The Legal Implications of Owning a Dog That Bites Someone

Having a dog can bring lots of joy and companionship, but it also comes with responsibilities. One of the most serious legal implications is if your pet bites someone. Dog bite accidents are quite common in the United States, with an estimated 4.5 million incidents occurring every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that you have a 1-in-73 chance of getting bit by a dog in the states!

In this blog post, we’ll explore what happens when a dog bites someone and how you can protect yourself from potential legal action. We will also give information on what to do if you are injured by a canine in a dog attack accident.

Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With a Dog Bite Attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Call 317-881-2700 to Speak With a Dog Bite Attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dog Bite Laws

In most states, dog owners are legally responsible for their pet’s behavior and can be held liable if the animal bites someone. This means the dog owner could face a civil lawsuit from the victim or even criminal charges in some cases. Depending on the situation, damages awarded to the victim could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the injury.  Make sure you have insurance to protect yourself should your dog attack anyone.

Indiana Laws Regarding Dog Bites and Attacks

Here in Indiana, our state enforces the Strict Liability rule for dog bites. Indiana Code 15-20-1-3 decrees that, regardless of a dog’s history, if it attacks or bites another person, the dog owner and thus, their insurance carrier, is wholly responsible for the accident, making them liable for the injured person’s damages (medical bills, disfigurement, PTSD, etc.) if a person is on the property discharging a duty owed under law, for example, a postal worker delivering mail. Indiana law also states that any owner who fails to disclose the dangerous nature of their dog can face a lawsuit if their pet bites someone else.  There are also other ways in which a dog owner might be held liable for actions by their dog.  Again, make sure you have insurance!  

Dog owners in Indiana should familiarize themselves with Indiana’s laws and make sure to take appropriate measures to prevent incidents from occurring as lawsuits can be both costly and damaging for all parties involved. When a serious dog bite incident occurs, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney who can advise you on your legal rights and obligations. A lawyer can also help you understand any laws in your state that might affect your case.

In addition to protecting yourself legally, here are some steps you can take to help prevent dog bite injuries:

– Make sure your pet is adequately trained and socialized.

– Ensure that your dog is always under supervision when around people.

– Make sure your dog stays appropriately restrained and confined,

– Never leave young children alone with any animal, regardless of their size or temperament.

– Spay or neuter your pet to reduce the risk of aggressive behavior.

– Check for signs of aggression in your pet such as chasing, growling, barking, or lunging at people.

Protect Yourself Against Dog Bite Lawsuits and Accidents

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure the safety of everyone in your home, guests, neighbors and minimize the chances of a dog bite accident occurring. Of course, no one can predict when an incident might occur or what mood your dog is in on a particular day, so it’s important for the owner to take the proper precautions and to be aware of the legal implications if your dog does injure someone.

What To Do if You are Bit By a Dog

Dog bites are no fun, and if you find yourself injured by another person’s dog, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next. First, you should call the police or animal control and make sure the appropriate procedures are followed. Second, seek medical attention for any physical injury or emotional trauma because of the dog bite accident. Depending on your specific situation and individual needs, an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in dog bite cases may be able to provide additional help for your claim. A seasoned Indiana dog bite attorney can help advise you of your legal rights and options, advocate on your behalf, and work to ensure that the pet owner and their applicable insurance carrier is held liable for their negligence and any damages caused by the dog bite incident.

Are you or a loved one a recent victim of a serious dog attack in Indiana? Contact Craven, Hoover & Blazek, P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury consultation with an experienced dog bite lawyer in Indianapolis, today. We represent victims all throughout the state, as well as Indiana residents injured in other states and persons from other states injured in Indiana.

Related Posts:

Am I Liable if My Dog Bites Someone?
Are Dog Bite Claims Covered Under Homeowners’ Insurance?
Are We Entitled to a Settlement if Our Child Was Wrongfully Injured?

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

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.


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.