Milwaukee Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
Nearly everyone seems to love dogs, including many Milwaukee dog bite injury lawyers. This is because, for the most part, dogs make great pets and loyal companions. Most dogs are completely docile and would never intentionally cause harm. Unfortunately, this isn’t universally true. Some dogs bite or attack because they have been poorly trained and socialized by their owners, while some individual dogs are just uncharacteristically aggressive. Still others attack when they believe they’re in danger, whether or not their fear is rational.
In the United States each year, millions of people are bitten by dogs, with around 800,000 of these incidents requiring medical attention. If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite in Wisconsin, the following information will help you begin to understand your legal options as you prepare for a consultation with the experienced attorneys at our firm.
What the Law Says About Dog Bite Liability
As in most states, Wisconsin law makes clear that dog owners are fully liable when their dog bites or otherwise causes injuries to other people, domestic animals or property. This means that the dog owner must pay (either out of pocket or through an insurance policy) the full financial costs of the attack that their dog initiated – except in cases where the victim did something to provoke the attack. This may not absolve the dog owner of all liability, but it would likely reduce it. To receive case-specific guidance and legal assistance related to your unique circumstances, it’s important to speak with an experienced Milwaukee personal injury lawyer. General information is helpful, but the knowledgeable team at Hickey & Turim, SC can help you evaluate the specific legal options that apply to your situation specifically.
In general, victims have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit for damages such as:
- Medical bills (past, present and estimated future)
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of treating psychological trauma associated with the attack (therapy, counseling, etc.)
- Lost wages (from time away from work while recovering)
Dog owners would be on the hook for all of these costs unless they have a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers dog bites (many policies do).
But these aren’t the only costs and penalties dog owners face. Under Wisconsin law:
- Dog owners can be assessed a monetary penalty of up to $2,500 the first time their dog attacks someone, and can face a fine of up to $5,000 for a second offense if the owner knew that the dog had attacked someone in the past. This is a monetary penalty in addition to the personal injury damages listed above.
- Dog owners may be forced to pay double the amount of personal injury damages if their dog bites/attacks someone and the owner knew that the dog had previously bitten/attacked someone else.
- Courts may order a dog to be killed if the dog has caused “serious injury” on multiple occasions and if the owners knew about the first incident before the second (or third, etc.) one occurred. The victims do not need to be the same in each instance.
Learn More in a Free Initial Consultation
Our attorneys are proud to help personal injury victims seek the compensation they need and deserve after a serious dog bite or any other preventable injury. To discuss your case with us during a free consultation, contact an experienced Milwaukee dog bite injury lawyer at our office today; we look forward to speaking with you.