do After a Dog Bite Attack

Injuries & Trauma Caused by Dog Bites

A dog bite can cause severe, life-changing, or life-threatening injuries in only a matter of seconds. We can work with medical experts to uncover the extent of your trauma and injuries and how they might impact your life in the future.

Dog bites can cause these serious physical injuries:

  • Deep lacerations
  • Permanent physical scarring
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Infection
  • Rabies exposure
  • Nerve damage
  • General physical pain and health complications

Many dog bite victims also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the attack. They start to feel afraid of all dogs, even family dogs that they once trusted innately from the traumatic experience. If you are suffering from mental health difficulties or emotional trauma caused by a dog attack, then we can factor that harm into the total compensation owed to you. After all, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

The latest dog attack statistics show that injuries are a serious problem in the United States, with many serious injuries and fatalities occurring each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 4.5 million people suffer from dog bites annually and of those, 885,000 require medical attention. About 26,000 of these victims will need reconstructive surgery due to the severity of their injuries.

Indiana Does Not Have a One-Bite Rule

Indiana does not have a “one-bite” rule for dog owners. This means that a dog owner can be held liable for a personal injury claim even if their dog has never bitten anyone before. This rule states that a dog owner can be liable after the first time that their dog bites someone. For example, if a dog has always been calm and kind to strangers but one day bit someone new and without warning, then the dog owner can be held liable for the resulting damages. Indiana and 17 other states are the only states without a one-bite rule. This is good news for victims if they are seeking a claim for damages. In such cases, consulting with a dog bite lawyer in Indiana can provide invaluable assistance in understanding your legal options and seeking rightful compensation.

However, the court has some discretion over one-bite cases. It might be possible to argue that the owner shouldn’t be responsible for the plaintiff’s economic losses like medical costs and lost wages. Do not assume you have a valid case just because the dog has apparently never bitten anyone before. Depending on the circumstances of the attack, our Indianapolis dog bite attorney may be able to argue that the owner should be held liable for any economic losses resulting from the dog attack.

Proving Liability in Dog Bite Cases

In Indiana, the legal framework surrounding dog bite cases is structured to protect victims, ensuring they have a pathway to hold the responsible parties accountable. An important piece of legislation, the Indiana Code 15-20-1-3, sets the stage for understanding liability in these incidents, emphasizing the importance of proving the dog owner’s responsibility for the harm caused.

To establish liability in dog bite cases, several critical elements must be meticulously demonstrated:

  • Ownership or custody: This involves determining the individual who owned or was responsible for the dog at the time of the attack. It requires investigating and securing evidence such as registration records, microchip data, or testimonies from neighbors and witnesses to confirm ownership or custody.
  • Negligence or violation of law: Showing that the owner was negligent in controlling the dog or violated a specific law, such as leash laws, that directly led to the bite.
  • Lack of provocation: Proving that the victim did not provoke the dog, thereby establishing the unprovoked nature of the attack.
  • Location of the incident: Establishing that the bite occurred on public property or while the victim was lawfully on private property, reinforcing the victim’s right to be where the incident happened.
  • Injury and damages: Documenting the injuries and demonstrating how they have resulted in specific damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

As personal injury lawyers deeply familiar with Indiana’s legal system, we play a crucial role in gathering the necessary evidence and crafting a compelling case to demonstrate liability. Our expertise allows us to navigate the process with the confidence you need to secure the compensation you deserve for the injuries sustained by a reckless pet owner.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

In many cases, homeowners insurance policies do indeed cover incidents involving dog bites. These policies typically provide liability coverage for the homeowner, which can be applied to damages awarded in a dog bite case.

However, coverage limits and exclusions vary significantly between policies, and some insurers may exclude certain breeds from coverage or require additional premiums for liability related to dogs. Analyzing the specifics of an insurance policy is essential, and as your trusted personal injury attorneys, we can help clarify these details and negotiate with insurance companies.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases

In Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including dog bite cases, is set at two years from the date of the incident, as outlined in Indiana Code 34-11-2-4. This legal timeframe shows us the importance of acting promptly to preserve your right to seek compensation, as delaying beyond this period could result in the loss of the opportunity to file a claim altogether.

We always advise initiating legal proceedings promptly, as various obstacles can emerge on your path to compensation. These might include complex documentation, uncooperative insurance companies, or unexpected legal requirements. No matter the case, acting quickly can help to preempt these issues and streamline the process.

Possible Defenses to Dog Bite Claims

With our experienced dog bite injury lawyers, we can prepare your dog bite attack lawsuit for any defenses that the opposition might use. No matter the details that go into your case, we will know how to use evidence in your favor and argue that your compensation should be maximized.

Defense arguments against a dog bite claim can include:

  • Provocation:
    A dog owner’s liability could be reduced if it is discovered that the plaintiff intentionally provoked the dog into becoming aggressive, such as pulling on its tail or taunting it even after the owner warned it to stop.
  • Self-defense:
    A dog has the right to defend itself from undue harm just as a person does. If the plaintiff attacked the dog first and the dog bit them in self-defense, then the case could be weakened. The same is true if the dog bit someone who was trying to hurt its owner.
  • Trespassing:
    Property owners are allowed to secure their properties with aggressive dogs if they keep a sign posted about the dog’s presence at entrances. If the plaintiff was trespassing when they were bitten, then it could reduce the dog owner’s liability.

Free Consultation with Our Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyer

Our Indianapolis dog bite attorneys have been fighting for the wrongfully injured in our community for more than 40 years. With so much depending on the outcome of your dog bite lawsuit, you should only entrust it to a team of personal injury lawyers who handle dog bites with our caliber and legal experience. We are ready to fight for the money owed to you, whether it is $50,000 or $5 million!

Learn more about our legal counsel by contacting us online at any time.

Common Dog Bite FAQ

  • What breed of dog is considered dangerous?

    Pit bulls are widely considered to be one of the most dangerous and aggressive breeds of dogs. But this belief is not an absolute truth. Many pit bulls are friendly and would never hurt anyone. The most dangerous dogs are usually those who are raised to be dangerous. In this way, any breed of dog can be dangerous and cause a painful bite injury.

  • Does Marion County have a leash law?

    A dog in Indianapolis or Marion County can’t be tethered outside and in public without close supervision from its owner. In other words, a dog on a leash, whether it is held by the owner or attached to a post or object, must be accompanied by its owner. When in public, dogs should be tethered and accompanied. However, Indiana does not have a wider leash law, which can complicate liability in some cases.

  • Is a dog bite claim filed against the dog owner directly?

    If the dog’s owner has told you that they don’t have enough money to pay for your damages, even if they wanted to, then you would be right to be skeptical. Many dog bite claims are not filed directly against the owner’s finances. Instead, the claim can probably be filed against some sort of property insurance policy. For example, homeowner’s insurance policies will provide damages to visitors who were hurt due to the property owner’s negligence, which applies to dog attacks.

  • Will the dog be put down if I sue its owner?

    Are you reluctant to file a dog bite claim because it might result in the dog being put down? You shouldn’t worry about what could happen to the dog when you should be concerned about what has already happened to you. Furthermore, the court will usually decide what to do about the dog and only if a criminal case arises due to the attack. The court could order the dog’s owner to always keep it securely in the backyard, for example. Dogs are usually only destroyed if they have a history of aggression or caused a catastrophic or fatal injury.

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951 N Delaware St Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-593-9202

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