Every year, there are thousands of Americans across the United States who are bitten by dogs. In many of these cases from Evansville, IN to towns everywhere in America, the person who has been harmed may be able to collect damages from the responsible party.
What To Do First
If you are bitten by a dog in Evansville, you should first get medical attention right away. Without prompt medical treatment, the bite could cause a serious infection. Also, you should obtain medical treatment immediately so that you can initiate a paper trail with a medical provider. You will want this paper trail to have started as soon as possible – immediately after the injury.
What Damages You May Get
The financial damages you may be entitled to for your Evansville dog bit case depends on many factors. However, you could be entitled to some or all of these:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
For a serious dog bite case, you may be awarded punitive damages as well. These special damages are awarded in a case where the jury intends to punish the defendant for especially reckless behavior. To be awarded these damages, the defendant’s behavior must go beyond mere negligence. Such a case might be where the owner knew his dog was vicious and had a history of dog bites, yet he did not keep the dog restrained.
But before you go too far thinking about the damages you could win, first it must be determined whose dog it is. Many states will impose what is called ‘strict liability’ upon the owner of the dog that bites others. This theory states that the owner is responsible for the bite regardless of whether or not the owner did anything wrong.
Under the strict liability theory, even if the dog owner did not know the dog could bite, the owner is still liable in a dog bite case.
In other states, the owner of the dog is held liable for dog bite injuries if the owner had reason to know that the animal was dangerous. Proving this in court can be difficult.
In Indiana, the state imposes strict liability on the owner, and also on the possessor of the dog at the time of the alleged dog bite.
Dog owners are not the only people who may be held liable in an Evansville dog bite case. Some of the others who can be sued in court are:
- Animal keepers: Anyone who provides care for the dog could be held responsible for a dog bite.
- Parents of a minor: If the person is under 18 and owns the dog, the injured person could sue the parents of the minor.
- Property owner: The owner of a property can be held liable if the dog bite occurred on the property.
- Landlord: If the landlord knew about the dangerous dog or should have known, he or she could be held liable.