Getting bitten by a dog can be traumatic. The consequences can be medical bills and, depending on the severity of the injuries, could include missed time at work. That’s to say nothing of the mental pain and suffering that can result from PTSD or other anxieties that can take their toll on a person’s peace of mind. A Fort Wayne dog bites lawyer can help clients understand their case and how to seek appropriate financial recompense.
Attorney Jennifer McKibben works zealously to get her clients a fair settlement. She has a deep understanding of the relevant law and how it applies in specific situations. Call the Fort Wayne office of McKibben Law, LLC today at (260) 777-0844 or reach out online to set up a consultation.
The general principle that governs most dog bite cases in the state of Indiana is the one-bite rule. Dog owners are expected to use reasonable care in keeping other people safe from their pet. If a dog hasn’t previously bitten anyone, courts may take a more lenient view on the measures a dog owner would be expected to take. But if there is a previous history of biting, an owner will need a very good explanation to avoid liability.
However, there are exceptions to the one-bite rule. A postal carrier, or anyone else who is on a property to perform a required duty, gets complete protection. If they are bitten, the principle of strict liability kicks in. That means the mere existence of a dog bite presumes a breach of duty on the part of the owner, so long as the dog was not provoked.
Most dog bites won’t happen to people in the course of their employment, so it’s important to understand the steps to take after getting bitten, and the legal challenges that are ahead.
Dog bites must be reported to local authorities. Any bite places the victim at risk of contracting rabies. As such, it’s imperative to see a doctor. Even seemingly minor wounds can result in rabies or other viruses. Furthermore, having a doctor’s visit on record can be crucial in the development of a legal case.
A good rule of thumb in all personal injury cases applies here–don’t post to social media about the incident. Even seemingly harmless posts about the incident might be taken as a sign that the injuries aren’t serious. Certainly, any indication by the victim that they feel fine now are likely to be dredged up by an insurance company’s defense lawyers in the event of a lawsuit. Silence is the best policy. That also goes in regard to communications with the dog’s owner. What a person doesn't say can’t come back to haunt them later.
Securing a fair settlement requires a diligent and methodical approach to the law and to the evidence in each case. That’s what Attorney Jennifer McKibben aims to give all of her clients as she fights for a fair settlement. Call McKibben Law, LLC today at (260) 777-0844 or connect with us online to set up a consultation.
Let’s say a lawyer has successfully demonstrated the dog owner was careless in how they handled their dog. The plaintiff’s lawsuit still has not been won. The final two elements of any personal injury case are causation and damages.
Causation means that the owner’s negligence is, in fact, the cause of the injuries the plaintiff suffers from. On the surface, this might seem obvious. What else would be the cause of the stitches in their leg? Maybe that really is all there is too it, but there could be more.
What if the bite led to blood hemorrhaging? What if a virus caused the plaintiff to be seriously ill? This could be from the dog bite, but maybe not. The defendant’s insurance company will look for other medical explanations of these additional effects. The plaintiff’s attorney can be no less vigilant in making the connection between medical consequences and the dog bite.
Now, we come to damages. Perhaps the plaintiff enjoys walks through the neighborhood. Now, they find themselves terrified of the dog–not just the dog that bit them, but dogs in general. It’s harder to even do their favorite activity, much less enjoy it. They feel apprehensive at a barbeque when dogs are present.
These are all very realistic consequences and have real impact in the life of the plaintiff. They must also be demonstrated in court. Testimony from family and friends about the impact of the dog bite can be helpful. Seeing a therapist, who might offer testimony on the mental pain and anguish of the victim, can further bolster the case. All of it adds up to the damages the plaintiff needs to be compensated for.
McKibben Law, LLC will fight to help you get a fair settlement. Call our Fort Wayne office today at (260) 777-0844 or contact us online to set up a consultation.