Can I Get Compensation for a Dog Bite?

In Lafayette, the law doesn’t leave the victims of dog bites alone. According to Indiana Code § 15-20-1-3, individuals who have suffered from a dog attack have the legal right to pursue compensation. 

However, achieving this financial restitution may not be as straightforward as it initially appears.

The process entails more than just a claim; it calls for a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape of dog bite cases in Indiana, a firm grasp of negotiation strategies, and the capacity to compile and present a robust case that effectively highlights the damages suffered.

But probably the most challenging part of pursuing a dog bite claim is proving negligence, especially when several parties are involved.

dog attack training

Who Must Be Held Responsible for a Dog Bite in Lafayette?

In the state, legal responsibility for a dog bite generally falls squarely on the dog’s owner, as established by Indiana Code. This responsibility is not exclusive to the owner but can extend to anyone who has accepted the duty of caring for the dog during the time of the attack.

However, the liability landscape isn’t limited to the owner or the caretaker. In certain circumstances, third parties such as landlords or property owners might also find themselves embroiled in the legal aftermath of a dog attack:

  • Dog Owner: The dog owner bears the primary responsibility for their pet’s behavior. Under the law, they are usually the first party to be held accountable for any damages caused by their pet.
  • Dog Caregiver: People who are in temporary custody of the dog at the time of the incident may also be held accountable. This might include pet sitters, dog walkers, or even friends and family members looking after the dog.
  • Landlords and Property Owners: In certain scenarios, if the landlord or property owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies and failed to address this issue, they could also be held legally responsible for the damages caused by a dog attack.
  • Other Parties: Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident, other parties may also bear some liability. This could include, for example, a company responsible for the maintenance of a fence from which the dog escaped.

Remember, each dog bite case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and potentially liable parties. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced and local dog bite lawyer to ensure all aspects of your case are thoroughly examined and all liable parties are held accountable.

Exceptions When Dog Owners are Not Responsible for the Attack

Not all dog bite incidents result in the owner being held responsible. If a person was trespassing or provoked the dog, the owner might not be liable.

Common Injuries Related to Dog Bite Accidents in Lafayette

Dog bite injuries can range from minor to severe, leaving victims to deal with both physical and psychological repercussions. 

In worst-case scenarios, these injuries can be life-altering for victims and their families. They may require emergency treatment, surgeries, and rehabilitation, and can even lead to permanent disability.

Some of the most common injuries we deal with are:

As these injuries require medical assistance, victims often face the need to claim as much as compensation possible, ensuring a quick recovery to get their normal life back.

Recoverable Damages You Can Claim in Lafayette

From mounting medical bills to psychological trauma, the aftermath of a dog bite or animal attack can be daunting and disruptive, causing economic damages that you have the right to claim.

Fortunately, the law allows you to claim several damages to ease your recovery and get your life back as soon as possible:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes all the costs related to your medical care after a dog bite, from immediate treatment to ongoing therapy and medication.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries have kept you from work, you’re entitled to claim lost wages. This also includes any future earnings you might lose if the incident has affected your ability to work.
  • Pain and Suffering: The psychological trauma inflicted by a dog attack, such as anxiety or fear, can be debilitating. Indiana law acknowledges these non-physical injuries.
  • Loss of Enjoyment: If your injuries have affected your ability to enjoy life or participate in hobbies, you can seek compensation.

It’s worth mentioning that the law places no cap on the amount of compensation for both economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases. So having a local attorney on your side can be determinant to calculate the damages in a dog bite case.

What to do After a Dog Bite Attack

What an Animal Attack Injury Attorney Can Do for You

Dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite is challenging enough without the added stress of navigating legal procedures. But our Lafayette premises liability attorneys at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell are dedicated to helping you every step of the way. 

Here’s how we can assist:

  1. Case Evaluation: Our attorneys will thoroughly review your case, considering all the specifics of the incident, your injuries, and the relevant laws.
  2. Evidence Collection: From medical reports to witness testimonies, we’ll compile all the necessary evidence to support your claim.
  3. Negotiations with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies may try to minimize their payout. Our seasoned attorneys will negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that your rights are respected.
  4. Taking Your Case to Court: If negotiations don’t yield a fair settlement, we’re fully prepared to take your case to court.

If you believe you have a dog attack case, don’t hesitate to contact our Lafayette legal team for a free consultation. We want to listen to your case and possibly help you file a dog bite claim to get the compensation you are entitled to.

Our lawyers that handle these types of cases