Muncie Dog Bite Lawyer
Largely due to a better understanding of the physical and mental injuries that these incidents cause, the average dog bite settlement has increased over 130 percent since 2003. Although substantial compensation is available, insurance companies do not simply give this money away. In fact, as outlined below, they often use legal loopholes in an effort to reduce or deny needed compensation to injured victims.
At the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers, our meticulous Muncie dog bite lawyers use solid evidence to build dog bite claims from the ground up. Furthermore, we are familiar with the intricacies of Indiana’s dog bite law. This combination of diligence and experience helps us obtain maximum compensation for these victims, so they can move on with their lives.
Dog Bite Injuries
When animals attack, the knockdown often causes the bulk of the serious injuries these victims sustain. These wounds include things like head injuries and broken bones. Head injuries are always permanent, and serious broken bones often never fully heal. These victims often suffer from lingering effects, such as sporadic pain or reduced range of motion.
Then, when dogs bite, their teeth usually inflict deep puncture wounds and severe tearing lacerations. The puncture wounds usually cause internal bleeding, which is difficult to detect and stop. The tearing lacerations almost always require treatment at specialized trauma centers. Even then, the physical scars often remain.
Emotional scars often remain as well. Children are especially apt to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-type symptoms, such as heightened awareness, an unnatural fear of all dogs, flashbacks, and nightmares.
Furthermore, physical dog bite injuries have a very high infection rate. Normally, a Muncie dog bite lawyer must file a separate claim for damages in these situations.
As mentioned, Indiana law in this area is rather complex. The good news is that most victims have several legal options.
- Strict Liability: Indiana has a limited strict liability law. Owners are liable for damages as a matter of law if the victim was a state or local government worker, like a police officer or postal worker, who was discharging the person’s official duties at the time of the bite.
- Scienter (Knowledge): Liability also attaches, regardless of the victim’s status, if the owner knew the dog was potentially dangerous and it bit someone. Evidence of knowledge usually includes an animal’s pre-bite behavior, like aggressive barking.
- Ordinary Negligence: An example of negligence in this area is a teacher who allows children to play near a strange dog. Third parties, such as a landlord who allows tenants to keep potentially dangerous dogs, could be responsible for damages as well.
- Negligence Per Se: Muncie and most other municipalities in Delaware County have strict animal control ordinances, like fence laws and leash laws. If an owner violates such a law and that violation substantially causes injury, a Muncie dog bite lawyer could force the owner to pay compensation.
Common insurance company defenses in dog bite claims include provocation, which is an offshoot of comparative fault, and assumption of the risk.
The provocation defense shifts part of the blame from the owner to the victim. In this context, “provocation” is always a deliberate act. People cannot accidentally provoke dogs by making sudden movements or loud noises. Furthermore, provocation is a physical act which is almost akin to torture.
Assumption of the risk usually involves a warning sign, like “Beware of Dog.” This defense is only available in certain negligence claims. Additionally, a sign alone is insufficient. The owner must prove the victim saw the sign, read the sign, and understood what it meant.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Lawyer
Personal injury victims have important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Muncie, contact the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers. You have a limited amount of time to act.