Fort Wayne Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Fort Wayne Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Fort Wayne Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Your chihuahua is the sweetest baby in the world, until noon on weekdays when the mail carrier shows up. Then it has a fit. What happens if your dog bites the mail carrier in the ankle, causing a tear to their achilles tendon? In Indiana, you are liable for any and all injuries suffered by the mail carrier.

The same does not hold for a salesperson. If a salesperson is going door to door selling Avon or insurance, and your dog attacks the salesperson, the salesperson would have to prove that you knew that your dog was potentially dangerous prior to opening the door. In other words, your pet must have already bitten someone for you to be held liable.

Two Standards in Indiana Dog Bite Cases

In most states, a dog owner is strictly liable if their dog assaults another party. It does not matter if the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous or not. In Indiana, we operate on the “one bite rule.” The one bite rule means that a dog owner is only negligent after they become aware that the dog is potentially dangerous. This means that dog bite lawsuits line up closely with rules regarding premises liability. Premises liability requires foreknowledge to prove negligence. In Fort Wayne, the same holds true for dog bite cases unless the individual being attacked is a public servant.

If the individual who is attacked is a postal worker, police officer, or any type of government official carrying out their duties, then the owner is strictly liable for a dog’s bad behavior. 

So, two standards apply under Indiana law when it comes to dog bites.

Proving a Dog Bite Case in Indiana

If you are not a government official engaged in carrying out your duties, then you will need to establish negligence. To establish negligence, you need to prove that the dog either bit someone before, acted aggressively and had to be restrained, or perhaps was an aggressive breed that the owners never bothered to train. Nonetheless, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish that the owner had cause to know the dogs were aggressive and failed to exercise due care in their restraint. 

The owner of a dog who injures or kills another person can be held criminally liable in Indiana. In these cases, a judgment against a defendant can also include restitution to an injured victim.

Defenses to Dog Bite Allegations

If an owner has an aggressive dog who has injured or bitten someone before, the owner is liable under Indiana’s negligence statute. However, they can claim that the dog was provoked or that the injured party was trespassing. Otherwise, an allegation that the dog is aggressive and has caused injury in the past is enough to win your dog bite lawsuit. There are also breed-specific laws relating to specific aggressive breeds. Owners of these dogs may be required to carry insurance making plaintiff’s claims easier.

Talk to a Fort Wayne Dog Bite Attorney

The Bellinger Law Office represents the interests of plaintiffs who have been injured by aggressive dogs. Call today to schedule a free consultation and our Fort Wayne dog bite attorney can begin pursuing your claim today.

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