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Dog Leash Laws & How They Work with Indiana’s Dog Bite Law

Written by on December 17, 2022

We love our pets and dispute most dog owners displaying responsible ownership; accidents happen. Accidents resulting in a person getting bit by a dog are severe and can cause significant pain and suffering. Dog bites in Indiana can carry a criminal offense charge, which is why owners must keep their pets leashed while in public at all times. If your dog has bitten another dog, or if you are the victim of a dog bite in Fort Wayne, contact our attorneys today to discuss your case and hold dog owners accountable for their pet’s actions.

Dog leash laws exist in every state to protect citizens from animal attacks. These laws typically mandate that dogs be kept on a leash in public places like parks, sidewalks, and trails. In Indiana, several laws pertain to dog ownership and leash, but there are currently no state-wide statutes that pertain to leashed dogs. Instead, city-to-city ordinances dictate how and when a dog should be restrained. It is important to note that effective regulations in city municipalities within Indiana are designed to protect the general public from dog bites, and owners need to consider the protocol for leashing their dogs, whether there is a history of dog aggression or not. 

Dog Leash Laws in Indiana

Ordinances in Indiana exist within municipalities to protect civilians against dog attacks. The Hammond Ordinance Section 9151-A was enacted after a 14-year-old was attacked by a dog that was not leashed from a property without adequate fencing to keep the dog contained. The ordinance outlines that all dogs and cats should be restrained under the responsibility of the dog or cat owner. Additionally, the owner of the animal’s property should ensure that if off-leash, they are to be secured. Off the property, a dog or cat must be leashed less than 6 feet, and the owner must exhibit complete control over the animal. 

Despite the municipal ordinances in place, dog owners who are negligent and unlawfully walking their dog without a leash run the risk of an aggravated dog biting another person. Dog owners are liable for biting and should be held accountable for their part in a personal injury case resulting from a dog bite. 

Indiana’s “One Bite Rule” with Negligence

According to the Indiana rule, a dog owner can be held liable for a dog bite if the victim can prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was likely to bite or act aggressively. This is known as the “one bite” rule. In practice, this means that a dog bite victim in Indiana will typically need to show that the dog had a history of biting or acting aggressively to hold the owner liable. Dog leash laws can also play a role in determining liability. 

For example, if a dog off-leash bit a victim in a park where local rules and ordinances require all dogs to be on a leash, the victim may have an easier time proving that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was likely to bite or act aggressively. An experienced lawyer will be able to navigate through the complex cases around dog bites and guide you toward a case outcome that grants you compensation for any pain and suffering you have endured due to a negligent dog owner’s lack of restraint. 

We Help Victims of Dog Bite Injuries

If you are the victim of a dog bite in Indiana, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and then contact an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights. Victims who have significant pain and suffering from a dog bite are entitled to compensation. We will fight for your rights and help you recover with swift justice. Contact us today!

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Contact The Bellinger Law Office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to learn how we can provide you with legal representation tailored to your precise needs. We listen to your concerns, learn about your case and act decisively to protect your rights. Call 260-428-2214 to learn how attorney Robert Bellinger can advocate for you. Or complete the intake form below to get started.

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