Dog bites can cause extensive harm to victims. They often lead to long-term physical and mental injuries that affect an individual’s ability to function as they once did. The injuries prevent them from working or engaging in their favorite activities. Fortunately, victims of dog bites in Indianapolis can get compensation for their life-altering injuries. If a dog attacked you, you should seek advice from a dog bite attorney in Indianapolis. They can help you to hold the dog’s owner liable.
Determining Liability in a Dog Bite Case
Many victims believe that they can only recover damages if the dog was an aggressive breed or had a violent history. However, this isn’t true. You can get compensation following a dog bite even if the dog never bit anyone before. The animal doesn’t have to be of a breed that is normally considered aggressive. Also, Indiana has strict liability laws for dog owners, so you don’t need to prove the owner was negligent. This means the law is likely to be in your favor unless you did something to provoke the dog.
A personal injury lawyer can help you to file your claim for damages. Experienced attorneys know how to provide the necessary supporting documents and fight a denial if necessary. They will also ensure that you file a claim for the correct amount, so you get all the compensation you deserve. You also play a role in the success of your personal injury claim. Even before you contact a lawyer, you need to take steps to protect your ability to claim damages.
What to Do After Suffering a Dog Bite in Indianapolis
- Seek medical assistance from your usual doctor right away or go to the emergency room. This is important both for your health and your insurance claim.
- Note the location of the attack, and if possible, the dog owner’s name and their contact information.
- Get contact details for anyone who witnessed the attack. Their testimony can be helpful especially if the owner denies liability.
- Report the attack to the police as soon as you can and contact animal control.
- Take photos of the dog and the area where the incident occurred, if possible.
- Avoid talking to insurance adjusters or the dog owner’s representatives without consulting an Indianapolis personal injury attorney.
- Decline to accept a settlement or sign any documents until you speak with an attorney.
- Hold on to any clothing or other property that was damaged in the attack.
Injuries Commonly Suffered in a Dog Attack
When a dog attacks an individual, the injuries can be varied. While some of the damage may be minor, some injuries are life-threatening. Common injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve, tendon and muscle damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Scarring and disfigurement
Damages You May Be Able to Claim
You can only recover damages for losses you can prove you suffered. This means the amount victims get can vary widely. Some of the things you may be able to get compensation for include:
- Medical and personal care bills
- Loss of wages and income
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Permanent disability
- Emotional and mental distress including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression
- Future damages including long-term medical care and decreased earning capacity
You need to make sure you document your losses carefully. In many dog bite cases, future damages can be extensive. This is especially so if the victim suffers injuries with permanent consequences. Your attorney can help you to project your future damages so you can submit a claim for adequate compensation.
Contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, you need to contact a law firm in Indianapolis that takes dog bite cases. If you lost a loved one because of injuries sustained in a dog attack, you should also seek legal advice. Victims and their families deserve compensation whenever their injuries are not their fault. While the law is on the side of dog bite victims, you shouldn’t attempt to get compensation on your own.
Insurance companies are known for taking advantage of unrepresented individuals. They will try to settle your claim for as little as possible or simply deny your claim. At Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers, we don’t want you to suffer any more harm or distress. We will assist you in filing your claim and negotiating with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve. If the only way to recover damages is to file a lawsuit, we’re prepared to fight in court. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.