While we all hope to avert unfortunate incidents involving our beloved pets, it’s important to understand the legal landscape in the event that a dog attack occurs. Indiana is one of the states that takes a balanced approach to dog bite cases, acknowledging the inherent unpredictability of animal behavior. In this article, we’ll explore the legal ramifications if you are involved in a dog bite incident, including when your dog is attacked by another dog.
As a preface, Hurst Limontes does not accept pet injury claims. Therefore, if your dog (or any other pet) is attacked by another dog, we will not be able to assist with legal representation. However, this doesn’t mean you are not entitled to compensation. Dog-on-dog attacks can be extremely violent, particularly if the aggressor dog is much larger in size than the pet it injures or kills. These attacks may lead to expensive veterinary bills, burial expenses and even costs associated with replacing the deceased animal. In Indiana, pets are considered personal property and as a result, dog-on-dog lawsuits are litigated differently. There are law firms that handle these types of cases, but we do not.
In instances where pet owners are injured from intervening in a dog-on-dog attack, our firm may be able to assist in recovering compensation for the affected party. Dog bites stemming from the defense of a victimized pet are not uncommon and can involve serious injuries.
Understanding Indiana’s One-Bite Law
An owner is held liable for any harm caused by their dog’s bite to other people. However, Indiana’s one-bite rule does allow some leniency for a first-time offender, holding an owner responsible only if they were aware of their dog’s violent tendencies. Additionally, the one-bite law does not give a “free pass” to every dog owner in every circumstance and other exceptions may apply.
Indiana’s one-bite law is akin to a negligence law, focusing on establishing fault. If a dog owner failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent an injury, they can be held responsible. However, if the owner’s actions aligned with what was reasonably expected based on their knowledge of the dog’s behavior, a legal case might not hold ground.
It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations on dog bite and animal attack lawsuits in Indiana. Like other personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years. This means that a victim has a two-year window from the date of the incident to initiate legal action against an identifiable dog owner.
While the hope is to avoid any dog bite incidents altogether, it’s essential to understand Indiana’s legal approach to such situations. The state’s recognition of the unpredictable nature of animal behavior is reflected in its application of the one-bite rule.
If you have been injured by a dog or animal attack in Indiana, contact Hurst Limontes to discuss your options. We have over a century of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict award on your behalf.
Call 317-636-0808 or complete the form below for a FREE and confidential consultation.