Wisconsin is home to an estimated 500,000 pet dogs. Each year in the U.S., roughly 4.5 million people are victims of dog bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dog bites can be traumatic, causing severe physical injury, loss of income, emotional distress, and more. It is essential to immediately seek medical attention after the attack. A personal injury lawyer can collect and preserve evidence and help you pursue monetary compensation for your damages.
Injuries from Dog Bites and Attacks
The statute of limitations to sue for dog bites is three years from the date of the attack. According to Wisconsin Statutes section 174.02(1), dog owners are liable for attacks on humans or other domestic animals. The types of injuries sustained by dog bites can be severe, often causing permanent disability.
- Disfigurement – Severe dog bites can result in long-lasting deformities that often require several plastic and reconstructive surgeries. If the victim’s face is mutilated, that victim will likely suffer from serious physical, emotional, and psychological anguish. In many cases, the victim will also need therapy.
- Infection – Dog bites can cause infections that could be so severe that they are fatal. A sepsis blood infection sometimes necessitates amputation. It is imperative to seek medical treatment even if the dog bite is minor.
- Broken Bones and torn ligaments – The sheer force of a dog bite could break bones and tear ligaments. In some cases, the dog bite does not have to puncture the skin to cause major damage. If wearing thickly padded winter clothing, the victim might initially feel unharmed and dismiss the gravity of the bite. Seeking medical attention is vital as an x-ray can determine the severity of the injury.
- Nerve damage – If a dog bite causes nerve damage, the victim may suffer permanent impairment with numbness or functioning loss.
- Rabies – Although rare, rabies transmission does occur and can be fatal. The attacking dog’s vaccination status needs to be confirmed.
Dog Bite Victims are Eligible for Compensation
Dog bite victims may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Double damages under certain specific circumstances
The parties wholly or partially liable for damages vary and may include:
- Dog’s owner – Wisconsin law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by a dog
- Dog’s keepers and harborers – Dog sitters, walkers, or other individuals who exercise control over a dog may also be strictly liable
- Dog bite victim – If determined that the victim provoked the dog to attack, the victim may share liability.
Personal injury lawyers will negotiate with insurers to secure appropriate compensatory damages.
Contact our Green Bay, Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers for Dog-Bite Victims
Dog bites and attacks can be traumatic with life-altering ramifications. After filing a personal injury claim, or wrongful death claim, our team at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., will advocate for the highest compensation on your behalf or the behalf of your loved one. Contact our Appleton personal injury lawyers for a free consultation at 920-739-7366.