The Skilled Legal Help You Need After A Dog Bite Or Attack
Americans love dogs, and with good reason. Most are loving, loyal, well-behaved and friendly toward all they meet. Unfortunately, some dogs bite and attack unsuspecting victims, causing serious physical and psychological injuries. Sadly, many victims are children.
If you or your child have been bitten by someone else’s dog, it is important to understand your rights and legal options under Indiana law. The best way to do that is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Sachs & Hess P.C. We have been helping injury victims in St. John and surrounding areas since the 1960s. We can help you, too.
Common Injuries And Losses Associated With Dog Bites
Victims of dog-bite injuries commonly face injuries and difficulties that include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones and bruising
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological injuries
- Lost wages from time spent unable to work
- Steep medical bills
- Permanent disability
In many cases, compensation for dog bites may be available from the dog owner’s home insurance policy. However, insurers are likely to dispute liability or to offer a settlement that is inadequate to cover your expenses. For these and other reasons, it is important to work with a skilled attorney like those at our firm.
When Are Dog Owners Liable For The Violent Actions Of Their Pets?
With few exceptions, states treat dog bites in one of two ways. Some states recognize strict liability, meaning that dog owners are liable for the actions of their pets regardless of any knowledge about whether the dog was dangerous. Other states, including Indiana, observe what’s known as the “one-bite” rule. Under this principle, dog owners are liable only if they knew or should have known that their dog was aggressive/dangerous (based on previous behavior). It is called the one-bite rule because it means that the owners typically are not liable for the first time their dog bites someone.
Are you out of luck if the dog that bit you had no history of violence? Not necessarily. Indiana suspends the one-bite rule when it comes to government officials who are attacked while performing their duties. This would include mail carriers, police officers and firefighters, among others.
There have been numerous other exceptions to the one-bite rule in individual cases, such as when dog owners fail to take reasonable precautions to restrain and control their dog. Each case is unique, and you won’t know what your legal options are until you speak to an attorney.
Tell Us Your Story During A Free Consultation
Based in St. John, Sachs & Hess P.C., serves clients in Lake County and surrounding areas of Indiana. If you’d like to learn more about how our compassionate attorneys can help you or someone you love, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach out online or call 219-227-4259.