After the shock of suffering a dog bite, it can be overwhelming to navigate the legal processes involved in filing a claim for your injuries. Thankfully, Indiana law provides guidelines that protect victims of such incidents, and help them get economic relief to recover from their injuries.
This guide will help you understand the steps involved in filing a dog bite attack claim in Indiana, to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Step 1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Regardless of the perceived severity of a dog bite, the first step should always be to seek immediate medical attention. Not all injuries are immediately visible, and you must ensure that you properly receive the attention you need to recover.
Medical care is not just critical for your health, but also for the subsequent legal claim. Records documenting your injuries and the treatment provided are crucial pieces of evidence when filing a dog bite claim and proving negligence to hold responsible parties accountable.
Step 2: Document the Incident
Gathering and preserving evidence is essential when building your case. Start by identifying the dog and its owner.
If possible, take photographs of your injuries and the location where the attack took place. If there were any witnesses, note their contact information as their statements may support your claim.
Step 3: Report the Dog Bite
Next, report the incident to local authorities such as the local animal control agency or the police. This will trigger an official investigation into the incident and potentially identify any past instances of aggressive behavior by the dog.
It’s worth mentioning that the Indiana State Department of Health also mandates reporting of all animal bites, so this is an important step to take before filing a dog bite claim.
Step 4: Understand Indiana Dog Bite Laws
Indiana’s dog bite laws, specifically Indiana Code § 15-20-1-3, state that a dog owner is liable for damages if the victim was acting peaceably and lawfully at the time of the attack. In cases where the victim was performing duties imposed by state or federal laws, the owner can be held liable regardless of the dog’s history.
Understanding these laws can help you determine your eligibility to file a claim and the potential compensation you could receive. But it’s strongly recommended to consult with a local dog bite lawyer to understand your rights and the best options to pursue economic compensation.
Step 5: File Your Dog Bite Claim
Once you have collected evidence, consulted with a lawyer, and have a solid understanding of your legal rights, it’s time to file your claim. Your lawyer will help you file the necessary documents within Indiana’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which is generally two years from the date of the injury.
Thus, filing a dog bite claim can be a crucial step towards recovery, helping victims receive compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
We know that navigating the legal process can be challenging, especially if you’re recovering from serious injuries. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Our team at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell is here to provide expert legal guidance and support.
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your options.