We consider dogs man’s best friend, but unfortunately, some dogs can cause significant harm. It’s the dog owner’s responsibility to control their dogs and remain aware of their dog’s behavior at all times. If a dog bites you and leaves you with significant injuries, it’s possible to hold the dog owner liable for your damages.
At Kooi Law, we’re familiar with Indiana’s dog bite laws. An Indianapolis personal injury lawyer can assess your situation and determine liability based on whether the dog owner was negligent. Aside from a civil lawsuit, a dog owner may also face criminal charges depending on the severity of the case. If a dog has hurt you, our team will do our best to hold the appropriate parties accountable.
The One-Bite Rule in Indiana
Indiana allows dog bite victims to sue dog owners for damages; however, the state stands by the one-bite rule. The one-bite rule relieves dog owners of liability if the dog owner can prove that they had no knowledge of their dog being violent or aggressive.
To negate the one-bite rule, you can work to prove that the dog owner knew their dog was previously aggressive. Witness testimonies may show that the dog had previously bitten other dogs or fought with other dogs in public. If the dog owner knew their dog was aggressive and didn’t take proper action to prevent their dog from biting, they can be liable.
Proving Negligence Against a Dog Owner
There are many ways to prove negligence against a dog owner, regardless of the one-bite rule. Proving negligence will depend on the specific situation in which your dog bite occurred. For example, if a dog bit you because the dog was off-leash in a leash-only area, you can prove the dog owner’s negligence by explaining where the incident took place and the laws surrounding that area.
If a dog bit you on your own property because the dog owner allowed their dog to get out of the fence, then the dog owner has displayed negligence by failing to keep their dog confined to their property. Your personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis can assist you with proving negligence by using details from your attack.
When a Dog Owner Can Be Criminally Liable
A dog owner can be criminally liable for a dog bite incident in Indiana if the cops prove that the dog owner is grossly negligent for the incident in question.
If a dog attacks a victim on their own property or if a dog owner doesn’t restrain their dog and the dog bites someone, then the canine owner can be charged with a misdemeanor. If the dog bite results in someone’s death, then the dog owner can be charged with a felony.
Contact an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a dog, it’s crucial to hold its owner accountable if you hope to recover compensation for your damages. To speak with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer from Kooi Law about your case, fill out the contact form below or call 317-569-1335 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.