Indiana Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog bite can change your life forever. Depending on the severity of the attack, you may suffer scarring, broken bones, infections, or psychological effects, such as anxiety and depression. If you or a loved one have sustained a dog-bite injury, enlist the legal support of a personal injury lawyer from Stein Law in Indiana.
Dog bites can be painful and may lead to infection, disfigurement, psychological effects, or permanent disability. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, consult Stein Law’s Indiana personal injury lawyers to find out how much compensation you may be entitled to.
Knowledgeable, compassionate, and skillful, our lawyers have decades of combined experience in representing dog bite victims like you. We serve dog bite victims in New Albany, Louisville, Clarksville, and the surrounding areas of Southern Indiana and Northwestern Kentucky.
Call or text us today at 812-948-6000 to schedule a free consultation. You can also contact us by completing our online form.
What are common injuries from dog bites?
A dog’s jaws and teeth are powerful. Accordingly, dog bites can cause significant injury to your skin and soft tissues. Depending on how the attack unfolds, you may suffer any of the following injuries or complications:
- Skin lacerations
- Muscle tears
- Broken bones
- Injuries to major blood vessels and nerves
- Damage to your esophagus and windpipe
- Permanent disfigurement
- Psychological effects, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Infections caused by bacteria in the dog’s mouth
- Rabies, a preventable viral disease transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal
What compensation can you recover in a Dog Bite lawsuit in Indiana?
You can get compensation for economic, non-economic, and — in some cases — punitive damages for dog bite injuries that result in financial expenditures and a reduced quality of life, among other hardships.
Economic or special damages are measurable losses such as:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Loss of employment and business opportunities
- Loss of past, current, and future earnings
- Legal fees
Unlike economic damages, non-economic or general damages aren’t easily quantified, as they are meant to compensate you for the physical or emotional suffering caused by the dog bite.
Courts often award non-economic damages for the following:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain when performing activities that healthy people take for granted, such as driving to work or cooking dinner
- Physical and emotional pain, including anxiety, PTSD, and depression
Finally, punitive damages punish the dog owner for being extraordinarily negligent. Courts are unlikely to award punitive damages unless the dog owner knew their dog was dangerous but did nothing or very little to prevent an attack from happening.
Indiana Dog Bite Laws
Indiana’s dog-bite laws include a strict liability dog-bite statute and criminal laws. Some states
Dog Bite Liability
Indiana has a liability statute specifically for dog bites — Section 15-20-1-3 of the Indiana Code. According to this law, a dog owner can be found liable for injuries caused by their dog only if the victim is a police officer, mail carrier, or another individual performing their duties under federal law, state law, or U.S. postal regulations.
Some states have a common law “one-bite” rule, but this rule, which is based on judicial decisions in specific Indiana cases, doesn’t apply broadly to all dog-bite incidents.
For example, in the case of Hardsaw v. Courtney, 665 N.E.2d 603 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996), the Court of Appeals of Indiana stated that “animals are not necessarily entitled to one free bite before their owners may be held liable in negligence,” which was cited in a later dog-bite case.
In that case, the Court of Appeals of Indiana claimed that the question of “whether [dog] owners should be liable in negligence is a fact-sensitive issue to be resolved by the trier-of-fact on a case-by-case basis.”
Only an experienced dog-bite lawyer can navigate the intricacies of Indiana personal injury law and the case law in your jurisdiction. Reach out to Stein Law today to discuss the specifics of your case.
Criminal Laws for Indiana Dog Bites
A dog owner may also be criminally responsible for certain dog bite scenarios. Section 15-20-1-4 of the Indiana Code states that courts can convict an owner of a misdemeanor if:
- The dog’s owner knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally failed to take reasonable care to restrain the dog
- The dog goes onto another person’s property, and
- The dog attacks or bites someone without provocation because its owner failed to restrain the dog
If the injuries result in death, the owner may be convicted of a felony.
Who can I sue for a dog-bite injury?
In most cases, you would sue the dog’s owner for your dog bite injury. However, in Indiana, the term “owner” also refers to a person who keeps, possesses, or harbors a dog. Accordingly, you can potentially sue the following for your dog bite:
- Anyone who is keeping the dog on behalf of the owner: In Cook v. Sherman, 771 N.E.2d 1211 (Ind. Ct. App. 2022), the court ruled that “owner” can refer to anyone who is a “possessor, keeper, or harborer” of a dog, including a dog owner’s family and friends.
- The landlord of the dog owner: In Baker v. Weather ex rel. Weather, 714 N.E.2d 740 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999), the court ruled that dog bite victims can hold a landlord liable if the landlord exercised control over the property and the landlord knew about the dog’s vicious behavior.
What is the deadline for filing my Indiana
According to Indiana’s statute of limitations, a personal injury lawsuit, including those arising from dog and other animal bites, must be filed within two years of the event. If you miss this timeframe, the lawsuit for your dog attack cannot be filed. That’s why you should contact Stein Law’s Indiana dog bite lawyers as soon as possible.
Contact an Indiana Dog Bite Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, Stein Law’s dog bites lawyers can help you. Aggressive, driven, and tactful, our dog bite lawyers in Indiana have over 75 years of experience fighting for the rights of dog bite victims in Southern Indiana, Northwestern Kentucky, and the surrounding areas.
After you hire us to handle your case, our dog bite lawyers will fight for maximum compensation by:
- Thoroughly analyzing and building your case
- Gathering and preserving evidence, including photos, videos, and torn clothing
- Consulting with expert witnesses, including medical and dog behavior professionals
- Guiding you through the lawsuit process
- Drafting and filing all paperwork on time
- Seeking damages from all liable parties
- Defending you if others say you were responsible for the dog bite
- Communicating with insurance companies and the opposing side so you can focus on recovering and getting your life back together
- Entering negotiations armed with solid arguments, evidence, and facts
- Representing you in court
Interested to see how Stein Law can help you? Contact us today for a free case evaluation.