Do Hospitals Report Dog Bites in Indiana? | A Look at Indiana Dog Bite Laws
In the USA, dogs are the most popular choice for a family pet, with over 65 million households owning at least one dog. It is, therefore, no wonder that dog bites or attacks account for around 1,000 emergency room visits every day.
In most cases, dogs are lovable animals that are not prone to biting humans. However, in extreme circumstances, or if the dog owner is negligent, dog bites do happen.
Depending on the number and size of the dogs involved in the attack, dog bites can be quite serious, or even fatal.
Indiana dog bite laws are there to protect the rights of the victim of a dog bite injury. With the help of good dog bite attorneys, victims can launch a personal injury claim against the dog owner and recover damages related to the dog bite.
What Happens After Being Bitten by a Dog?
In Indiana, dog bite laws make it mandatory to report all cases to the local health department. This means the first thing a dog owner and the victim of the dog bite must do is visit the hospital, where they will be asked to fill out an Animal Bites Report form, also called form 14072.
This form will help establish the following about the dog bite incident:
Whether the dog was roaming the streets or confined to private property.
If this is the first time the dog has bitten someone.
Whether the dog received its rabies vaccination.
The severity of the injuries caused by the dog bite, for example, minor, moderate, or severe punctures.
Indiana's Dog Bite Laws: The One Bite Rule
Indiana dog bite laws are based on the "one bite rule." According to this rule, dog owners can only be liable for damages due to dog bite injuries if the owner was aware that the dog was likely to bite someone.
In other words, if it is the first time the dog has bitten or attacked another person without provocation, it will be very difficult to prove criminal liability in a personal injury lawsuit.
To establish liability, the lawyer will have to prove that the dog's owner:
Recklessly violates the victim's rights by failing to prevent the dog bite from occurring,
Knew the dog was likely to bite or exhibit aggressive behavior, or
Intentionally allowed the dog bite to occur.
However, when it comes to cases involving a local police officer or other government workers, Indiana dog bite laws follow strict liability rules.
This means the dog owner will be held liable if the person bitten by a dog was:
Required to be in that place to discharge duties assigned to them by state law, for example, postal workers or police officers.
Acting peaceably when they were attacked by the dog.
Do Hospitals Have to Report a Dog Bite Injury?
In Indiana, doctors or other healthcare workers at the hospital treating the dog bite victim are required to report the injury within 72 hours.
This law was created after it was established that after a dog bites or attacks another person without being provoked, it is likely to do so again.
Considering that there were 40 fatalities related to dog bites in the US in 2020 alone, it is clear that reporting all dog bite cases to the authorities is very important. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can give more information about what the one bite rule in Indiana is.
Another important factor to consider is that infected dogs can pass on rabies to other animals or humans. Although less than three cases of rabies are reported annually in the US, the severity of the disease makes it very important to report any cases of dog bites immediately.
Other benefits of reporting an animal bite early are:
Establishing that the victim was injured in case the dog's owner says otherwise.
Detailing the circumstances leading up to the dog attack while the details are still fresh.
Receiving the required medical treatment early.
Procedure for Reporting Animal Bites in Indiana
To increase the chances of launching a successful personal injury claim against the dog's owner, the victim needs to follow the right procedure for reporting dog bites, which is as follows:
Write a complete statement about the dog bite.
Provide contact information, such as name, address, and phone number.
Give relevant details about the dog, such as breed, color, and whether the rabies vaccinations are up to date.
The dog owner will also be required to provide this information. However, it is their right to refuse to do this if they feel it can help them avoid liability.
Common Defenses by Dog Owners
In a personal injury case involving a dog bite, the dog's owner may try several ways to avoid being held liable and paying damages.
Usually, the following are the most common defenses used by dog owners:
The victim was bitten while trespassing unlawfully on private property.
Victims were responsible for provoking the dog into attacking.
This was the first time the dog has bitten or attacked anyone.
The victim was attacked but not bitten.
Indiana Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can give more insight on questions like, "What is the statute of limitations for dog bite in Indiana?" If serious bodily injury is caused to a victim of a dog bite after the owner recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly allows the attack to happen, the owner can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and be liable for damages.
However, the victim must report the dog bite within 72 hours. If they plan to file a personal injury claim, this must be done within two years from the date of the dog bite.
Damages the Person Bitten by a Dog Can Claim
Victims of dog bites in Indiana are entitled to receive the following damages:
Pain and suffering
Loss of future earning potential
How a Good an Attorney Can Assist a Dog Bite Victim
Do hospitals report dog bites in Indiana? The answer is yes; doctors are required to report all dog bites within 72 hours. After this is done, a good lawyer can help the victim to fight for their rights and receive the compensation they deserve.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have been going to war for victims of dog bites in Indiana for many years.
Scheduling a free consultation with the state's top-rated attorneys is easy. Victims can simply call and make their booking.