Dog bite injuries can be serious and expensive. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average homeowners or renters insurance claim for a dog bite injury was more than $44,000 in 2019, and claims continue to trend upward.
In many cases, dog owners are responsible for the harm their pet inflicts upon another human being or animal. If you were bitten by a dog, its owner may be held liable for your injuries. You may be owed compensation to help with your medical care and other damages.
Pursuing compensation does not have to be overwhelming or stressful. If you have been injured by a dog, consider seeking the help of a Wisconsin dog bite lawyer. Reach out to the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755 to learn how we can help.
Wisconsin Dog Owners Are Strictly Liable
Wisconsin Statutes § 174.02 states that if a dog hurts a person, property, or another animal, the dog’s owner is responsible for the full amount of the damages. The victim is not required to prove that the dog owner acted negligently or that the owner knew their dog was likely to bite. This is known as strict liability.
There are a few instances where the dog owner may not be strictly liable. A dog owner is not liable if their dog bit someone while acting to protect its owner or its owner’s property, according to Wisconsin Statutes § 895.57. Law enforcement dogs are not liable for any injuries inflicted on a suspect while the dog is acting in the line of duty.
The statute also states that if a dog causes injuries a second time, the owner is liable for two times the amount of damages. The law does not limit dog-related injuries to bites alone. You could be owed compensation if you were injured because a dog knocked you down, scratched you, or harmed you in another way.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Wisconsin, call (800) 794-0444
Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Severe
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs can carry germs in their mouths that can be harmful to humans, causing sickness and infection. Even healthy dogs that are well cared for can carry illnesses. About 20 percent of people who are bitten by dogs will need to seek medical treatment.
You should seek medical care if your dog bite wound appears infected or will not stop bleeding. Seek treatment if your wound is deep, a deep puncture, or you are unsure about its severity. Some bites may require stitches. You might need to be updated on your tetanus shot or receive a rabies shot, especially if you are unsure whether the dog that bit you was current on its vaccinations. Antibiotics or other medications may be needed to prevent infection.
It is important to make sure your dog bite is reported to the local authorities. The police or animal control officers can investigate the animal and its owner to discover if the dog is up to date on shots or has bitten before.
An official record of your dog bite will be needed for any insurance claims or court proceedings. You should also maintain records of any medical treatment you receive for your dog bite or other injuries. Consider photographing your injuries. Let law enforcement know if you are aware of any video of your dog attack, or if there are witnesses who saw you being bitten.
Wisconsin Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
An Attorney May Be Able to Help
If you have medical bills resulting from a dog bite or dog-related injury, a Wisconsin dog bite lawyer can help you seek reimbursement for the costs of your treatment. You could also be entitled to awards for other damages, including:
- Scarring or disfigurement caused by a bite
- Compensation for wages lost because of your injuries
- Compensation for damaged property, including the costs of cattle or livestock, if applicable to your case
- Post-traumatic stress, anxiety, or mental anguish
- Wrongful death compensation if your family member died because of a dog bite injury
In some cases, a lawyer can help you seek a settlement through an insurance claim. If the dog owner’s insurance policy covers dog bites, an attorney can assist you in insurance negotiations. They can fight the insurer on your behalf if your claims are not fully paid or are denied.
A lawyer also can help you seek compensation in court. Wisconsin Statutes § 895.045, Wisconsin’s contributory negligence statute, states that as long as you are less at fault than the other party involved in your case, you may receive compensation. This means that even if you somehow provoked the animal that bit you, as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for your injuries, you can collect a settlement. Any settlement you receive will be proportional to your amount of negligence.
Another law you should be aware of is Wisconsin’s statute of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims. Wisconsin Statutes § 893.54 allows three years to commence legal action. Once the statute expires, your window of time to seek compensation is closed. It is important that you do not wait too long to get started on your case.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
The attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you with your dog bite claims. A Wisconsin dog bite lawyer can help calculate the costs of your damages and assist you in seeking the financial settlement you may be owed.
Our firm is dedicated to helping victims. We will stand by you through every step of your case. We do not want our services to become another expense on your list of bills. We can take your case on a contingency basis, meaning we do not collect a fee unless we win compensation for you.
We can help you stand up for your rights. Our team is here to help you fight for a fair settlement. To learn more, call our offices at (800) 816-0755 to take advantage of our free consultation.