Under Indiana law, the owners of dogs can be held liable for injuries caused by their pets. It is important to understand the type of Indiana dog bite claim that is being brought because the requirements vary depending on several factors.
Indiana Code section 15-20-1-3 discusses a situation in which a mail carrier, police officer, or other person carrying out official business is bitten by a dog. Under section 15-20-1-3, the owner of a dog can be held strictly liable, meaning that there does not need to be a showing that they were in any way negligent. However, strict liability will not be appropriate if the victim provoked the dog or if they were in a place where they were not required to be in order to perform their legal duties.
While section 15-20-1-3 applies in some cases, situations are more common when an ordinary citizen is bitten by a dog, not necessarily while they are in the performance of official duties. In these situations, a dog bite victim may still be able to recover compensation for their injuries under a common-law theory of negligence. In Indiana, most dog bite cases rely on the one-bite rule, which allows for a dog bite victim to hold an animal’s owner liable for injuries caused by the dog when the victim can establish that the owner knew or should have known that the animal was dangerous.
An Indiana dog bite victim may be able to establish an owner’s knowledge of a pet’s dangerousness in several ways. Most commonly, this is done through evidence indicating that the owner was aware that the dog had attacked – or had tried to attack – someone in the past. There may be additional evidence of a dog’s aggressiveness, including reports to animal control made by neighbors.
In fact, in a recent appellate case, the plaintiff was able to present evidence that the dog in question was labeled as an “aggressive” and “dangerous” dog by an Animal Control Officer who had responded to the owner’s home on numerous occasions because of reports that the dog had acted aggressively toward others. The case presented another interesting issue in that both the dog’s owner as well as the homeowners who allowed the dog and his owner to live at their home were found liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Have You Been Bitten by a Dog?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of an Indiana dog bite or another type of animal attack, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Indiana personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse have extensive experience handling Indiana dog bite cases, as well as all other types of Indiana personal injury cases. To learn more about how we can help you recover for the injuries you have sustained, call 888-532-7766 to schedule your free consultation today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our assistance unless we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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