Personal Injury Claim

JR was offered a settlement of $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

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Indianapolis Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

Statistics show that more than one-third of American households own a dog. They’re wonderful companions, affectionate and entertaining, and often serious about protecting their people and property from threats of intrusion. This territorial characteristic accounts for some of the dog bites suffered by millions of people each year. Frequently, however, dog attacks are unprovoked and happen suddenly and unexpectedly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs during a 12-month period, and almost 900,000 of those bites require medical treatment. In fact, in 2012, more than 27,000 people were bitten so severely that they required reconstructive surgery.

Dog Bites in Indiana

Dog bites are a problem in every state. State Farm Insurance Company ranks Indiana No.7 on its list of states with the most dog bite claims. In 2012, that insurer alone paid out $2.7 million to dog bite victims in Indiana.

If you or a family member has been attacked by a dog, the Indianapolis dog bite lawyers at McNeely Stephenson Thopy & Harrold can help you obtain compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering. Call Mike Stephenson at 855-206-2555 to begin the process of holding the dog’s owner responsible for the actions of his pet.

Indiana Dog Bite Laws

Indiana law holds dog owners strictly liable for an unprovoked dog attack on a person who is acting peaceably. This is true even if the dog had never before shown itself to be vicious or if the owner had no idea that the dog might attack.

All animal bites must be investigated in Indiana. A doctor who treats a dog bite injury is required to report it within 72 hours after the incident. This is primarily to prevent the spread of rabies.

Some communities in Indiana have passed ordinances restricting or banning pit bulls, as this is the breed responsible for the highest number of attacks. Those cities are East Chicago, Fowler, Gary, Merrillville, and Mishawaka.

Dog Bite Wounds

Most dog bite injuries consist of puncture wounds, scratches and abrasions. However, severe attacks may produce crushing injuries to bones, especially in children, as well as deep tissue and nerve damage, scarring and disfigurement. Infection is always possible; more than 30 species of bacteria and at least one virus have been isolated from dog or cat bite wounds.

Dog bites occur most commonly to the victim’s extremities (arm, hand, leg or foot) or to the head or neck. Understandably, because of their small stature, children under age 4 are most often bitten on the head and neck. Statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control show that in the period from 2003 to 2012, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9 and 10th for ages 10-14.

Vicious dog attacks can also lead to a horrifying death. In 2013, dog attacks killed 18 children and 14 adults in the U.S. More than one-third of these victims were visiting or living temporarily with the dog’s owner when the fatal attack occurred.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Have you been bitten or attacked by a dog?

If you have been bitten, attacked or mauled by a neighbor’s or family member’s dog, you can turn to Mike Stephenson for compassionate and personalized representation. Mike has been successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1982, and he is dedicated to seeing that those who have been harmed by the negligence of others are compensated for their injuries. Even if the owner of the vicious dog is criminally charged, the victim can seek personal reparations in a civil court action.

Mike Stephenson, Indianapolis dog bite lawyer, is available to help you deal with the financial and emotional impact of a dog attack. Call 1-855-206-2555 or use the online contact form to arrange for a free and confidential evaluation of your injury claim.

Personal Injury Lawyer
March 22, 2019 / Wrongful Death
A New High for Accidental, Preventable Deaths

Accidental deaths have hit an all-time high in the U.S., at least since government agencies have kept records on the causes of death. About 466 people die accidental deaths every day in the U.S. – one every three minutes. It’s clearly bad news that highlights so many challenges Americans are currently facing, including an opioid epidemic and the persistent uptick in the number of vehicle crash-related deaths. You might be wondering what ma...


Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve


The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.


Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.


The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.


The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.


Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states