Fort Wayne, IN Dog Bite Lawyer

Fort Wayne, IN Dog Bite Lawyer

Each year, millions of people experience bites by dogs, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sharing that of those, 1 in 5 people need to seek medical attention for those bites. Nearly half of those dog bites occur to children. Dog bite injuries range from tissue damage and lacerations to amputation and, in some tragic situations, death. If you have suffered an injury, you need a well-qualified Fort Wayne, IN, dog bite lawyer to guide you through the complicated legal process.

Having an experienced dog bite attorney by your side from Blackburn Romey helps you know what your rights are and gives you an aggressive attorney fighting for you. If you suffered a dog bite injury, request a free consultation from our attorneys now.

Should You Sue for a Dog Bite?

Not every situation warrants filing a claim or a lawsuit. Yet, dog bite injuries can be serious and may cause long-term repercussions for many people.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that about 4.5 million people are bitten each year. Many of those people have a significant enough loss from a dog bite to file a claim for coverage. Insurance companies, typically homeowners insurance or renters insurance, often provide coverage for dog bite claims under a general liability insurance policy. That means that if your neighbor’s dog bites you, their insurance company is likely to cover your losses.

Should you file a claim? It is really dependent on what you’ve suffered. For many people, filing such a claim is critical. Consider a few statistics from the Insurance Information Institute. In a recent year, $1.236 billion in claims were paid out for dog bites and other dog-related injuries from insurance policies in the U.S. The average cost per claim was $64,555. Considering this, it’s clear that people lose serious amounts of money and other losses as a direct result of a dog bite.

Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite?

One common question is whether or not the owner of the dog is responsible for the losses the dog causes. The short answer is that the dog’s owner should be responsible for the actions of the dog in most situations.

Indiana Code Section 15-20-1-3 covers civil liabilities for dog bites that occur against people who are carrying out government work under federal or state law or under U.S. postal work. While the law doesn’t specifically cover situations in which anyone else suffers a dog bite, it does state that owner of a dog who attacks a person covered by the law without being provoked is liable for any damages sustained, regardless if the dog had never attacked anyone before.

Otherwise, Indiana law holds an owner liable for a dog bite when the owner knew or should have known that the dog has dangerous or vicious tendencies.  For example, if the owner knew that the dog had previously bit someone, or if the dog belongs to a breed known to be dangerous, the owner may be held liable for the dog bite.

Can My Neighbor Go to Jail for My Dog Bite?

Indiana Code Section 15-20-1-4 also puts in place some rules in which the owner can suffer criminal convictions in relation to the actions of the dog. For example, the dog owner may be convicted in situations where they, in some way, acted recklessly or knowingly allowed the dangerous situation to exist, and it led to the injuries others faced. Also, if the dog is not cared for and escapes and then causes injury, that could lead to a conviction as well.

If a person dies due to dog bite injuries in any situation, the owner might be charged with a felony, depending on the specifics of the case.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

If you have been hurt by a dog, including dog bites, significant scratches, or other injuries, your first step is to visit the emergency room for care. Proper care and documentation of your injuries is critical. Be sure to take photos to document what’s occurred and gather the statements and contact information for anyone in the area that saw what occurred. Documenting what’s occurred in as much detail as possible is critical.

There are several steps you should take when you suffer injuries from a dog bite:

  • Contact emergency services right away. First responders can make an initial assessment and treatment of your injuries, while police officers can document what occurred and prepare a report. If you are unable to wait for the police to arrive, visit the police department to complete a report as soon as possible.
  • Gather all information available, including photos you took of the situation and the name and contact information of anyone involved and witnesses. If this happened in your neighborhood, your neighbors may have a video from their security cameras that could help to prove your case.
  • Contact your attorney. We highly encourage you to reach out to us now and not after you speak to the insurance company about your incident. The insurance company will try to minimize your claim or get you to agree to something that may harm your chances of receiving fair compensation.

The goal is to receive compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. However, that is often far more than just a bill for the emergency room. Many people suffer significantly from dog bites in Indiana and warrant more financial support.

Don’t settle your case without an attorney to provide you with legal guidance and support. Instead, call Blackburn Romey for immediate help. We are the trusted attorneys serving Fort Wayne that you need by your side in difficult cases like this. Request a FREE, confidential consultation now.

What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Dog bites, scratches, and other injuries are not uncommon, but they can often create long-term implications. Some potential injuries you may have include:

  • Lacerations
  • Puncture wounds
  • Rabies or other disease infections
  • Infection of wounds if they do not heal well
  • Nerve damage
  • Tissue loss
  • Amputation of limbs
  • Deformities to the face or limbs
  • Damage to the eyes or ears impacting vision and hearing
  • Muscle damage
  • Head or other injuries from falling and striking your head on the ground

In addition to these physical injuries, many people who experience a dog bite also find themselves facing emotional trauma. It can be a terrifying experience when a dog lunges at you, especially in situations where the dog was not provoked. Even people who love dogs and have their own pets can suffer significant injuries from dog bites from a dog that is unprovoked – and that can lead to long-term emotional damage. Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder from these occurrences.

What Type of Compensation Will You Receive for a Dog Bite Claim?

You’ve suffered a significant loss. Doctor bills are growing. You’re struggling to go back to work. Filing a claim with the insurance company seems simple enough, but it’s critical to know one very important factor about working with insurance companies.

The insurance company’s job is to keep your claim as low as possible. No matter how nice they seem and how much they claim to want to help, they are not working for you or your benefit. If you settle your claim with an insurance company for less than what you’re owed, you could go on to suffer financially for years when someone else was responsible.

For many clients, compensation for a dog bite may include the following:

  • Medical bills for the emergency room
  • Pain medications and antibiotics after treatment
  • Surgical procedures for tissue and muscle damage
  • Hospital stays for complicated conditions
  • Rehabilitation if you have lost the use of your hand, fingers, legs, or other areas
  • Lost time at work
  • Long-term medical care and other needs

In addition to this, you may be qualified to receive compensation for pain and suffering. Some people develop chronic pain. Others struggle with PTSD and its impact on their lives. You may be owed compensation for those losses as well.

How much is your dog bite claim worth?

To find out, set up a consultation with our attorney. Discuss your case with us openly and confidentially. We can help you gather information about your losses and use other cases to help validate your losses.

How Our Fort Wayne Attorneys Support Your Needs

When you meet with our attorneys to discuss your dog bite case, we will provide you with a wide range of resources to support your recovery and the compassion you need to secure better outcomes for your future. Here are some of the ways we support our clients.

We handle talking to the insurance company for you.

Insurance adjusters may try to get you to admit fault in your case. They may encourage you to admit you had an injury before your incident. Our goal is to eliminate this risk. To do that, we can talk to and manage the interactions with the insurance company on your behalf.

Let us calculate what you’re owed.

Our team will work closely with you to better understand what your losses are. We look at the evidence and documentation in your case and then work to determine what fair compensation you may be owed. We can then present that claim to the insurance company and negotiate with them. Ultimately, you will determine if you want to settle for what they offer or move to court.

We work aggressively to protect you, including in a court of law.

Our goal is to help you get the compensation owed to you. Sometimes that means going to court to prove your case. Our highly experienced personal injury attorneys know the court system and have a solid reputation for providing exceptional support and legal representation to our clients. That means we will work hard to ensure you get the best possible outcome in your legal case.

Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case with Us Now

A dog bite case can seem like an impossible situation, especially when people don’t understand how much you’ve suffered. Our dog bite attorneys are happy to discuss your case with you through a free, no-obligation consultation. We do not get paid unless you win your case, so there’s no risk to you.

Take the time now to contact us. Call the office of Blackburn Romey to speak to our Fort Wayne, IN, dog bite lawyer. You are not in this process on your own. Our team is dedicated to remaining by your side to fight for your rights. With years of experience, you can depend on us to get the job done.

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