Let’s say that you are walking along, maybe delivering mail for your job, minding your own business. You walk past a yard where a dog is outside, barking at you as you pass. Without warning, it begins to chase after you, leaving the yard. If it bites you, there’s a statute on that! However, what if the dog does not bite you, but you are injured when running away? Is the dog owner liable for your injuries then?
Well first, let’s look at the Indiana dog-bite statute. Indiana’s statue, IC 15-20-1-3, states that if a dog bites someone who is acting peaceably in a location that they may be required to be in to do their job or a duty imposed upon them by the state of Indiana, the laws of the United States, or postal regulations, then the owner of that dog is liable for all damages suffered by the person bitten.
This makes the dog owner strictly liable, meaning they are liable no matter what. If someone is allowed to be in a place and the dog bites that person, the owner must pay for the damages suffered by the person who was bitten. This statute only covers dog bites, however.
Owners Responsible for Animal Attacks
Concerning animal attacks, the best example of a law or an ordinance that holds someone liable for an attack is Marion County Ordinance Section 531-109. This code states that an owner can be in violation of the ordinance if the owner’s animal attacks and injures a person who did not provoke the animal prior to attack. The owner would not be liable under this ordinance if the person attacked was committing a crime or there was an enclosure in which the animal could not get out of, there was a posted sign, and the person attacked entered the enclosure without invitation.
The punishment under this section is a fine, and the ordinance actually discusses the above section of Indiana Code, and states that this ordinance does not take the place of that section of the Indiana Code regarding dog bites.
This Marion County Ordinance, while it would not reduce or substitute the penalties in the Indiana Code, it does allow for someone to be held liable if their dog does something other than bite a person. If an animal chases someone, or causes someone to be hurt in another way, they can still be held liable in the form of a fine.
Why Is This Important?
The section of Indiana Code mentioned above just discusses dog-bite liability and does not discuss liability for the owner of a dog who injures someone while chasing them. Thus, it is important for county ordinances like the one from Marion County to supplement the Indiana Statute. They allow for people who have suffered an injury while running from a dog to get compensation for any injuries they may have suffered. This allows a path to compensation for those who did not suffer a dog bite, as the statute from Indiana states.
Have You Suffered an Injury from an Animal Attack?
Contact the experienced dog bite attorneys at Hurst Limontes, LLC. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience working for our clients on any number of personal injury issues. We will ensure you get just compensation for your injuries. Call or email us for a free consultation today!