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I Was Bitten by a Dog – Can I Sue?

Home Personal Injury I Was Bitten by a Dog – Can I Sue?


Dog Bite

Whether someone likes dogs or not, nobody likes being bitten by one. Unfortunately, dog bites can cause serious, long-lasting physical and psychological injuries including infections, disease, scars, abrasions, “crush wounds”, nerve damage, and a life-long fear of animals. If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation through the Wisconsin court system.

Dog Owners’ Liability in Wisconsin

If you were injured by a dog in Wisconsin, the so-called “dog bite law” – Wisconsin Statutes section 174.02(1) will likely apply.

In layperson’s terms, this law says that dog owners are automatically accountable for their animal’s actions and are responsible for paying the full amount of damages when their dog bites or otherwise injures other people, someone else’s pet, or someone else’s property.

In some situations, the dog’s history of biting others can entitle the victim to a penalty paid by the dog owner.

Compensation for the Victim

After a dog bite injury, expenses can quickly add up. If you are successful in a lawsuit against the owner of the dog that bit you, you may receive compensation to pay for things like:

  • Medical care, including emergency room or urgent care, ambulance fees, first aid, hospital care, surgical procedures (including cosmetic surgery), etc.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Personal property damaged in the dog attack, such as eyeglasses and clothing
  • Counseling to deal with the psychological trauma that can come from dog bites
  • Loss of earnings while you are under medical and psychological care
  • Long-term disability care

Compensation will depend on the facts of your case. Your personal injury attorney can help you determine what type of damages you may be able to obtain.

Factors That Can Influence Compensation

There are a number of considerations that can impact whether you’ll be able to recover damages after a dog bite, and if so, how much compensation you may be entitled to. Some of those factors include the following:

  • Did the dog bite break the skin? Even seemingly minor cuts or punctures can result in disease or infection.
  • Was there permanent, physical scarring?
  • Did the bite result in emotional or psychological trauma?
  • Was the dog provoked, or did the bite occur without provocation?
  • Has the dog ever injured someone else before? If so, does the owner know about previous injuries?
  • Does the dog owner have insurance that covers injuries caused by the dog?

Contact GCW Lawyers

It’s not always easy to make the decision to file a lawsuit. That can be especially true if you were injured by a friend’s, neighbor’s, or family member’s dog. However, you may be entitled to funds that can help pay for your medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages, pain and suffering, and long-term disabilities resulting from the dog bite.

Let the experienced, compassionate personal injury attorneys at GCW help you determine whether it makes sense to take legal action. To schedule a free case review and consultation in Madison, Milwaukee, or Eau Claire, contact us today.

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