Under this statute, if a dog, without provocation, bites a postal or other government worker who is lawfully doing his or her job on the owner’s property, the owner may be liable for any damages, regardless of the dog’s former viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness. This statute essentially relieves postal workers and other government employees of the burden of proving the owner’s knowledge of viciousness.
Under Indiana’s common law, all dogs are presumed to be harmless. This legal presumption is overcome by evidence of a known or dangerous propensity as shown by specific acts of the animal. A dangerous propensity is a tendency by the animal to do an act which might endanger someone’s personal safety in a given situation. Even when the owner or keeper has knowledge of dangerous propensities, liability is based on negligence. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the owner did not take reasonable steps under the circumstances to prevent the injury.
Indiana does not have a Dangerous Dog Statute.
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