Are Dog Bite Claims Covered Under Homeowners’ Insurance?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 4.5 million dog bite accidents occur in the United States every year. They also report that an average of 800,000 of those incidents require medical attention, most of which are children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old. When a dog attacks or bites a person, the question of liability is bound to come up, especially when medical care is needed.

That is because there are several economic and non-economic damages that dog bite victims might incur, including hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, permanent scarring, PTSD, and more. As a result, victims generally make a personal injury claim for compensation against the dog owner. This leads many dog bite owners to wonder, “Will my insurance cover this? Or do I have to pay for this out-of-pocket?”

Continue reading to learn the key facts regarding dog bite liability laws, including whether or not homeowners’ insurance policies cover the damages and losses that result from a dog bite accident.

Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyers 317-881-2700

Dog Bite Statutes

The laws surrounding dog bites and animal attacks vary from state to state, but primarily, there are two kinds of statutes that govern such cases: strict liability and standard rule of negligence. Under the principle of standard rule of negligence, if a dog owner was aware of their pet’s potential for aggression or danger, then they are liable for any damages and losses caused by a dog bite. This is often referred to as the “one bite rule” and is applied in cases in which there was never reason to believe a dog was a danger to anyone.  However, case law on this topic is very fact specific.

Other states operate on strict liability, which holds a dog owner fully responsible for all damage and losses caused by their dog biting someone, even if the dog has never acted aggressively or attacked before. Under strict liability, circumstances like trespassing and provocation do not usually influence or relieve a dog owner’s liability. There are some states that do not apply any laws to dog bite attacks, and leave all burden of proof on the plaintiff party.  To learn your states’ dog bite liability laws, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in such cases.

Indiana Dog Bite Liability

Here in Indiana, we use “strict liability” in dog bite and attack cases in certain cases and a negligence standard in other cases.

Homeowners’ Insurance Coverage

Whether or not a dog bite owner is covered in the case of a dog bite or attack depends on various factors, including the type of insurance they have and their dog’s breed. Homeowners’ insurance policies, as well as renters’ insurance policies, typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, but only up to a certain amount. In the average policy, the legal liability limit can range from $100,000 to $300,000. But if the claim expenses exceed a dog owner’s liability limit on their insurance policy, they have to pay the remainder themselves.

In contrast, some insurance policies will not insure homeowners who have a breed of dogs that is innately prone to aggression or danger, such as German Shepherds, Doberman Pincers, Dalmatians, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Pitt Bulls, and similarly categorized species. For those who are insured, they can expect their premiums may increase after their dog attacks someone.

How to Make a Dog Bite Claim in Indiana

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

If you or someone you love is a recent victim of a dog bite or attack, contact an Indiana dog bite attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages and losses. Act fast before your state’s statutes of limitations runs outs. Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your workplace accident with an experienced Indiana dog bite lawyer you can trust. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we recover a settlement for you.

Am I Liable if My Dog Bites Someone?

If your pooch bites another person or animal, you could be held liable for the damages and losses caused by the accident. Continue reading to learn more about dog bite liability in Indiana, and who to talk to if you were recently injured in a dog attack.

Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Dog Bite Lawyers 317-881-2700


Dog is “man’s best friend”; however, they are still animals, and real-life descendants of wild animals. This means that their behavior can be defensive and unpredictable at times. Even if your dog is well-behaved and has never bitten anyone before, they can still be capable of an attack, especially if they are provoked, frightened, or under certain duress.

As a dog owner, it is important to fully-understand your responsibility to prevent your pet from harming others. If your dog does cause injury to another person or pet, you could be faced with a personal injury claim or lawsuit; and if you do not have the proper insurance coverage, you could be forced to pay the settlement out of your personal funds.

State Liability Laws

Although they differ from state to state, most have established regulations and protocols pertaining to pet owner liability and dog attacks. A person’s liability as a pet owner will differ from case to case depending on many factors, including where they live and where the attack occurred. Overall, there are three fundamental types of legal principles that states have adopted to use in such cases. These include strict liability, one bite rule, and negligence.

Strict Liability – States like Michigan, New Jersey, and California follow the strict liability principle. This means that dog owners are 100% liable for any injuries, losses, and damages caused by their pet. There are virtually no exceptions to this rule, even if a dog has never attacked before and the pet owner took precautions to prevent attacks (fencing, gates, electric collars, warning signs, etc.). The only exceptions are circumstances of intrusion, provocation, or abuse.

One Dog Bite Rule – States like New York, Georgia, and Texas follow the “one dog bite” rule. This rule decrees that dog owners may not be fully-liable for injuries or damages caused by their dog if it was the first time their dog has ever bitten, and there was no reason to suspect that their dog was unsafe or aggressive. It is like a one-time “get out of jail free” card for a pet owner. However, there are many variables that influence a person’s liability under these circumstances, so they differ greatly from case to case. For instance, one exception to this rule could be if a pet owner was somehow negligent in connection to the attack.

Negligence – Every state has negligence laws that pertain to a person’s liability in the case that they cause harm to another person. If a person was negligent in some way, and as a result a person is injured, they can be held liable for any damages and losses caused by the accident. This can apply to dog bite attacks if a pet owner’s negligence gives their dog an opportunity to injure another person. For example, not adhering to local leash laws or failing to maintain the integrity of property fencing. Again, these cases vary greatly from state to state, and depend on a wide range of factors.

Indiana is a “One Dog Bite” State

In Indiana, the law follows a “one dog bite” rule, as well as a negligence rule. Under the first principle, dog owners may not be liable for any injuries, losses, and damages caused by their pet if there is no history of dog bites or attacks. However, if a pet owner exhibits negligence, and as a result, their dog bites someone, they could be held “strictly liable” for all the damages and losses incurred to the dog bite victim as a result of the accident, regardless if it was the first time the dog has ever bitten.

The Indiana Code 15-20-1-3 dictates that no matter what a dog’s history is, if it attacks or bites someone, the owner of the dog is entirely responsible for the accident, as well as, liable for the injured person’s losses and damages.

Were You a Recent Dog Bite Victim?

If you were recently attacked or bitten by a dog, contact a licensed Indianapolis personal injury lawyer right away. In Indiana, victims of personal injury accidents have two years from the time of the accident to legally make a claim and have a court hear their case. Be sure to act within this time-frame in order to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.

What to Do After a Dog Attack:

Obtain medical treatment for wounds.
Get the names and contact information of the dog’s owners.
Call the police and file a report.
Decide if you need to seek mental health care for trauma.
Call an Indianapolis personal injury law firm for legal representation.

Who to Trust With Your Dog Bite Claim

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm
317-881-2700

Call The Law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to make a dog bite personal injury claim in Indiana. Our seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are eager to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you!

Advice for Victims of Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

Dog Bite Lawyer 317-881-2700

Dog Bite Lawyer 317-881-2700

Here is the scenario: a dog, or other seemingly domesticated pet or animal, jumps and attacks you while on your morning jog, foot-commute to work, or stroll through the park. What do you do? There are several ways to approach this situation; a crucial action that cannot be carried out incorrectly, otherwise you can lose the opportunity to gain the legal recompense you deserve for your injuries.

If you have been attacked by a dog and have suffered emotional or physical wounds then be sure you know which steps to make next. Continue reading and learn how to get your medical expenses and more covered with the help of professional legal counsel.

What to Do After a Dog Attack

A dog attack can be traumatic and change a person’s life forever. Also, in most cases, owners of vicious or uncontrollable dogs are aware that their pet is a danger; yet they still do not take proper precautions to restrain their dogs for the sake and safety of others. This is why it is important to take action against these types of irresponsible or lethargic pet owners. An aggressive dog that attacks a person has most likely attacked a person or other animal before. If not, they are most likely to certainly attack again. It is better to remove these types of threats from the streets and walkways of our communities. If you have been attacked by a dog, and bitten, here is what to do next or immediately:

Dog Bite Lawyer 317-881-2700

Dog Bite Lawyer 317-881-2700

1. Obtain Medical Treatment for Wounds
2. Get the Names and Contact Information of the Dog’s Owners
3. Call the Police and File a Report
4. Decide if You Need to Seek Mental Health Care for Trauma
5. Call a Personal Injury Law Office for Legal Representation

These are the appropriate steps to take in order to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for the dog attack and more. An attorney can professional identify whether or not the dog was provoked, insurance coverage and premise liability limitations of the owners, owners’ responsibility, and more. They are highly trained and experienced to represent dog bite victims. Using proper legal counsel can get the recompense for medical bills, time of work, emotional trauma, and more.

Animal attack cases can be very complex; which is why a police report and legal counsel are highly recommended. This is for your own protection. Dog bites hurt and can cause significant damage to someone’s physical and mental well-being. Take action and do what’s right. Make sure this dog doesn’t attack or hurt another person ever again; especially a young and innocent child.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys Indianapolis 317-881-2700

For more information about dog bite claims and animal attack cases in Indianapolis, call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2770 today. You can speak with seasoned attorneys, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, or Keith Blazek, about your rights following an animal attack or dog bite. We offer free initial consultations and never collect attorney fees unless we recover for you. Call 317-881-2770 today and get the legal representation you require for compensation following a dog bite or animal attack in Indianapolis, IN.

A Brief Review of Indiana’s Personal Injury Laws

Indianapolis Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

In terms of personal injury, Indiana has its own set of ordinances that surround the civil legal process and more. This includes time limits for filing lawsuits, government claims, compensation caps, liability, and more. Most of these basic personal injury laws will become relevant at some point, either during court trials or negotiations with insurance companies.

If recently injured and considering a claim against a negligent party, it is wise to familiarize yourself with these personal injury law basics so that you are better prepared to discuss your case with a trusted accident lawyer. Continue reading to review some basic principles surrounding personal injury law, as well as, some fundamental laws and ordinances specific to Indiana jurisdiction.

Statute of Limitations

When a person is wrongfully injured and wishes to pursue a claim against the at-fault party, they cannot wait too long. All states have a set time limit to file a civil lawsuit, all of which vary depending on the type of case. As for Indiana personal injury lawsuits, a person has two years from the date of the accident to legally file a suit. Once two years has come and gone, a personal injury victim loses all opportunity to pursue compensation for their damages. This time limit decreases for other types of claims. For claims against a city or county, a personal injury victim only has 180 days to file a lawsuit. And for claims against an Indiana state government agency, victims have 270 days from the time of the accident.

Liability

Indiana uses “comparative fault” for some personal injury claims. This means a victim can be found partially at-fault for their accident and subsequent damages, thus reducing the opposing party’s liability. It also reduces the total amount of compensation awarded. For example, if a person is hit by a car while crossing the street, but they were not using a designated crosswalk, a court might find them 20% at-fault and the driver 80% at-fault. And the math for compensation would continue from there.

Car Accident Claims

In Indiana, a car accident victim has several options in terms of collecting compensation for their damages. They can choose to file with their own car insurance carrier, the other driver’s car insurance carrier (third party claim), or take the case to court to prove fault and collect compensation for damages.

Dog Bite Claims

Many states follow a “one bite rule” regarding dog bites and injuries. This means a dog owner, to some degree, is protected from liability the first time their dog injuries another person, if their history does not show aggression or past attacks. But Indiana does not use this rule; instead, they use “strict liability” meaning a dog owner is strictly liable no matter what their dog’s behavioral history looks like.

Compensation Caps

In Indiana, there are certain limits to how much compensation can be collected on specific types of cases. For example, medical malpractice lawsuits had a cap of $500,000 for non-economic damages, while government payouts capped out at five million. These compensation caps have been updated since 2012, and may currently abolished. Talk to your personal injury lawyer for current state cap limitations.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for information about filing a personal injury claim in Indiana. Attorneys, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are seasoned litigators with decades of trial experience. Our personal injury law firm fights hard for our client’s right to full and fair compensation. We are not afraid to go the extra mile for our client’s well-being and future! Call 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with a licensed personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, and never pay attorney fees unless we win your case.

Does Indiana Use the “One Bite” Rule for Dog Bite Accidents?

Dog Bite Lawyer 317-881-2700

Dog Bite Lawyer 317-881-2700

Many states offer limited liability protection for dog owners in the case that their dog bites or attacks someone for the first time. If there is no history of aggression or violence, or the dog has never bitten or attacked anyone or another animal, then courts give the owner the benefit of not having full liability in the accident. This is often referred to as the “one bite rule” and is applied in cases in which there was never reason to believe a dog was a danger to anyone.

The one bite rule, however, does not eliminate all liability for a pet owner in the case that their dog bit or attacked another person or animal, it simply offers a degree of relief when it comes to legal liability for damages. In contrast to the one bite rule, Indiana uses “strict liability” in dog bite and attack cases. Continue reading to learn more about strict liability and dog bite accidents in Indiana.

Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases

In Indiana, is a person’s dog attacks or bites another without any provocation, the owner of the dog is “strictly liable” for all damages and losses incurred by the victim. The Indiana Code 15-20-1-3 decrees that no matter what a dog’s history is, if it attacks or bites someone, the owner of the dog is entirely responsible for the accident, as well as, liable for the injured person’s damages.

In the case of a dog bite or attack, potential or likely damages include pain and suffering, lost wages from time off work, medical expenses, hospital or emergency room bills, multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, prolonged suffering, permanent disfigurement, permanent scarring, PTSD, mental anguish, and more.

If you were recently attacked or bitten by a dog while peaceably on public property or legally on private property (i.e. A friend or neighbor’s house), and did nothing to provoke the dog to hurt you, contact a licensed personal injury lawyer right away. In Indiana, victims of personal injury accidents have two years from the time of the accident to legally file a claim and have a court hear your case. Be sure to act within this time-frame in order to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to file a dog bite injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Licensed accident attorney, Daniel Craven, and his seasoned colleagues are eager to help you recover compensation for your damages. We offer free initial consultation and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you. Call 317-881-2700 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN today.