Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyer
Being attacked by a seemingly sweet pooch can be a terrifying event. If you’ve been injured in a canine attack and need help determining what steps you should take to recover the damages you’ve suffered, call an Indianapolis dog bite attorney today.
Animals are unpredictable by nature. We can’t expect them to be able to control their emotions—they often act on impulse. We can, however, expect pet owners to take responsibility for their pets by ensuring the safety of those who encounter them in public spaces.
When the owner of a dog has failed to make sure that his or her pet is under control, and the dog bites an innocent passerby like yourself, the owner should be held accountable for this negligence. At Kooi Law, we have extensive experience handling dog bite claims. An Indianapolis dog bite lawyer from our firm can help you obtain full compensation for your losses.
Strict Liability of the Owner
Strict liability means that it will not matter if the dog has never displayed any signs of aggressive behavior; the dog owner will be found liable for the injuries caused by the dog’s bite. In Indiana, this law applies only to officials like police officers, post office workers, or any other person who has encountered the dog through a legal or professional obligation.
If you were working when you were bitten by a dog in Indianapolis, your lawyer can help you build a strong claim for full and fair compensation.
The ‘One Bite’ Rule
Although strict liability laws apply to workers on official business, the “one bite” rule generally applies to the public. This means that, in order for the dog’s owner to be held liable for your injuries, the owner had to have known that the dog had bitten someone in the past or was likely to act aggressively.
If we are able to establish that the owner knew of this risk to the public and failed to act reasonably to prevent the dog from being aggressive or biting people it came into contact with, we can make a good case for why you deserve maximum compensation for your injuries.
It’s likely that the dog owner and his or her attorney will attempt to place blame on you for the attack. Due to Indiana’s modified comparative negligence laws, the amount the other side will be required to pay you can be reduced if you contributed in some way to your injuries (e.g., you provoked the dog or were trespassing on the owner’s property).
For instance, if your child was in a park and approached the dog in an attempt to pet it without the owner’s permission and was bitten, you could be held partially responsible for your child’s bite. If you were awarded, for instance, $5,000 and were 20 percent to blame, you would be able to collect $4,000 of your winnings. Your 20 percent of the blame is subtracted from the award total in that example.
What Damages You Can Sue For
When we begin compiling the information for your Indianapolis dog bite claim, we will go over the damages you’ll be seeking and how much you can hope to recover. First and foremost, you will be able to sue for the medical expenses you incurred as a result of your injuries. This could include the costs of your hospital stay, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and copays.
In addition to your medical care, you should also be compensated for any income you lost from having to take time off of work or, if the bite was particularly severe, because you became temporarily or permanently disabled and therefore unable to return to work for a significant amount of time.
Equally as impactful are the emotional effects of a dog bite injury. Many victims in Indianapolis suffer from debilitating PTSD and anxiety when they come into contact with a dog following a vicious canine attack—and that’s not to mention the physical pain the victim is forced to experience.
Speak with an Indianapolis Dog Bite Attorney
A dog bite can have lasting effects on your life. Not only could you be forced to endure disfiguring injuries and be burdened by hefty medical bills, you could be left with a serious, traumatizing fear of dogs forever. If the carelessness of a dog owner has caused you to suffer an injury and you are prepared to move forward with a personal injury claim, contact us today.
Working with a qualified Indianapolis dog bite lawyer at Kooi Law can offer you a good chance at securing a complete compensation award that can cover the full extent of your damages. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by filling out the contact form at the bottom of the page or giving us a call at (317) 569-1335.