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Dog Bite Lawyers in Indianapolis, IN

White dog gently gnawing owners arm

Suffering any dog bite or animal attack can be traumatic. Whether the resulting physical injury is minor or severe, the emotional trauma can be devastating, especially for a child. The Indianapolis dog bite attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC understand the physical and psychological harm a dog bite can cause. We have extensive experience handling these types of cases. We will fight aggressively for you to receive the full compensation to rebuild your life if you or your loved one has been attacked by a vicious dog.

Our compassionate Indianapolis lawyers understand how difficult the recovery can be after a serious dog attack. We have seen adults, as well as children, suffer disfigurement from dog bites, requiring multiple cosmetic surgeries. You may have significant medical costs far in excess of the amount covered by your health insurance. You may even be facing funeral expenses if you have lost a loved one in a fatal dog attack. We understand that you need trusted legal guidance at this difficult time. Let a dog attack lawyer review your injury and discuss the legal options available to you. Our attorneys can deal with the insurance companies so that you can concentrate on your recovery. 

At Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, our senior attorneys have more than 26 years of experience handling dog bite claims and wrongful death claims. Review the testimonials of former clients. Then contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC for a no-obligation consultation.

What to Do After a Dog Bites You

Dog bites can cause pain and also carry germs that cause infection. Approximately one of every five people bitten by a dog requires medical treatment. 

If you are bitten by a dog and the wound is minor, you should wash your wounds with soap and water as soon as possible.

Seek medical attention if a minor dog bite wound becomes swollen and painful or if you develop a fever.

If the wound is serious, you should seek prompt medical attention.

For deeper puncture wounds, apply pressure to stop bleeding. If you cannot stop the bleeding or start to feel lightheaded or faint, call 911 immediately.

Dog bites must be reported to Indiana health authorities and investigated because anyone bitten by a dog is at risk of getting rabies, a virus that is nearly always fatal once symptoms develop. An animal bite report form should be filled out with information about the animal, the name of the animal’s owner if known, and the status of the animal’s rabies vaccination. 

If you don’t know whether the dog has been vaccinated or the dog is acting strangely, you should see a doctor. 

It is also important to list whether the bite was provoked or unprovoked. Dogs that bite after being provoked are considered to present a lower risk of rabies, according to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

How Much Can I Sue a Dog Owner for Bite Injuries?

A person bitten by a dog in an unprovoked attack in Indianapolis may bring a dog bite lawsuit demanding compensation for medical bills, lost wages from missed work and pain and suffering if the dog’s owner caused the injury through negligence or disregard for safety. 

Indiana courts have held that a dog owner is required to have his or her dog under reasonable control, even if the owner is unaware of a dog’s vicious tendencies. A dog owner must be familiar with the dog’s natural tendencies and use reasonable care to prevent dog bites. If a dog owner fails to keep control of a dog or disregards animal control laws and a bite occurs, the owner may be liable. 

Dog bite cases depend on the specific circumstances of the dog attack. An experienced Indianapolis dog bite attorney at Craig, Kelley & Faultless can review the details of your injury and discuss the appropriate legal steps to take. 

People should not keep a vicious dog as a pet. Previous aggressive behavior by a dog may show that a dog owner should have been aware of a dog’s propensity to bite and taken further steps to protect the public from harm. Any dog owner with a dog that has the propensity to bite or a history of biting may be held civilly liable if the dog subsequently attacks someone else. 

Indiana law also offers specific protections to individuals who are bitten while carrying out state and federal duties such as postal carriers. The law states that a dog owner is civilly liable for all damages suffered if a dog without provocation bites a person who is carrying out an official duty of the state or federal government such as postal carriers delivering mail, or police officers or firefighters doing their jobs. 

The dog owner is liable for all damages suffered by the bite victim, even if the dog owner has no prior knowledge of the dog biting anyone or acting in a vicious manner.

Many municipalities including Indianapolis also have ordinances that govern irresponsible dog ownership and dog attacks. These may define and prohibit certain dangerous breeds, as well as impose fines and address whether the dog involved should be destroyed.

In certain situations, a dog owner whose dog has bitten or attacked someone may face criminal charges. The Indiana criminal code defines unprovoked dog attacks as a Class C misdemeanor in certain circumstances:

  • The owner recklessly, knowingly or intentionally fails to take reasonable steps to restrain the dog.
  • The dog enters property other than the property of the dog’s owner.
  • As a result of the owner’s failure to restrain the dog, the dog bites or attacks another person without provocation resulting in bodily injury.

Clearly criminal codes are not enough to address the results of a vicious dog attack. A criminal conviction of an irresponsible dog owner will not provide compensation to cover your medical bills. You will need to pursue a separate civil lawsuit to hold the dog owner financially liable for your losses related to the injury. Contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC and ask about your rights to file a dog bite lawsuit.

What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Some dogs have a propensity to bite or attack. But any dog may become aggressive and bite if the dog feels threatened or stressed. 

The most common types of dog bite injuries include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Torn tissue
  • Hand wounds
  • Facial bite injuries, which can lead to permanent scarring
  • Head injuries
  • Infection from the transmission of germs in the untreated wound
  • Nerve damage causing loss of function
  • Severed tendons and arteries in the arms, legs or neck
  • Scratches and lacerations
  • Psychological harm
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome

Statistics on Dog Bites

4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States

Indiana ranked 8th among the 10 states with the highest number of dog bite claims in 2018

State Farm Insurance paid $4 million to resolve 109 dog bite claims in Indiana in 2018

Children are more likely to be bitten by a dog than adults and much more likely to suffer severe injuries

Approximately 56 percent of the dog bite victims who died from 2000-2025 were under 16 years of age

$39,017 was the average cost of a dog bite insurance claim in 2018

From 2009-2018, State Farm Insurance paid more than $1.1 billion in dog bite injury claims

Sources: American Veterinary Medical Association, State Farm Insurance

How Can a Dog Bite Attorney Help?

After a serious dog bites or mauling, our mission as Indianapolis personal injury attorneys is to help you obtain a financial recovery to cover your medical bills and help you regain control of your life and move forward.

We will review the details of the dog attack free of charge and help you understand the options available to you under Indiana law. If we represent you, we will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all of those who may be held accountable for your injuries. 

We will calculate the extent of your losses including lost income from missed work, medical bills, future medical care related to the injury and your pain and suffering. We will submit a demand to the insurance company representing the dog owner and demand full compensation.

If the insurer declines to offer a fair settlement, our experienced trial attorneys will be prepared to step forward and seek justice for you in an Indiana court. When you are represented by Craig, Kelley & Faultless, you will have the advantage of having our entire legal team working aggressively on your behalf.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious dog bite injuries, you should understand your legal options for pursuing compensation. Please allow a knowledgeable Indianapolis personal injury lawyer at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC to review your injury and discuss your options during a free consultation

If we handle your dog bite accident injury claim, our attorneys can deal with the insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery. Attorney David Craig and the legal team at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC care about our clients who have been attacked by dogs. We will press aggressively for you to receive full and just compensation.

Our Honors & Awards

Our firm has received many prestigious awards, including the 2015 Litigator Award, which we also received in 2014, and listing among the 10 Best Law Firms of 2015 by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. Our lawyers have been awarded Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating, 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo, and membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. If you have been injured, Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC has an award winning team ready to help you and your family.

Have you been injured? Call us now.
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