Legal Representation for Dog Bite Injury Victims in Indianapolis, IN
Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but many of them have a mean streak. When nature prompts them to attack, they can do serious damage.
Indeed, dogs may attack without warning, leaving their victims defenseless and unprepared. Because humans and animals don’t always think alike, dogs misread our signals, and that makes it difficult to anticipate their next move.
Dog owners need to know this and take steps to prevent potential attacks. Too often, people take their pets for granted. How often do we all encounter domesticated dogs roaming around untagged, unleashed, and astray? How many of us have felt our muscles tense up when a dog we don’t know begins to bark, growl, or show signs of aggression?
While it’s very easy to fall in love with adorable dogs and puppies, owners must realize that caring for an animal is an enormous responsibility, and it carries with it certain legal duties.
If you’ve been bitten, attacked, or otherwise injured by a dog in Indianapolis, our office would like to help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Indiana state law is designed to compensate injury victims for the harms they suffer when someone else is negligent. In these cases, even if it is the dog who attacks, the dog’s owners may be held liable for negligence.
After all, it is the owner who is in the best position to protect the rest of us from their pets.
Some dogs are naturally more dangerous or aggressive than others. However, even dogs who are generally peaceful and have never bitten anyone can attack suddenly.
The reality is that dogs attack people in our state nearly every day, and these attacks are almost never warranted or deserved. Property owners and pet owners alike must take reasonable precautions to prevent these attacks from happening. When they fail to do so, they must be held accountable to the law.
If you are suffering after an encounter with an aggressive animal, you deserve to be compensated.
The attack was not your fault, and generally speaking, the law does not hold you responsible. Rather, it is the owners who are responsible for the pets and their actions. Don’t let those owners — or their insurance company (or yours, for that matter) — tell you how much justice you deserve.
To learn about your options and how much compensation you might deserve, please get in touch with the Indianapolis dog bite attorneys in our office as quickly as possible.
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When Dogs Attack Children
Animal attacks are dangerous for any victim, but they are of special concern for the most vulnerable among us.
Infants, small children, senior citizens, and the disabled are common victims in dog bite cases. That’s due in part to their more limited ability to escape. A toddler, for example, has little hope of fending off a large dog or fleeing. Dogs are much faster than healthy adults, let alone small children or people with medical conditions.
The defendants in a dog bite case are responsible for the specific damages the animal causes — even if the victim has special conditions that make him or her more vulnerable to injury. The Indianapolis animal attack attorneys at Eskew Law can help in these cases.
Police Dog Bites
Police dogs are trained to be aggressive when they need to be. But no matter how much training they receive, dogs are still animals at heart. They obey instinct, and that means they sometimes react inappropriately. Even when a law enforcement canine (K9) is doing its job, it can cause compensable injury. As a private citizen or fellow police officer, you have rights.
These cases are more difficult because a different set of rules may apply where governmental agencies are involved. Nevertheless, our office can help. Please contact Eskew Law if you’ve been injured by a police dog:
- In an airport
- While the officer was making patrol rounds
- During a search or seizure of your property
- During an arrest
- In a routine interaction with a police dog in the public
- While working as a law enforcement officer
FAQ: Do Indiana Dog Bite Lawsuits Typically Go to Court?
At Eskew Law, we work hard to settle our clients’ cases outside of court whenever possible. Because courtroom trials are expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, it could be in your best interest to avoid a trial. Accordingly, we are often able to settle our cases outside of court.
If the other side refuses to reasonably negotiate a fair settlement, however, we can and will take your claim to trial. Our principal goal is always to maximize your compensation.
FAQ: Does Indiana Have a One-Bite Rule for Dog Attacks?
Yes. Like most states, Indiana has instituted a one-bite rule, which means that owners generally won’t be held liable for a dog bite if it is the first time that particular dog has bitten someone.
There are, however, many exceptions to this rule — and it isn’t the only law that matters in these attacks. If the dog is of an aggressive breed, for example (e.g. pit bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, bulldogs, etc.), or if the owner failed to restrain the dog, you may be able to prevail in a lawsuit even if it is the dog’s first bite.
Additionally, you should never assume that a dog’s bite is its first. (Don’t take the owner’s word for it.) Talk to us before you make a decision about whether to take legal action.
FAQ: What Are Some of the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?
People tend to think of a dog bite as a simple flesh wound in a single part of the body. But animal attacks can be much more serious than that. Common injuries include:
- Scarring, which can be severe
- Broken bones
- Vision or hearing loss
- Disfigurement or disability
- Bacterial infection
- Rabies exposure, which can be life-threatening
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress
- Severe pain
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lost ability to carry out your job, hobby, or skill
- And more
FAQ: What if Someone Else’s Dog Causes Death?
Dog bites can be fatal. Many human beings, especially children, have lost their lives during a savage dog attack. These cases involve both personal injury and wrongful death law.
Animals are also capable of killing your own pet. If you’ve lost a pet you love in an animal attack, we may be able to help.
FAQ: What Can I Do to Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog?
While it isn’t always possible to anticipate or avoid a dog attack, you can take these steps to reduce your risk:
- Never approach a dog you don’t know.
- Dogs are territorial. Exercise caution when on their property.
- Do not disturb dogs when they are eating, sleeping, playing with a toy, or caring for puppies.
- Allow the dog to sniff you and relax around you before you pet or touch it.
- Tell your children how important it is to be careful around dogs. Instruct them never to hit, kick, jab, or pull on a dog. Tails are not toys.
- Stay calm and relaxed around animals.
- Don’t run from dogs except for in emergencies.
FAQ: What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?
Take these steps right away:
- Seek immediate medical attention. (Call 911 in an emergency. Otherwise, visit your doctor soon. Documented medical visits are important for litigation.)
- Get contact information for the dog’s owner and any eyewitnesses.
- Take pictures of your injuries and keep ongoing, detailed records.
- Talk to an experienced attorney as early as possible. Call Chris Eskew and his team of Indianapolis dog attack lawyers right away.
Take Legal Action Soon After an Animal Bite
If a dog (or some other animal) attacks you and causes injury, it is in your best interest to take legal action right away.
Strict statutes of limitation apply, and these cases take time to prepare, so you should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. Call us and ask if we can help.
Remember: when you hire the personal injury attorneys at Eskew Law, you do not have to pay a fee unless we get you money first.
Learn more about your rights and options. Get a free case review with our office by calling 317-974-0177 or contacting us online.