Although most dogs are friendly and docile, they can become aggressive under certain circumstances. A dog bite injury can be a traumatic experience for both adults and children. A canine attack can result in severe lacerations, broken bones, and a variety of other injuries. In addition, dog attacks can have a lasting impact on a victim’s emotional well-being, particularly if the wounds lead to disfigurement. If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you pursue the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Since around 18 percent of dog bites can become severely infected, it is important to receive medical care right away. Treatments such as proper cleansing of cuts and lacerations can ensure that wounds will be able to heal properly. Furthermore, medical professionals may suggest a tetanus booster or other medications to address potential infectious diseases.
Pursue Legal Action
Following a dog bite, you may be able to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, monetary damages, medical costs, and psychological treatment. The amount of compensation may differ depending on whether the dog has a history of biting people. According to Wisconsin Statute 174.02, a dog’s owner can be held liable for the full amount of damages a victim suffered in an attack by the dog. If the owner had prior knowledge of the dog biting another person and causing permanent physical disfigurement, they may be required to pay two times the full amount of damages for a subsequent attack by the dog that results in scarring or disfigurement.
Immediately after being bitten by a dog, you should document the incident. Steps you can take include:
- File a police report
- Photograph any wounds
- Retain medical records
- Keep a journal of the physical and emotional symptoms experienced
- Acquire witness statements, which can demonstrate that the attack was unprovoked
Contact a Green Bay Personal Injury Lawyer
Regardless of whether a dog bite seems serious or insignificant, it is important to seek medical attention. In certain situations, a well-meaning dog owner may offer to pay for your medical expenses. Before accepting any form of payment, you should discuss your legal options with a lawyer. Our skilled team of Appleton, WI dog bite attorneys at the Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you gather evidence, demonstrate the extent of your injuries, and pursue a personal injury claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 920-739-7366.