Lafayette IN Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog bite is traumatizing in many ways. Since dogs’ mouths contain so much bacteria, wounds often become infected and require repeated surgeries. Statistically, most dog bite victims are children. The emotional, physical, and financial impact of a dog bite can be significant for the victim and their family. If you or a loved one suffered dog bite injuries, it’s important to know your legal rights. The people at Hall-Justice Law Firm are here to help. Call today to speak to a Lafayette IN dog bite lawyer.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite?
While dog owners have a duty to protect people from bites and attacks, they’re not the only ones who can be held liable for a dog bite injury. In Indiana, you might have a dog bite claim against negligent:
- Dog owners
- Landlords who are aware of a tenant’s dangerous or aggressive dog
- Facilities that are caring for and controlling a dog, such as a veterinarian, groomer, kennel, or dog daycare
Unless you’re a postal carrier, police officer, or other government official, you’ll have to prove that the defendant was negligent.
Sometimes, this is referred to as the “One Bite” rule. However, you don’t have to have evidence of a previous bite to recover damages. Instead, you must show the following:
- The owners knew of the dog’s aggressive tendencies
- They failed to protect people from the dog’s aggression
- You suffered damages due to the dog bite
While neither the state of Indiana nor the city of Lafayette or West Lafayette have breed-specific bans, juries will sometimes take a dog’s breed or training into consideration when assessing an owner’s negligence. All dogs carry some danger, but certain types of dogs require more monitoring and caution than others.
At Hall-Justice Law Firm, we carefully investigate dog bite claims, looking for evidence of past aggression and behavioral problems. If you need help assessing your claim, request an appointment with a dog bite lawyer at our office.
Dog Owners Are Responsible for Bites on Both Private and Public Property
Whether a dog owner is at a dog park, taking a walk, or at home, that person has a duty to protect you from an aggressive animal. However, sometimes a dog owner will argue that you were trespassing. Typically, a trespasser is not entitled to compensation for his injuries in Indiana. If the insurance company or the dog owner alleges that you or a loved one were trespassing, contact a Lafayette IN dog bite lawyer for advice. A lawyer can assess the unique circumstances surrounding your claim and determine whether trespassing is a valid defense.
What If My Community Has a Leash Law?
Many cities and communities impose leash laws. These laws require all dogs to be restrained while outside. For example, the city of Lafayette and the city of West Lafayette require dog owners to use a leash when they walk their dogs. If dog owners ignore these rules and their pet bites you or a loved one, the violation might be powerful evidence in your claim.
In Indiana, when someone violates a law or ordinance, it is considered negligence per se. In these cases, you do not have to prove that the owner had a duty to protect you. Instead, you only must show that the owner violated the leash law or other ordinance and you suffered damages.
While this might sound simple, all dog bite claims are nuanced and complicated. It’s always in your best interest to consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer before you are questioned by an insurance adjuster who insures the defendant. A lawyer can help you fully understand the extent of your damages and the legal process. Contact Hall-Justice Law Firm today for your free consultation.
Is an Electronic Pet Containment System Enough?
Many homeowners and housing developments prefer “invisible” dog containment systems. Rather than a physical fence, these system deliver a brief shock to a dog if they attempt to leave a yard. These systems are imperfect, at best. For example:
- Electronic pet containment systems do not stop children and other vulnerable individuals from entering a yard with a dangerous dog
- The shock does not deter all dogs from leaving the yard, even with training
- Dog owners must regularly check their system’s maintenance and collar batteries
If you or a loved one were injured by a dog behind an electronic fence, you still might have a claim for compensation. Contact a dog bite lawyer at Hall-Justice Law Firm for more information and a complimentary evaluation.
What Should I Do If I’m Bitten by a Dog?
It’s important to get prompt attention for a dog bite. No matter the breed, dogs exert a lot of force and pressure during a bite. The trauma can cause serious injuries, including infection, broken bones, lacerations, and nerve damage. In the most serious cases, a dog bite victim can face life-threatening injuries and disfigurement.
After a dog bite, you or your loved one should take the following steps:
- Call 911 or animal control and report the incident
- Cooperate fully with the police or animal control investigation
- Seek appropriate medical care
- Take pictures of the dog bite and the scene of the bite
- Obtain information from the dog owner, including their name, address, and other contact information
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses
- Contact an experienced Lafayette IN dog bite Attorney.
Sometimes, a dog owner will plead with you not to call 911. Some communities require a dog to go into quarantine after biting someone. However, it’s always in your best interest to call the authorities after a serious dog bite. Your report will serve as valuable evidence in your dog bite claim — and it might protect other people from harm.
Request a Consultation With a Dog Bite Lawyer
After an attack, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Lafayette IN dog bite lawyer at Hall-Justice Law Firm. Our team guides victims through the complicated and emotionally-charged process of filing a claim and getting the compensation they deserve. If you’re ready to learn more about our approach to dog bites and our dedication to our clients, request a free, no-risk consultation today!