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While many dogs are harmless if not loving, some are aggressive or downright dangerous. Dog owners are expected to keep their pets under control, particularly if they are aware a dog could harm someone with no provocation. If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, a Michigan City dog bite lawyer could help you seek compensation for your injuries.

A dog attack itself is terrifying. Dealing with medical treatments and expenses is often time-consuming and expensive. Consulting a skilled personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options could be vital to recouping losses you have sustained.

Indiana Dog Bite Law

There are several aspects of the law that affect the strength of a Michigan City dog bite victim’s case. Under Indiana Code § 15-20-1-3, if a dog bites a person who is acting peaceably, the owner may be liable for injuries suffered by the victim. The owner is legally responsible only if they knew or had reason to know about the dog’s aggressive tendencies.

Who is Regarded as an Owner Under the Law?

A dog owner is not limited to the person who technically owns the dog, but extends to anyone who possesses, keeps, or harbors a dog. Legal questions may arise in the case of a friend or neighbor watching over the dog temporarily.

Is the friend or neighbor regarded as the “owner” for purposes of liability? An advantage of hiring a lawyer is that legal counsel could use their experience to hone in on the correct party or parties to sue by appraising the case.

Knowledge of a Dog’s Aggressive Tendencies

Whether a dog owner knew or should have known about a dog’s vicious tendencies could be a hotly disputed question in court. The law presumes that dogs are harmless domestic pets, irrespective of size or breed.

If a plaintiff demonstrates that the animal has “dangerous propensities” via evidence of specific instances of viciousness, they overcome this presumption. Dangerous propensities are actions of a particular animal that might endanger people or property in a given situation.

Mail Carrier Rule

Government mail carriers receive special protection under the law. If the dog bites a mail carrier in the course of their work, the owner would be held liable regardless of whether they knew or had reason to know about the dog’s aggression.

Time Limit to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Under Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, a plaintiff must bring an action for injuries and damage sustained during a Michigan City dog bite within two years of the incident. While there may be exceptions to this rule, failing to file a lawsuit within two years means that a victim loses their ability to exercise their legal rights.

Reach Out to a Michigan City Dog Bite Attorney Today

Your dog bite injury may require immediate medical attention. Emergency services transport, examination, and medication expenses could add up quickly. You should not be left to address these difficulties after being bitten or attacked.

Legal counsel could help you through the aftermath of a dog bite incident. You could discover what your options are and act to take control of the situation. Schedule a meeting with a Michigan City dog bite lawyer today to learn more.