Lafayette IN Dog Bite Lawyer
Having a dog attack you is terrifying. Unfortunately, a visit to the ER does not bring as much reassurance as you would hope because dogs’ mouths are so full of all kinds of potent bacteria. Wounds that would normally be stitched often are not because doctors fear increasing the risk of infection. Even a small bite can result in a serious infection requiring repeated surgeries. Statistically, most dog bite victims are children. Whether you are an adult or child the emotional, physical, and financial impact of a dog bite can be significant. If you or a loved one has been wounded by a dog, it’s important to know your legal rights. The attorneys at the Hall-Justice Law Firm are here to help.
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
The lawyer for the person who is bitten has the burden of proving more likely than not that the dog owner or apartment complex owner, etc. was negligent. Some wounded people fall under special categories which do not require proof of that for the bite, but the more likely than not standard of proof applies to other elements of the claim.
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 owner 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 cities of Lafayette or West Lafayette have breed-specific bans, a jury 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 the Hall-Justice Law Firm, we carefully investigate dog bite claims, looking for evidence of past aggression and behavioral problems. To assess these legally complex claims, 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 their injuries in Indiana. If the insurance company or the dog owner alleges that you or a loved one were trespassing, contact a 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 requires dog owners to use a leash when they walk their dogs, as does the city of West Lafayette. If a dog owner ignores these rules and his pet bites you or a loved one, the violation may 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 best to consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. You can be sure that the insurance company will begin preparing a defense to any claim immediately. A lawyer can help you understand the law as it applies to the facts of your case and and make sure that your rights are protected. Contact the 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 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 the person’s name, address, and other contact information
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses
- Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer.
Sometimes, a dog owner will plead with you not to call 911. If there is no proof that the dog has had its rabies vaccine 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 best to consult with a dog bite lawyer at the Hall-Justice Law Firm. Our team of attorneys guide 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!