Dogs are amazing creatures capable of love, loyalty, affection and protection. A well-trained dog can be an asset to any home.
Dogs, like humans, are also capable of violent, vicious behavior. A bite from a dog can cause injuries that need medical attention.
Who is responsible?
Most of the responsibility for dog bites falls to the dog owner. Dog owners must train their dogs how to behave, even on their own premises. Dogs should be on a leash or restrained by a fence. According to Indiana law, a dog owner is responsible for the injuries if their dog bites a person without provocation in a location where the dog owner has a clear duty of care, such as their property. However, the bitten person must have been legally present by invitation or while carrying out job duties, such as a mailman.
What is the one-bite rule?
Indiana is one of a handful of states in the country that does not hold dog owners responsible or liable for injuries if it is the first time the dog bites.
What if a dog bites a government official?
The one-bite rule does not apply if the injured person is a government worker carrying out their duties. In other words, if a dog bites the mailman, the dog owner is responsible, even if the dog has no history of biting.
Outside of the one-bite rule, dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dog even if they had no idea the animal had previous dangerous or vicious behavior. People bitten by dogs have the right to pursue an injury or negligence claim against the dog owner to help cover medical costs for their injuries.