Many consider their dog as a part of their family. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t cause harm. In fact, more than 800,000 people are treated for dog bites annually in the US. Many more are treated for injuries related to dog attacks such as dogs knocking cyclists over and causing injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog attack, you may be wondering if you can sue for compensation, who should be held responsible and how you can go about it. Hiring a personal injury attorney with experience in handling dog bite cases will be a step in the right direction. Learning as much as you can about dog bite law is another thing you can do to improve your chances of getting compensation.
The following are some things you should know about Indiana dog bite laws.
Indiana is a strict liability state
Indiana applies strict liability laws for dog bite cases. This means that the owner of the dog is considered responsible for controlling the dog and knowing about its behavior at all times. If the dog attacks a person, the owner can be held liable for the damages caused by the dog. You can therefore sue a dog owner under Indiana law for damages resulting from a dog attack.
Indiana applies the one-bite rule
Indiana is one of many states that apply the one-bite rule. This rule stipulates that an owner can only be held liable for any injuries caused by their dog’s aggressive behavior if they knew or ought to have known that their dog had violent tendencies. Therefore, a dog owner may be relieved of liability for damages caused by the dog’s attack if they can show that they had no knowledge of their dog being violent or aggressive.
If you want to sue a dog owner for a dog bite, you will have to prove that the dog owner knew that the dog had previously been aggressive. There are various ways to show this. One easy way is to get witness testimonies from people such as neighbors that have seen the dog being aggressive previously.
You must prove negligence of the dog owner
You will have to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner in order to receive compensation for a dog bite. Proving negligence will depend on your particular situation. For example, if the attack happened when the dog was not on a leash in an area where dogs are required to be leashed all the time, you can show that the dog owner was negligent because of the laws applicable to the particular area where the incident occurred.
If you’re able to, be sure to take photos and note down witness contact information at the scene of the incident immediately after the attack occurs. This information will be invaluable in proving negligence. You should also hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to give them time to investigate and build your case.
Get in touch with an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to fight for your legal right to compensation.