Our Madison Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help You Get Compensation if a Dog Bit You or Your Child
Although many people in Madison own dogs and consider them part of their family, any dog can bite a person—no matter how docile or friendly it seems. Regardless of the dog’s size or breed, a dog bite can cause serious injuries, such as puncture wounds and severe soft tissue damage. Additionally, infected dog bites can lead to more serious problems than the bite itself, and there’s always the risk the dog could transmit rabies or some other serious disease.
If you or your child suffered a dog bite injury in Madison, you have every right to hold the dog owner accountable and pursue compensation for your injuries. The experienced Madison dog bite attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling dog bite injury claims. We can review your case, advise you of your options, and help you understand your rights and options for getting the financial recovery you need from those responsible.
Contact us today to request your free consultation.
- Our Madison Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help You Get Compensation if a Dog Bit You or Your Child
- Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to Help With Your Madison Dog Bite Injury Claim
- The Prevalence of Dog Bites
- Why Do Dogs Bite?
- Wisconsinâs Dog Bite Liability Laws
- Madison Dog Bite Injury FAQ
- How Can a Dog Bite Attorney From Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Help Me?
Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to Help With Your Madison Dog Bite Injury Claim
Founded in 2007, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has served injured victims throughout Wisconsin for more than 15 years. Our lawyers have decades of combined legal experience, and we are dedicated to our clients’ needs. We are here to ensure you get the full and fair compensation you deserve to cover the costs of your injuries and suffering.
Over our history, our attorneys have recovered more than $65 million in compensation for our clients, including many verdicts and settlements over a million dollars. Although we can’t promise how much you will receive for your injuries, we can promise to protect your rights and fight zealously to increase your chances of getting the maximum compensation possible.
Our compassionate and personable lawyers have earned awards and honors for our impeccable professionalism, outstanding legal abilities, and unwavering commitment to our clients. We have received numerous five-star client reviews, and our website proudly displays some of the dozens of compelling testimonials we have received from our clients.
We understand the stress and anxiety you are going through because of a dog bite incident in Madison, not to mention the pain, inconvenience, and expense your dog bite injury has caused. We are here to assist you with filing your dog bite injury claim and fighting for your rights and interests each step of the way. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation about your case.
The Prevalence of Dog Bites
Each day, dogs bite about 1,000 people across the U.S. who require emergency treatment, and more than 12,000 people nationwide require hospitalization from dog bites each year. Even worse, about 40 people on average die each year due to dog attacks.
Children are the most common dog bite victims, and many sustain bites from dogs they knew while engaging in everyday activities, such as playing in the yard, riding a bike, or walking to school. Children also typically sustain more serious injuries from dog bites than adults.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Dogs may bite for many reasons, and each dog is an individual. Even a tame and friendly dog with no history of aggression can bite someone under the wrong conditions, and certain breeds have a bad reputation for attacking people unprovoked.
Although the specific reasons can vary, dogs may bite because of:
- Fear or perceived threat: If a dog feels scared or threatened, it may bite to protect itself. This can happen to a cornered or startled dog.
- Pain or illness: Dogs in pain or discomfort may bite when touched or handled, as a natural reaction to protect themselves from further discomfort. Approach and handle dogs gently, especially if they appear in pain.
- Protective instincts: Dogs are pack animals and have an innate instinct to protect their territory, family, or resources. If a dog perceives a threat to its pack or possessions, it may bite.
- Lack of socialization: Improperly socialized dogs may fear new situations or unfamiliar people or animals. This fear or anxiety can lead to defensive aggression and biting.
- Resource guarding: Some dogs may feel possessive of food or toys and may bite if someone tries to take them away. Appropriate training can manage and modify resource guarding.
- Prey drive: Certain dog breeds have a strong prey drive, so they have a natural instinct to chase and bite smaller animals. If not properly trained and supervised, this behavior may extend to people, especially children running or playing.
All dog owners must properly train or restrain their dogs to keep others safe. No matter the reason for the attack, you can hold the dog owner liable for your injuries if their dog attacked you or your child.
Wisconsin’s Dog Bite Liability Laws
At least 500,000 registered dogs live in Wisconsin, and Madison reported more than 12,500 dogs in the city. Keep in mind, these figures include registered dogs only, so the total number of canines in the area exceeds that number. As such, you stand the chance of getting bitten by a dog in Madison at any time.
Wisconsin’s Statute 174.02 establishes strict liability for dog owners whose pets cause injury or damage through any means, including:
- Dog bites
- Dogs running into someone and knocking them down
- Dogs running into the street and causing a car accident
A dog may bite or attack in other situations, but a victim may hold the dog owner liable no matter the reason. Additionally, the law imposes different penalties depending on whether the dog owner knew of the dog’s propensity to attack or bite. If a dog owner knew their dog had bitten someone previously or had a history of aggression, they could pay twice the damages.
The law also addresses putting an aggressive dog down.
The court may order an “officer to kill a dog” if:
- The dog caused serious injury to someone or to a domestic animal on at least two separate occasions, “without reasonable cause.”
- The dog owner knew their dog had caused the first injury prior to the dog attacking again.
Law enforcement dogs are immune from liability if their dog bites someone while performing their official duties.
Madison Dog Bite Injury FAQ
Who Pays for Dog Bite Injuries?
In just one year, insurers paid out more than $881 million in dog bite injury claims, with the average insurance claim resulting from a dog bite costing over $49,000. Your injuries may cost much more than that, so you need to understand how you can receive compensation from those responsible.
Most dog bite injuries occur from dogs the victims knew. A lot of times, the dog owner is the victim’s friend, neighbor, or family member. Thus, many people don’t want to file dog bite injury claims against the owner because they do not want to upset the person or cause bad blood between them.
In most cases, however, the dog owner themselves won’t pay damages, their homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance will. However, insurance policies vary widely on what they cover, and even if the dog owner has insurance, their liability coverage may not cover all your treatment costs and other related expenses.
Some insurers won’t even offer policies for so-called high-risk dog breeds like pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, huskies, and others. Policies may also exclude attacks that occur on or off the owner’s property.
Have our attorneys review your case and investigate the dog owner’s insurance policy—if they have one—to determine their coverage and any policy limits or exclusions. Our lawyers can also file your claim properly and deal with the insurance company for you so you don’t have to worry about it. Our attorneys can also advise you on your options for obtaining compensation if the dog owner does not have insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover dog bites.
What Should I Do After Someone’s Dog Bites Me or My Child?
If someone else’s dog bit you, your child, or another close family member and caused serious injuries, first, ensure everyone’s safety. If possible, distance yourself far away from the dog and protect yourself if it tries to attack again.
Once you are in a safe location:
- Assess the severity of the bite: Determine the extent of the injury. If the bite is deep or bleeding heavily, or if the dog caused considerable harm like torn skin or broken bones, seek medical attention immediately.
- Go to the doctor: No matter how serious the bite appears, seek medical attention after a dog bite. Medical professionals can evaluate the wound, clean it properly, and determine if it requires any further treatment, such as stitches or antibiotics. They can also provide guidance on managing potential complications like infections. Along with ensuring your health and well-being, getting medical treatment creates a documented record that you sustained an injury from the dog bite and sought medical care. You need to include this information in your injury claim.
- Report the incident: As soon as you can, report the dog bite to the appropriate authorities, such as animal control, the police, or the local health department. This can confirm the dog's vaccination status and prevent future incidents.
- Gather information: If possible, obtain information about the dog and its owner, including their contact details and any relevant vaccination records. You may need this information for medical treatment and reporting purposes.
- Contact an attorney: Contact our Madison dog bite attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries—particularly if you suffered serious injuries that required emergency treatment or hospitalization.
Collect statements and contact information from any eyewitnesses to the incident and share the information with your attorney.
Keep track of your medical bills and other related out-of-pocket expenses so your attorney can include those in your damages claim.
Also, watch what you say to others after the dog bite incident. You don’t want to apologize or accept any blame. That can come back to hurt you later if the dog owner or insurer tries to use your own words against you.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Wisconsin?
How Can a Dog Bite Attorney From Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Help Me?
Many factors can affect the types and amounts of compensation you can receive. Therefore, you need a knowledgeable Madison personal injury attorneys on your side who can fight for your rights and help you recover the full compensation you deserve.
When you choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to help you with your dog bite injury claim, we will quickly and thoroughly investigate the matter to determine your legal options. We can gather the evidence needed to support your claim and advocate for you throughout the process to improve your odds of getting the positive results you seek.
We can negotiate with the insurer to get the maximum settlement, and we can take your case to court if necessary and sue for the money you need. Either way, we have your best interests at heart and will work diligently to achieve a successful outcome.
Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation at (608) 467-0429. Since our lawyers work on contingency, you won’t pay us anything upfront to represent you. We will only accept a fee if we help you recover compensation.