A dog bite can cause lasting physical and emotional damage. Estimates suggest that more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year, and approximately one thousand seek emergency medical treatment for their injuries.
In many cases, dog owners could be held responsible for the harm their pets cause. If you were bitten by a dog, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at our firm to discuss your potential claim for damages. A Kenosha dog bite lawyer at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could work tirelessly to pursue compensation on your behalf.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
A dog does not have to be overly vicious for its bite to cause damage. Even a small wound could put the injured victim at risk of the following:
Any of these conditions could cause significant harm to the injured party if left untreated.
Kenosha Dog Owners are Strictly Liable
Under Wisconsin Statutes §174.02, if a dog harms a person, property, or another animal, then its owner is responsible for the damages. An injured party does not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent or knew that their pet might bite. However, if the dog bites a second time, the owner may be liable for twice the amount of damages.
Generally, there are exceptions to this strict liability rule. If a dog bit someone while protecting its owner or their property, the owner might not be responsible for damages. Likewise, if a law enforcement dog on duty harms a suspect, neither the dog’s owner nor the police department can be held liable for injuries. A local attorney experienced in dog bite lawsuits could further explain how strict liability law might apply to a specific case.
What to do After a Canine Attack
A person injured by a dog can take steps to protect themselves and preserve their legal rights in a dog bite case. Some of these include:
- Seek medical attention and maintain records of all treatment received
- Report the bite to local authorities
- If the dog or the owner cannot be located, consult with a physician about obtaining a rabies vaccination
- Photograph all injuries and preserve any video of the attack
Additionally, a hardworking lawyer could investigate a case, obtain statements from any witnesses to the incident, and present the claim to the dog’s owner, insurance company, or Kenosha court.
Damages in a Dog Bite Case
In a dog bite claim, an injured victim and their legal counsel could pursue reimbursement for various damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional stress caused by the attack
- Lost wages
- Property damage
If a canine attack is severe enough to be fatal, the deceased’s family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek damages for the loss of their loved one. Our legal team could assess a Kenosha resident’s damages and negotiate a fair settlement with the dog’s owner or their insurance company.
Wisconsin Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims
Under Wisconsin Statute §893.54, a victim has up to three years after a dog attack to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a dog bite kills someone, a wrongful death action must also be filed within three years. Filing an action after the deadline may result in a dismissal of the claims and denial of compensation to the injured party. As such, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer at our firm to help file lawsuits within the statutory timeframe.
Consult a Kenosha Dog Bite Attorney
Dog attacks can cause severe harm. Injured victims may require need immediate medical care, including sutures, rabies or tetanus vaccinations, and medications for infections and pain.
Luckily, Wisconsin law protects victims by holding dog owners strictly liable for any harm caused by their pets. At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., our attorneys could assess your damages and recommend a settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries. If your case proceeds to court, a Kenosha dog bite lawyer could present your case to a judge and advocate for the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law. Call us today to discuss your circumstances.