According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, otherwise known as the CDC, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs yearly. In Wisconsin, dog owners are strictly liable, which means they can be held liable whenever their dog injures another person, regardless of any fault, for the full amount of damages or injuries caused by their animal to another animal, human being or property.
Wisconsin law offers protections to dog bite victims by holding dog owners accountable, regardless of whether or not their dogs have a history of dog bites and attacks. Owners are even responsible for injuries other than bites caused by their dogs. For example, if an excited dog jumps on someone and knocks him over, the owner would be responsible for all resulting injuries and damages under Wisconsin law.
Owners’ consequences might be even more serious for multiple dog injury incidents. If a dog bites one person and subsequently bites another, the owner may be liable for two times the total amount of injuries and damages sustained. This is known as ‘double damages’ in Wisconsin.
Besides responsibility for injuries and damages caused by their dogs, owners are also responsible for legal penalties imposed between $50 and $2,500 for a first-time injury. Owners who knew that their dog had a history of causing injuries to other people may be liable for penalties between $500 and $5,000 for any subsequent dog injuries.
In many cases, homeowner’s insurance companies are responsible for claims against their insured dog owners. To limit large claim payouts, insurance companies often deny, dispute, and undervalue injury claims. They also frequently turn the blame around on the injury victim by arguing that the injured party provoked the attack or was otherwise responsible for the injuries and damages they sustained. Our experienced attorneys know how to properly negotiate with insurance companies and secure maximum compensation for your injuries, whether that means taking the case to court.
In the most severe cases, dog injuries are catastrophic, causing permanent and sometimes fatal injuries. For those who survive dog attacks, injuries may involve significant scarring, disfigurement, and disability. Ongoing surgeries may be required for repair and reconstruction. Injury victims also face a heightened risk of contracting diseases and infections after a dog attack.
Severe dog attack injuries can be financially devastating for injured victims and their families due to ongoing medical expenses and lost income. An experienced dog injury attorney understands the aftermath and distress caused by catastrophic injury experiences and can help you fight for the compensation that you and your family deserve.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to lost wages and future lost income, medical expenses and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and disability. If you lost a loved one in a dog attack, close surviving family members might be entitled to compensation for lost financial support, funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and other losses under a wrongful death claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured by someone else’s dog, contact the Wisconsin dog bite lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. for more information and help with your case. Our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you receive maximum compensation, and working with you to make sure your goals and needs are met.