top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

How to File a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite in Indiana | Schuerger Shunnarah

Picture someone out for a stroll in the neighborhood, enjoying the crisp air and sunshine. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a dog lunges and sinks its teeth into their leg. 


The pain is excruciating, and while reeling from the shock, they realize they've become a victim of a dog bite incident.


In such a moment, confusion and fear may overwhelm the sufferer, but it's crucial to know that victims are not alone. There are legal steps they can take to seek justice and compensation for their dog attack injuries.


Step 1: Seeking Immediate Medical Attention 

Step 1: Seeking Immediate Medical Attention 


The immediate aftermath of a dog bite can be chaotic and distressing. Naturally, the pain, shock, and fear can cloud a person's judgment.  


However, even seemingly minor dog bites can lead to serious infections and complications if left untreated. 


After getting a dog bite, the first course of action should always be to tend to the injury and seek medical attention immediately. 


Victims should cleanse the wound thoroughly with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.  Afterward, they must apply pressure to stop any bleeding and cover the wound with a sterile bandage. However, it's crucial to remember that these initial measures do not substitute for professional medical care.


Regardless of the severity of the dog bite injury, seeking medical attention from a qualified healthcare provider is essential.


They can assess the extent of the damage, administer necessary treatments such as antibiotics or tetanus shots, and document the injury for legal purposes. Plus, according to personal injury law, an Indiana dog bite lawyer can use official medical bills against the dog's owner if the case goes to trial. They also have insight on how to file a lawsuit for slip and fall in Indiana.


Step 2: Exchanging Contact Information 


After receiving medical attention, it's essential to gather information from the dog owner or any witnesses to the incident.


Personal injury victims must exchange contact information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.


This information will be invaluable in the event they need to file an Indiana dog bite lawsuit or personal injury claim.


If possible, claimants must also get the dog owner's insurance information as well. Many homeowners' insurance policies include coverage for dog bite injuries, which can help pay off medical expenses and other damages resulting from the incident. 


However, not all policies cover such incidents, so it's essential to verify the coverage with the insurance company.


Step 3: Getting a Dog Bite Insurance Coverage 


In Indiana, as in many other states, dog owners may be held liable for injuries caused by their pets under the state's "one bite rule" or if the owner knew or should have known about the dog's aggressive tendencies.


If the dog owner has a specific personal injury insurance coverage, victims may be able to file a claim with their insurance company to seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.


A knowledgeable dog bite attorney can make all the difference. They understand Indiana dog bite laws, thus ensuring clients receive fair compensation for their physical and emotional losses. They also have information on how to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in Indiana.


Step 4: Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit 


The victim may need to pursue further legal action by filing a dog bite claim if negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful or if the dog's owner does not have insurance coverage.


According to Indiana dog bite rules, claimants have two years from the injury date to file a lawsuit. Victims will need to gather evidence to support their claim, including witness statements, medical records, photographs of the scene and their injuries, and any other relevant paper.


Collecting everything mentioned above while recovering from a dog attack isn't always possible. In this event, a dog-bite lawyer can build the case while the victim heals.


What Is Indiana's One-bite Rule? 


The Hoosier State follows what is commonly known as the "one-bite rule." 


It essentially says that a dog owner is not automatically liable in a dog bite case unless they are aware of the animal's propensity to bite or have prior knowledge of its aggressive behavior. 


In other words, the owner may be held accountable for their dog's aggressive behavior if they knew or should have known that the pet posed a risk of biting someone. However, the one-bite rule does not absolve dog owners of all responsibility. 


Even if it's the first time the dog has bitten someone, the owner may still be liable if they were negligent in controlling their pet or failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the dog attack.


Is It Possible to Blame the Owner for All Dog Bites?


Dog bite cases can be terrifying experiences. In the aftermath of such incidents, it's natural to seek accountability and justice. On the surface, it may seem easy to determine liability. However, the reality is far from simple. For more information, a dog bite attorney in Indianapolis may be able to help.


The dog's owner may argue that they had no reason to believe their pet was capable of aggression, especially if the animal has never exhibited such behavior before. 


Additionally, proving that the owner had prior knowledge of the dog's aggressive tendencies can be challenging.


While the one-bite rule may provide some protection for owners in certain circumstances, it's not a blanket immunity from liability. 


This duty of care extends beyond just preventing dog bites—it also includes ensuring the animal is properly restrained, supervised, and trained to behave appropriately in various situations.


In some cases, owners may be subject to strict liability for dog bite wounds. Thus, regardless of negligence, they can be held responsible in a dog bite case for any harm caused by their pet.


When Is a Dog Owner Not Responsible for an Attack? 


Dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend," but unfortunately, even the most beloved pets can sometimes exhibit aggressive behavior. Animals, like humans, can sometimes react aggressively when they feel threatened or provoked. 


Provocation

If a person intentionally engages in behavior that incites aggression, the owner may not be held liable for any resulting injuries. 


In such events, it's challenging for victims to recover maximum compensation from dog bite insurance claims.


Trespassing 

On the other hand, if someone enters a dog owner's property without permission and is subsequently bitten by the hound, the owner may not be held responsible for the attack.


How Long Does It Take for Dog Bite Injuries to Heal? 

How Long Does It Take for Dog Bite Injuries to Heal? 


While some wounds may appear superficial, the extent of damage caused by a dog bite can vary widely. It can depend on factors like the size and breed of the animal, the severity of the bite, and the location of the injury.


Deep puncture wounds or injuries to sensitive areas such as the face or hands may take longer to heal and may leave lasting scars. Victims may take anywhere between a week to several months to fully recover. 


Final Words 


It may not be possible to blame every owner for all dog bites. However, there are legal means in place to hold negligent owners accountable for their pet's actions. 


Victims shouldn't hesitate to reach out to Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. Stating, "We Go to War for You," its lawyers work on their client's behalf to protect their rights against all odds.

Comments


bottom of page