If you suffered an injury due to a dog bite in West Lafayette, you may have a viable claim for monetary compensation. You may be able to hold the owner of the dog liable for your injuries by pursuing a civil claim or lawsuit. If successful, you could recoup the cost of your medical care and recover other damages related to the attack.
If you are living with the consequences of a dog bite, let the team at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. help. A West Lafayette dog bite lawyer from our firm can help you build your dog bite claim or lawsuit and is ready to assist you with your case.
You May Be Able to Recover Your Damages Through a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages related to your dog bite injuries, such as:
- Costs for medical treatment for your injuries
- Out-of-pocket costs, such as for prescription medicines, first aid bandages, and medical support devices (e.g., crutches)
- Loss of joy in hobbies or activities you enjoyed before the dog bite attack (e.g., running or jogging)
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma from the attack
- Loss of income if your injuries prevented you from working
- Reduced earning potential if your injuries limit your working abilities
Our Law Firm Solely Practices Personal Injury Law
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. is a personal injury law firm. We focus on advocating for the injured while helping them get the compensation they need. There can be significant benefits to hiring a West Lafayette dog bite lawyer from our team. These benefits include:
- We can review your case for free and see how you can build a case against a liable party.
- We can investigate the dog bite attack and gather evidence to support your case.
- We can calculate the value of your damages so that you know how much compensation to pursue.
- We can represent you when negotiating a settlement or presenting your case in court and fight on your behalf.
- We can use our experience with communicating with insurance companies to make statements on your behalf.
We look forward to putting that knowledge to good use during your dog bite claim.
Indiana Abides by a “One Bite Rule” When Determining Liability
When determining liability for a dog attack, Indiana uses a legal theory known as the “one bite rule.” This is also commonly referred to as the negligence standard. Under IN § 5-20-1-3, a dog owner is only responsible for the damages caused by their animal when they knew (or should have known) that their dog was dangerous prior to the attack.
This is referred to as the “one bite rule” for a simple reason. The strongest evidence that a dog owner should have known their dog was dangerous is in cases where they attacked someone previously. In other words, every dog has one “free” bite before their owners are typically on the hook for any injuries they cause.
Dog Owners Can Still be Held Liable for Their Pets’ Actions
It is important to understand that there is no firm requirement that the dog owner knew of a previous bite. A dog could be considered dangerous if they were overly aggressive or if the animal was off its leash in violation of a local leash law.
Any attack that could have been prevented by the dog owner taking reasonable steps to secure their animal could lead to a viable claim for compensation.
Special Rules for Mail Carriers and Other Officials
There is a specific exception under Indiana law that provides certain individuals an easier path to pursue compensation for a dog bite.
This option only applies to circumstances where a dog bites a civil servant during the course of their duty. This could apply to anyone from mail carriers to police officers who are employed by state or federal entities, including the U.S. Postal Service.
Unlike with most dog bite victims, these individuals need only to prove that:
- They were bitten by a dog that they were not provoking.
- The bite occurred in a place they were required to be to carry out their legal duty.
In these cases, a dog owner could face civil liability even if their animal never exhibited signs of aggression. This is known as a strict liability standard.
Unfortunately, this standard is only available through this limited exception in the law. All other prospective claimants must pursue an injury claim through the negligence standard described previously.
We Can Help You Fight for Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries
Recovering from a dog bite injury can be a long and painful process. Financial compensation from the dog’s owner could simplify this process by covering your medical costs and paying for your other damages, including your pain and suffering or lost wages.
You could have a limited time to take legal action, as explained by IC § 34-11-2-4.
Let the team at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. help you build your dog bite case. To learn about working with a West Lafayette dog bite lawyer, call (317) 636-7777.