At Wagner Reese, we understand the extensive, long-term effects very severe injuries have on victims and their loved ones. We can say this with pride because our experienced catastrophic injury lawyers in Indianapolis have more than 150+ years of combined experience and have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. In 2023, eight of our attorneys were selected to either the Super Lawyers® or Rising Stars lists, which name only a small percentage of all practicing legal professionals nationwide. Our goal is always to provide our clients with the care, attention, and compassion they deserve, and the tireless advocacy and dedicated legal representation they need.

German Shepherd Running in a Forest

Dog Registration and Requirements

In Indianapolis, as in many other cities, there are regulations and requirements for dog ownership, including the need for a dog license. While the city of Indianapolis doesn’t require a specific dog license, there are essential regulations and responsibilities dog owners must adhere to.

Vaccinations and Health Requirements

Dog attacks can result in a wide range of serious injuries, varying in severity based on the size and breed of the dog. Many dogs have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, which are capable of causing deep puncture wounds. These wounds can be prone to infection and may require extensive medical care, particularly if the dog is not up to date with all required vaccinations. Dog bites can introduce bacteria into the body, leading to infections like cellulitis or deep tissue infections. Some infections might become systemic and potentially life-threatening if not treated promptly, including rabies.

In Indianapolis, dogs are required to have up-to-date vaccinations, especially for rabies. Owners must ensure their dogs receive vaccinations as recommended by local ordinances and veterinarians. It’s crucial for dogs to have proper identification to prove the dog is up to date. This can include a collar with an ID tag displaying the owner’s contact information. If the dog is not vaccinated or its vaccination status is unknown, there is a risk of contracting rabies or other diseases transmitted through animal bites.

Leash Laws

The city enforces leash laws, mandating that dogs be on a leash when in public spaces. This law is to ensure the safety of dogs and the community. Owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior in public spaces. This includes cleaning up after them and ensuring they don’t pose a threat or nuisance to others. Proper training and socialization help ensure that a dog is well-behaved and comfortable in various situations, reducing the likelihood of issues in public spaces. Sadly, not all dog owners take this responsibility seriously.

If you were attacked by a dog that wasn’t properly secured on a leash, this is something you’ll want to tell our team of attorneys, as it is a good basis for a catastrophic injury case and proves negligence.

The city has regulations regarding excessive barking or other nuisances caused by dogs. It’s the owner’s responsibility to manage and control their dog’s behavior to avoid disturbances to neighbors or the community. While this often applies to barking, it applies towards aggression and general behavior as well. Beyond physical injuries, dog attacks can cause significant emotional trauma, especially in cases involving children. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological conditions may develop, impacting the victim’s mental health.

Dog-Related Laws Specific to Marion County

Indianapolis has Animal Care Services that enforce local animal-related ordinances and address issues related to stray animals, neglect, or cruelty. They also provide information on responsible pet ownership.

It’s essential to check with the Indianapolis Animal Care Services or the Marion County government website for any updated or specific requirements related to dog ownership within the city and county. Local ordinances and regulations might change, impacting dog ownership rules.

While there might not be a specific dog license requirement in Indianapolis, responsible ownership, adherence to local laws, proper identification, and providing a safe and healthy environment for dogs are crucial aspects that every dog owner should prioritize.

Strict Liability in Dog Attacks

A dog owner can be held responsible for catastrophic injuries caused by their dog due to the legal principle of “strict liability” or under negligence laws. In many jurisdictions, including Indianapolis, if a dog causes severe harm or catastrophic injuries, the owner may be held liable regardless of whether the owner had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies or past behavior. Strict liability often applies in cases where the dog has inflicted severe injuries, especially if the owner failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent such an incident.

Additionally, negligence laws may come into play if the owner was aware of their dog’s dangerous propensities but failed to take adequate measures to prevent harm, such as not properly restraining or controlling the dog via a leash. Therefore, a dog owner’s responsibility for catastrophic injuries caused by their dog hinges on their duty to control and prevent their dog from causing harm to others.

Rottweiler Puppy Sitting in a Field with Grass

Contact Wagner Reese After a Dog Attack

Catastrophic injury cases, like those that result from a vicious dog attack, are somewhat different from other types of personal injury claims in that the extent and severity of damages are often far greater. Victims typically require immediate emergency treatment and extensive, ongoing medical care. This is something we take very seriously.

A catastrophic injury is one that temporarily or permanently alters a person’s ability to live the life they lived prior to the injury. In most cases, catastrophic injuries are so severe, they prevent the victim from returning to work in their full capacity—or even altogether. If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog and you’d like to pursue a catastrophic injury claim, please contact us at 866-828-0308 to begin.

We pride ourselves on our proven track record of success and satisfied clients, many of whom suffered injuries from dog attacks. Our founding partners, attorneys Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese, were among Indiana’s Top 25 Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers® honorees, so you know we can be trusted to handle your claim. Contact us as soon as possible.