There are thousands of people injured by dog attacks and dog bites in the US each year. A good number of those dog attacks occur in Evansville, and in other parts of Indiana. Fortunately, the state legal system provides ways for injured Indianans to collect financial damages via the personal injury lawsuit process.
To collect such damages for your dog attack injuries in Evansville, you first must show to whom the dog belongs. Indiana, as many states, imposes what is termed ‘strict liability’ upon the dog’s owner. According to this legal theory, the Evansville dog owner is liable for the attack. This is true irrespective of whether or not the owner actually did anything to cause the attack.
The simple fact that the dog attacked another person – combined with the fact that the dog belongs to that owner – is sufficient in Indiana for that person to be held liable for injuries sustained.
In this state, however, the person who possessed the dog at the time of the attack also could be held liable in a civil lawsuit.
For example, let’s say that the dog was being walked by the owner’s friend and attacked you. In that case, the dog walker possessed the animal when he injured you. So, the dog walker could be held at least partially liable, in theory.
If you were injured in some other states, the dog’s owner would only be held liable for a dog attack if the owner should have known or knew that the dog was a danger to others. Proving either in court is difficult at best.
More About Dog Attack Liability in Evansville
Some of the other people who may be sued for damages in Indiana include:
- Parents of a child under 18: If the owner of the dog is under age, the injured party may sue the minor’s parents.
- If the dog bite occurs on someone else’s property and that owner allowed the dog on his property, that property owner could be held liable.
Note that a landlord cannot be held legally liable for damages that were caused by a renter’s animal. However, this would not apply if the landlord knew the dog could be dangerous.
Damages You May Be Awarded
If you are able to establish that the dog belongs to or was under control of a certain individual, you may be able to recover some or all of the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
If the dog attack is particularly serious, you may be able to receive punitive damages from the liable party. Punitive damages may be awarded if the owner of the dog displayed especially reckless behavior, and disregarded the safety of others.
This could apply in theory if the owner knew that his dog could attack others and yet kept the dog running free outside. In that type of dog attack case in Evansville, the owner could have to pay extensive punitive damages, in addition to regular damages.