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Janesville Dog Attack Law Firm Fighting for Victims of Dog Bites

Wisconsin’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Statute

In Wisconsin, dog owners are always responsible for their dog biting another person. Wisconsin’s dog bite statute is found at §174.02 and provides: The owner of a dog is liable for the full amount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injury to a person, domestic animal or property.

(b) After notice (that a dog has a propensity for biting), the owner of a dog is liable for 2 times the full amount of damages caused by the dog biting a person with sufficient force to break the skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement if the owner was notified or knew that the dog had previously, without provocation, bitten a person with sufficient force to break the skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement.

If a dog owner tries to tell you that they are not at fault because their dog had never previously bit someone, that is wrong. Wisconsin is not a “one-free-bite” state. Wisconsin Statute § 174.02 does not provide an exception for dogs that had never been violent. However, part (b) of the statute provides for double damages if a dog owner knows that their dog is violent and it bites another person. Because you could possibly be entitled to double damages, it is prudent to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to properly investigate the dog owner.

Homeowner’s Insurance may Provide Coverage

What do you do if the dog owner is a friend or family member? Do you have to sue your friend? The answer is probably no. Most people have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Banks require their homeowners to have insurance to protect their asset and landlords require renter’s insurance for the same reason. This is the reason that they bought insurance. If you hire an experienced injury lawyer, they can sit down and explain the process to the dog owner and make the insurance claim painless for your friend or family member.

Go to the Emergency Room to Prevent Infection

Wisconsin law requires injured people to take reasonable measures to mitigate or minimize their damages. When you’ve been bitten by a dog, that means making sure that your dog bite wound does not get infected. Dog’s mouths are home to a lot of bacteria. As a result, infections are common in dog bites. Go to the emergency room and have a medical professional examine and clean the wound. After leaving the emergency room, follow the doctor’s instructions

Call the Paul Benson Law Firm

I have devoted my professional life to representing good people who have been injured. Call or email me today to talk about your case.  I always review cases for free.