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What can you do about a dog bite in Indiana?

The old rule in Indiana was that only those pet owners who knew in some way that a dog had a propensity to bite could be held liable in a personal injury action alleging negligence. Thankfully, although "one free bite" at one time was the law in Indiana, it isn't anymore. Now, under Indiana law, an injured victim who suffered scarring, disfigurement or other injuries because of dog bites can now sue the dog owner for negligence, even if it is the first time the dog had bitten a human being.

In fact, in some situations a dog owner is liable under the doctrine of "strict liability," meaning the Indiana dog owner will have to pay damages even if the owner was being perfectly careful in restraining the dog.

Specifically, the law imposes strict liability when the dog bites a person unprovoked, so long as the person was both acting in "peaceable" manner and was at the place where the bite occurred doing a legal duty, such as delivering the mail. In the case of strict liability, all the victim needs to show is that the injuries were caused by the dog bite.

Although, thankfully, many dog bites are relatively minor affairs, all too often a bite injury is quite serious and could leave someone needing long-term care and rehabilitation. The physical appearance of a person can be permanently altered as well. New Albany residents and those on the north side of the Ohio River who have been victims of dog bites need to know that they may be entitled to compensation.

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The Law Office of Nick Stein

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