Plainfield Dog Bite Lawyer
Like many other states, Indiana adheres to the “one bite” rule when determining whether a dog’s owner is liable for injuries inflicted by a particular animal. Typically, the application of this rule means that a dog’s owner can only be held civilly responsible for an injury inflicted by his or her animal when that individual knew or should have known that the dog was likely to act aggressively or to bite someone. Whether or not an owner had this knowledge can be difficult to prove, making it especially important for dog bite victims to contact an experienced Plainfield dog bite lawyer who can help them build a strong case.
The One Bite Rule
Indiana’s adherence to the one bite rule means that dog bite victims can generally only recover compensation from an animal’s owner if they can prove that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that his or her animal was aggressive and a risk to others. Prior knowledge of this type of aggression can be shown in a number of different ways, including by providing proof that a dog had bitten someone else on another occasion, or had acted aggressively towards another person or animal.
The one bite rule does not, however, apply to certain individuals, including U.S. postal carriers, police officers, and other government officials who are attacked while carrying out their official duties. In cases where these individuals are injured, victims will not need to provide proof that the animal had bitten someone on a prior occasion in order to recover compensation, as the dog’s owner can be held strictly liable for resulting damages.
Although most dog bite cases are decided by applying the one bite rule, Indiana courts have also held that animals aren’t always entitled to a free bite before their owners can be held liable for negligence. Instead, dog owners are expected to use reasonable care to keep their animals under control, even if they don’t suspect that a dog is vicious, so if they fail to do so, they can often be held civilly liable for resulting injuries. For instance, Indiana judges have held dog owners liable when their animals bite a child for whom the owner was responsible, even if the dog had never exhibited a tendency towards aggression.
In fact, if an injured party can prove that a dog owner violated an animal control ordinance, he or she won’t need to provide additional proof of negligence. If, for instance, a city law required dog owners to leash their animals while in public parks and an owner failed to do so, he or she could be held liable for damages if that failure resulted in an injury.
Do You Need Help Recovering Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injury?
If you were bitten by someone else’s dog, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Please call 317-455-4043 or send us an online message to speak with the experienced Plainfield dog bite lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP about your legal options. A member of our legal team is standing by to address your questions and concerns.