top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Animal Attack Laws: What Is the Dog Bite Law in Indiana?

Animal attacks can be traumatic experiences for the victims, affecting them physically, mentally, and financially. Those who suffer from dog bites in Indiana need to understand the applicable laws and regulations to determine the liability and protect their rights.

Navigating the dog bite laws in Indiana can be complex. However, the legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has the expertise and knowledge to guide victims and help them pursue the compensation they deserve. They can answer questions like, "What if I disagree with a motorcycle accident claim"

Dog Bite Statistics in Indiana

Dog Bite Statistics in Indiana

According to the 2022 data published by State Farm, Indiana is one of the top 10 states with the highest number of dog bite incidents in the country. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can give more information on breed specific dog laws in Indiana.

In 2021, there were 100 claims against the insurance company, which paid out an estimated $5.4 million in damages. This number increased to 110 complaints, totaling $7.4 million.

What Is the Dog Bite Law in Indiana?

The dog bite law in Indiana can be confusing because the state follows two different principles depending on the circumstances of the incident.

Indiana adheres to a legal principle known as a strict liability when it comes to dog bite cases involving government employees and postal workers. Under this rule, the law holds dog owners responsible for any damages caused, regardless of whether:

  • They had a previous recollection of their dog's vicious behaviors, or

  • The dog acted viciously in the past.

However, the court follows the "one-bite" rule for all other dog bite victims. Under this principle, the owner receives a "get-out-of-trouble" free card if their pet attacks an individual for the first time.

Instead of imposing strict liability on the defendant, under the one-bite rule, the plaintiff must prove that the dog owner knew about their animal's vicious propensities or that there were previous incidents involving the same dog.

Due to the complicated nature of the Indiana dog bite laws, it is crucial for victims to reach out to Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a case evaluation. Their legal team can help investigate the incident and hold the negligent dog owners responsible for the damages.

What Are the Defenses Against Dog Bite Claims?

In cases where the victims prove that the dog owners were aware of their pet's dangerous nature, the defendants have several defenses they can use to minimize or eliminate their liability. These include the following:

The Lack of Provocation

Under this defense, the defendant can argue that the plaintiff's actions or behavior incited the dog's aggressive response. Due to the comparative negligence rule followed in the state, this defense could shift some or all of the blame to the claimant.

Trespassing on the Dog Owner's Property

If the claimant was trespassing on the dog owner's property where the dog bite occurred, the defendant may argue that they are not liable for the damages caused due to the plaintiff's unlawful presence.

The Lack of Knowledge

If the defendant was unaware of their dog's aggressive tendencies or previous incidents of biting, they could provide evidence of it in court. Under Indiana's dog bite laws, they could avoid liability for the incident if they successfully demonstrate a lack of knowledge.

Whether it's asserting trespassing or the lack of knowledge, defendants can argue the case in Indiana's courts to reduce or eliminate liability.

It is important for accident victims to contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to navigate the intricate legal landscape and hold the responsible parties liable for the damages.

Dog Bite Statute of Limitations in Indiana

When filing a dog bite lawsuit, it is crucial to understand the statute of limitations. This refers to the time limits mentioned in the law, within which the injured victim must pursue legal action against the negligent party.

If the dog bite victim fails to file a claim within the specified time limit, they will lose the right to seek compensation.

Under the state's statute of limitations, injured victims have two years from the date of their dog bite injuries to pursue legal action. It's crucial for the claimants to take timely action to protect their legal interests and strengthen their case.

What Is the Process of Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Indiana?

When a dog bites a person in Indiana, it is important to follow the steps below to protect their personal injury case:

Seek Medical Attention

After suffering a dog bite injury, the victims must seek immediate medical attention. This prevents further complications from the animal bites and helps protect their case.

Gather Evidence

It is important to collect as much evidence as possible. Victims should photograph their injuries from the animal bites, maintain medical records, reach out to witnesses for statements, and obtain any documentation related to the dog's ownership or prior aggressive behavior.

Consult an Attorney

Since navigating the laws and proving Indiana dog bite cases can be challenging, the injured victims must contact experienced lawyers.

The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can assess the merits of the victim's case, provide legal guidance, and protect their rights throughout the Indiana dog bite claim process.

Filing the Claim or Dog Bite Lawsuit

An experienced dog bite lawyer in Indiana can help prepare the necessary legal documents and file the claim or lawsuit in the appropriate court. They will also serve the documentation to the defendant (the dog's owner) to initiate the legal proceedings.

What Are the Recoverable Damages in a Dog Bite Case in Indiana?

What Are the Recoverable Damages in a Dog Bite Case in Indiana?

Animal bites can adversely affect the victims and their families physically, financially, and emotionally. Pursuing compensatory damages is essential to address these impacts.

There are two main types of damages an injured victim can recover following their Indiana dog bite incident:

  1. Economic damages: These aim to reimburse the victim for tangible financial losses incurred due to the dog bite. Medical expenses, lost income, and property damages are the three main categories of economic damages. Medical expenses may include hospital bills, rehabilitation, therapy, prescription medication, and more.

  2. Non-Economic damages: These types of damages compensate the dog bite victims for intangible losses that are not easily quantifiable. They may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life, among others.

Besides compensatory damages, the court may also award punitive damages depending on the facts surrounding the case. These intend to punish the dog owner and deter others from carrying out similar acts of negligence in the future.

Victims of Dog Bites in Indiana Can Schedule a Free Consultation with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys!

Those suffering from dog bites in Indiana should contact them for a free consultation with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They can investigate the accident and hold the dog owner liable for the damages caused.


bottom of page