What to Do If You're Bitten by a Dog in Indiana

Have you been bitten by a dog and suffered severe injuries? Are you wondering whether you have any legal recourse which would allow you to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and the other losses associated with your injuries? If you are unsure about your rights after being bitten by a dog in the state of Indiana, our firm is here to provide you with some of the answers you need.

Following a dog bite, you may not know whom to turn to for help. A dog bite can lead to physical, emotional, and psychological harm, along with a host of financial damages. In a worst case scenario, a dog bite can leave a person living with permanent scars or even struggling to recover from life-threatening injuries. Understanding your rights will help you to take the right action to pursue full compensation.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

The first step to take after a vicious dog attack is to get medical attention. If emergency treatment is required, call 911 or go to the emergency room. While minor injuries can often be treated at home, serious infections or the threat of rabies is a real issue in any dog bite, and it is critical that you have your injuries assessed by a qualified medical professional.

Next, contact the police or animal control to report the attack. Provide as much information as possible including, but not limited to:

  • Owner’s name
  • Owner’s address
  • Dog’s name
  • Who had custody of the dog when it bit you
  • Breed of dog
  • When and where the attack took place
  • If the dog has a known history of aggression
  • If the attack was provoked
  • Whether the owner took steps to prevent the attack
  • Names of people who witnessed the attack, if there were any

Take pictures of the wounds so this evidence can be provided as part of your official report and for insurance claim purposes. Your medical records and documented treatment will also be a key factor in your claim.

Your next step is to contact a skilled dog bite attorney to find out if you may have grounds to file a claim. In some instances, the victim of a dog bite could be contacted by the owner’s insurance company in an attempt to negotiate a fast settlement. Never agree to such an offer or sign any documents until you have had a chance to speak with a dog bite attorney. Taking action without the help of legal counsel is risky and could lead to little or no compensation being paid.

Dog Bite Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year, an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Hundreds of thousands of dog bite victims sustain injuries severe enough to require medical attention, and one in five bites become infected.

Those most at risk of being bitten are children, particularly those between the ages of five and nine. Men are also more likely to be bitten by a dog than women.

Indiana Dog Bite Laws

Under Title 15, Article 20, Chapter 1, Section 3 of theIndiana Code (IC), strict liability will be imposed in any dog bite case in which a post office worker, government official, or other individual who is bitten while lawfully performing his or her duties on the dog owner’s property.

As Indiana has no specific dangerous dog statutes, other dog bite victims will be required to prove negligence before an owner can be held liable for any injuries. In these cases, if the dog has previously exhibited vicious tendencies (even if it never bit anyone), the owner can be held liable as long as he or she failed to control the dog or take reasonable steps to prevent the attack.

Legal Assistance for Indiana Dog Bite Victims

Our attorneys do not believe that dog bite victims should be forced to pay out-of-pocket for injuries they endured due to no fault of their own. Dog owners must be held liable when their dogs injure innocent people. Contact Jacobs Law right away if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Indiana. We are committed to pursuing the maximum compensation in dog bite cases, so call us now.