Companions and friends, guides, and protectors, dogs can be an important part of some people’s lives. They are the eyes and ears for those with physical challenges. They are the lifelong companion of kids all across America. And it’s clear that many cherish their dog like a good friend or trusted family member. But for various reasons, sometimes seemingly no reason at all, dogs occasionally attack. And when they do, the injuries can often be devastating—especially if the attack is upon a child. Children are especially vulnerable for many reasons, first because they are small and inexperienced, and may not be able to or know how to protect themselves, and secondly because they may have not yet learned that dogs present any danger whatsoever. Approaching a dog can be a dangerous situation, and children may be unaware. However, any dog that is out in the public and free to interact with people must be trained and controlled, because when that dog attacks it is the owner’s responsibility, and if an injury occurs, that owner is negligent and must be held accountable. If you are attacked and bitten by a dog, you will need a dog bite attorney in Indiana who understands the law and knows how to recover damages for plaintiffs.
Dog injuries can be severe, and sometimes they are deadly. Dog bites can ruin lives and cause permanent damages. Dog bites to the face can leave visible scars long after the wounds have healed. The medical bills alone can be astronomical for severe dog bite injuries. And even small injuries can sometimes cause extensive pain or disablement that lasts for years.
If you’ve been injured in a dog bite attack you absolutely need a dog bite attorney in Indiana. The laws regarding animal bites are complex and nuanced, and sometimes certain situations are difficult to prove, so you need an experienced dog bite attorney who will bite back. You need an attorney who has taken these cases to trial and won. Every attorney studies these cases in law school, but studying something in school is a far cry from actually trying it in a court of law. We’ve got the experience and the track record, so when you work with us you can rest assured that you’ve got a seasoned team on your side. We’ll fight back and work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries today, and for every possible way they could impact your future tomorrow and forever.
What is Strict Liability and How is it Different from Normal ‘Negligence’?
As experienced Indiana animal and dog bite attorneys, the most unfortunate thing we see are the youngest victims, injured children.
In most cases the owner of a dog or any other domestic animal is ‘strictly liable’ for any injuries or property damage caused by their animal. Strict liability is much easier to prove than just negligence.
Under Indiana Code §15-20-1-3, a dog owner is ‘strictly’ liable in the following situations:
- If a dog, without provocation, bites a person:
- Who is acting peaceably; and
- Who is in a location where the person may be required to be in order to discharge a duty imposed upon the person by:
- The laws of Indiana;
- The laws of the United States; or
- The postal regulations of the United States;
- The owner of the dog is liable for all damages suffered by the person bitten.
- The owner of a dog described in subsection (a) is liable for damages even if:
- The dog has not previously behaved in a vicious manner; or
- The owner has no knowledge of prior vicious behavior by the dog.
The basis for strict liability is that those who engage in certain kinds of activities do so at their own risk and must pay for any damage that results, even if the activity has been carried out in the most careful manner possible.
According to our Indiana animal and dog bite lawyers most dog bite attacks are caused by either pit bulls, Dobermans, or Rottweilers. In addition to dog bites, an Indiana dog owner can be held responsible if their dog knocks a person over, trips someone, or the dog causes or contributes to a person’s injury.
If a dog owner owns a home and has homeowner’s insurance, then it is possible that injuries caused by the dog could be covered under the home owner’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, most home owner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for damages caused by dogs. That’s why it is important to allow Attorney Jeff JJ Shaw to ask for the home owner’s insurance policy, to examine it for exclusionary language with regard to dogs.
Can I Hold a Landlord Responsible if Their Tenant Owns a Dog That Bites Me?
Yes, you can under certain circumstances.
If the dog owner lives in an apartment complex, Indiana law places a duty upon a landlord to protect its tenants in connection with a vicious dog of which the landlord has knowledge. A landlord could potentially be held liable for a tenant’s dog if the landlord knows the dog is dangerous and has the ability to control the premises in order to protect the plaintiff. Cases against landlords for dog bites are difficult though, as the jury will usually find the owner of the dog responsible and not the landlord.
Here at Shaw Law, we believe that every accident is preventable. Every accident is due to someone’s fault, and it’s our job to make sure that the party that injured you pays for it, and provides you the compensation you deserve, not just for your immediate medical expenses but for your pain, suffering, and future care. Essentially, we will work to get you a financial settlement or award that will cover you for as long as your injury impacts your life in any way, even if that means forever. You should never be forced to suffer because of someone else’s negligence.
You can hire us to start working on your case in less than 10 minutes. Contact Us Today.
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