Indianapolis, IN asked in Personal Injury, Health Care Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Indiana

Q: Neighbor's dog ran on my property and bit my leg. Do I have a claim?

I was walking out of my garage going to get mail. Next door neighbor's dog ran up to me and started barking. While the minor who was with him told me he (the dog) didn't bite, the dog instead bit me three times. One of those times left a mark on my lower leg. I spoke with one parent who apologized for my injury. What should I do? I also have two grade-school children, and want to be prepared if this situation happens again.

2 Lawyer Answers
Chase T Wilson
Chase T Wilson
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Do you have a claim?: Maybe, this depends on whether the dog has shown a violent propensity before, this is known as the "one bite" rule in Indiana. Basically, if the dog has never bit anyone before then the owner will not have had sufficient notice of the dog's violent propensity and therefore cannot be determined to have been negligent.

What should you do?: Two things, 1) If you're injured you should seek medical treatment and then contact a personal injury attorney about pursuing a claim. 2) You need to call animal control and file a report so if the dog bites you or one of your children again you have proof that the owner was on notice of the dog's violent propensity, making a personal injury claim much more feasible.

I hope this helps.

2 users found this answer helpful

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing

A: Contact a member of the Indiana Assn for Justice --they give free consults. Get treatment. Follow up. The neighbor, via their dog, committed a trespass and you were hurt.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.