Being bitten by a dog can be incredibly painful and frustrating, both for your body and your wallet. Medical bills can really stack up, so it's a good thing that there is a tool out there to help you recoup some of your losses. A dog bite lawsuit can help you win quite a substantial sum of money. If you do win, then there is a good chance that your medical bills will be eliminated entirely. However, the road to a successful lawsuit is long and hard, particularly because the laws can vary from state to state. To help you get started, here are a couple of the most important questions that you should ask when it comes to dog bites in Indiana:
Does Indiana use the one bite rule?
Many states follow something that is called the one bite rule, and Indiana happens to be among them. In states that practice this law, owners are exempt from liability when their dog bites someone for the first time. It is of course a little more nuanced than that, but the general idea is that you can't really expect to sue someone and win if they didn't know that their dog was going to bite you.
This means that you will need to focus quite a bit of effort on figuring out whether the owner knew that their dog was capable of such aggression. If the dog had bitten anyone in the past or had acted sufficiently aggressively, then the owner does become liable and your lawsuit becomes much more viable. However, if you are unable to actually prove those claims, then you might end up wasting quite a bit of time and effort on a fruitless lawsuit.
What is the statute of limitations for a dog bite in Indiana?
As is generally the case, dog bites fall under the broader personal injury statute of limitations, which happens to be 2 years in Indiana. While other types of personal injuries generally allow quite a bit of leeway when it comes to expanding that window of opportunity, dog bites are a little different.
While you might not discover the damage of medical malpractice until years after the fact, you will almost always know that you have been bitten by a dog immediately. Furthermore, dog bites don't often result in chronic injuries when compared to other types of personal injuries. Collectively, this means that you shouldn't expect to get an extension on the statute of limitations unless you have some exceptional circumstances. Talk to a lawyer, like LeBaron & Jensen, P.C., for more help.