A dog attack in New Richmond is a serious matter. Any time a dog bites or attacks, the victim can sustain serious or life-threatening injuries. Depending on the health and vaccination status of the animal, you could also be at risk of contracting other diseases and complications such as rabies.
After a Dog Bite, Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
If you are a victim of a dog bite, you may be eligible for compensation under the law in Wisconsin.
You may not realize just how costly a dog bite will be for your health and finances. Medical treatment and missed work can create significant financial pressure, while pain and suffering from your injuries can affect how you live your life.
Our team of New Richmond dog bite attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers understands the difficulties you and your family can face after a dog bite. We want to use our resources and knowledge to help you demand the compensation you deserve for your losses.
The Risk of a Dog Bite in New Richmond
A dog bite might not be what many consider a serious injury, but thousands of people each year suffer devastating injuries after a dog bite. Beyond the bite itself, those that suffer dog bites in an attack are also highly susceptible to infection and other complications after the bite.
The CDC estimates that dogs bite over 4.5 million people every year. While many of these bites can result in only minor injuries and some may not break the skin, over 800,000 of those dog bite victims will need medical care for their injuries and wounds and some can suffer life-threatening injuries or permanent damage.
It may come as a surprise to hear that nearly 30 percent of payouts from homeowner’s insurance policies annually concern dog bites. In Wisconsin, over 400 insurance claims in a given year come from dog bite attacks, averaging approximately $40,000 per claim. Dog bites are a threat to the safety of those in the community. If you suffer a dog bite, you face painful injuries and expensive losses due to the fault of the dog owner.
Dangers of a Dog Bite
Everyone is at risk of a dog bite. Dogs are a common part of many people’s day-to-day lives. From their own pets to those of friends, family, and neighbors, many people choose dogs as companions. When most people consider a high risk of a dog bite, they will think about the potential loose dog in a neighborhood as you are on a walk or going about your daily activities. However, most dog bites happen in a home or private property and, in many instances, the victim is familiar with the dog.
It is impossible to know exactly why a dog acts aggressively or bites without provocation. In most cases, a dog bite is shocking to the victim and there is little they can do to avoid the situation. Dog bites are dangerous and, in some cases, can be deadly.
The breed, size, and power of the animal that attacks can have a significant impact on the severity of your injuries. Infections, exposure to communicable diseases, scarring, and permanent damage to nerves and functions can all occur after dog bites.
Most Common Victims of Dog Bites
While a dog can attack anyone, some in our communities are at higher risk. The victims in almost half of the millions of dog bites every year in the U.S. are children.
Whether it is because of their curious nature, their smaller size, or their inability to recognize the dangers of a particular animal, kids are at higher risk of a dog bite than any other segment of the population. Unfortunately, when a child is the victim of a dog bite, the injuries can be traumatic and deadly.
Children, particularly younger children, most commonly suffer injuries to the head and facial region in a dog bite attack. This can result in life-threatening injuries that are extremely painful and can cause permanent disfigurement and threaten their senses such as vision and hearing.
Wisconsin Dog Bite Laws
The location where the dog bite occurs can have a big influence on your rights. Some jurisdictions have laws that require a victim to prove the negligence of an owner or that the dog has aggressive tendencies to collect compensation for a dog bite.
In Wisconsin, however, the dog bite laws impose strict liability on any owner whose dog bites or harms another individual. Under strict liability, there is no burden on a plaintiff to prove that an owner was negligent. Rather, the statute imposes liability on the defendant once there is evidence an injury occurs, and their dog was responsible for those injuries.
Liability for Dog Bite Injuries in New Richmond
The Wisconsin dog bite statute makes a dog owner responsible for the full amount of damages of a victim that sustains. Unlike other states that only apply their laws to dog bite acts, the Wisconsin law applies to any situation where a dog causes injuries, which can include biting, chasing someone, or knocking them down.
Additionally, under the statute, the owner of an animal that causes any break to the skin and has prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression or a past incident is automatically liable to a victim for two times the full amount of damages they sustain due to the incident.
New Richmond Dog Bite FAQ
Suffering a dog bite is likely terrifying and painful. In the chaos of getting help and tracking down the dog or owner responsible for your injuries, you can't easily get the answers you need or figure out how to proceed.
A New Richmond dog bite lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you recover your losses and answer your questions about dog bites and the law.
What Are the Most Common Injuries After a Dog Bite?
The injuries from a dog bite can be very different depending on the victim and factors such as the size, weight, and breed of the dog. In many cases, it is not just the bite wounds that should worry a victim, but also the injuries from when a dog attacks.
A doctor should examine all dog bites. Severe dog bite injuries can require extensive surgery and treatment, while less serious injuries can still require treatment to prevent rabies and other diseases if the skin bleeds or breaks open.
Common injuries from a dog bite attack can include:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts and lacerations
- Avulsions or tears of the skin
- Damage to external organs such as the eyes, mouth nose, and ears
- Broken bones, fractures, or dislocations
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Rabies or other diseases
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite In New Richmond?
With strict liability laws in place, dog bite victims have much protection, allowing them to seek compensation for their injuries and damages after an attack. You may wonder whether a lawsuit is the next step to getting the compensation you need after a dog bite.
Fortunately, in many cases the answer is no, a lawsuit is not necessary. In most dog bite cases, an insurance policy covers your losses. This is particularly true in cases where a dog bite occurs while you are at the home or property of another person.
Homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, business liability insurance, and other coverage can apply to many dog bites. Even when a dog bite occurs elsewhere, the policy of the dog owner can still cover your losses.
Your lawyer will first help you discover any insurance policy that applies to your situation and prepare a claim on your behalf. In many cases, an attorney will be able to help you negotiate a settlement with an insurer to cover your losses and damages. Since Wisconsin dog bite laws impose strict liability to dog bite cases, there is less wiggle room for insurers and dog owners to argue that they are not liable for the injuries to a dog bite victim.
If your case cannot reach a successful settlement outside of court, then your attorney will prepare your case to file a lawsuit against the parties liable to you.
What Damages Can You Seek If You Suffer a Dog Bite?
The damages you can seek compensation for if you suffer a dog bite will include money to pay for treating your injuries, the loss of work, and the long-term impacts the injuries will cause you.
Damages in a dog bite case can vary depending on the nature and severity of the injuries you suffer and the likelihood you will recover from those injuries fully. When a child suffers a dog bite injury there are additional damages that you as a parent can seek in addition to the damages for their injuries and personal impacts. Additional damages can include compensation for the time you must invest in their care and wellbeing as they recover.
Dog bite compensation for damages can include:
- Medical costs
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
Is There a Statute of Limitations to Pursue Recovery of Your Losses After a Dog Bite?
You cannot recover money from your dog bite losses at any time without limitations. The statute of limitations of each state specifically delineates the deadline a plaintiff has to file a legal action.
The Wisconsin statute of limitations gives victims of personal injuries such as a dog bite three years from the incident to commence an action in court for their damages. If you do not file your lawsuit for compensation during this time, you will be unable to seek recovery through court against the parties responsible.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Dog Bite?
The sooner you can hire an experienced New Richmond dog bite attorney, the higher your chance at reaching a resolution in your case that benefits you sooner rather than later.
Dog bite cases can be difficult for victims to resolve without the backing of a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies can deny your claim or fail to take the severity of your injuries seriously.
As a dog bite victim, there is a lot of uncertainty you will deal with in the days and weeks after an attack. You might still not know the extent of effect your injuries will have on your life. While you need time to consider your options, other parties such as insurance companies may be pressuring you to accept an offer and close out your claim.
At Nicolet Law Accident & injury Lawyers we understand how insurance companies work and their intent. We will not let insurers shortchange your compensation, pressure you into accepting an unreasonable offer, or allow other parties to ignore your legal rights. We represent you after a dog bite to fight for the compensation you will need to cover your immediate costs and compensate you for any losses that may never fully heal.
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite in New Richmond, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at (715) 226-6164 for a free case evaluation.