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Experienced Legal Representation For Victims Of Dog Bites And Animal Attacks

Being bitten by a dog or other animal is a painful and often frightening experience. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible is your number one priority. Once you are in stable condition, it is important to seek qualified legal advice as soon as possible to preserve your rights and legal options for compensation.

Here at Hilbrich Law Firm, we have been advocating for victims of animal bites since our firm was founded in 1952. With three convenient office locations in Highland, Crown Point and Portage, we serve clients across northwest Indiana.

Determining Liability For A Dog Bite

In Indiana, pet owners have a statutory and common law obligation to use reasonable care to control their pets. Depending on the circumstances, liability may be attributed to the owner. There are two main considerations used to determine this: the status of the person bitten, and the breed and history of the animal.

In most cases of dog bites, Indiana observes the “one bite rule.” This means that dog owners can be held liable if they knew or had reason to know (based on the dog’s previous aggressive actions) that the animal posed a risk to others. If the owner still failed to take reasonable steps to restrain the dog, they can be held liable for injuries suffered by others.

The one-bite rule does not apply if a dog, without provocation, attacks a postal worker, police officer, firefighter or anyone else who is in the location of the attack (by necessity or requirement) and acting in an official legal or government capacity. In such cases, the dog owner can be held strictly liable, even if they had no prior knowledge of the animal’s aggression.

How Our Firm Can Help You

After being attacked by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills (present and future)
  • Lost wages from time spent unable to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Psychological injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder

As mentioned above, proving negligence and prior knowledge of the animal’s aggressive tendencies can be tricky. We understand how to gather and analyze all available evidence to build a claim against the pet owner. We are also prepared to counter any attempts by the owner to blame you for your own injuries, such as claiming that you were trespassing or that you provoked the attack.

Finally, we will ensure that your claim is brought in a timely manner and meets all procedural requirements. The Indiana statute of limitations gives a maximum of two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit, in line with other personal injury claims. Minors, however, have until they turn the age of 20 years old to file suit.

Explore Your Legal Options With An Attorney For Free

At Hilbrich Law Firm, we are pleased to offer free case evaluations to all prospective clients in northwest Indiana. We also take personal injury cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means you won’t pay any legal fees until and unless we help you recover compensation. To schedule your first meeting with our experienced and caring lawyers, give us a call at 219-444-4330 or submit an online contact form.