Dedicated Dog Bite Lawyers Serving Wisconsin Victims
You never really prepare yourself for a dog bite or attack. But even though you want to trust dog owners to take care of their pets, accidents still happen.
When something goes wrong and an encounter with a dog results in puncture wounds or another type of bodily injury, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation. You want an experienced dog bite lawyer who will make sure you have access to the immediate and long-term medical treatment you need after suffering an injury.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of personal injury victims across Wisconsin. We understand the rights of dog bite victims, and we will help you leverage the legal system to ensure that you have access to medical care and receive fair compensation.
We have experience in a wide range of personal injury cases, including dog bite and injury claims. When you work with us, you can rest assured we will do everything we can to help you receive the compensation you need for your physical and financial recovery.
Dog Bite Liability in Wisconsin
If someone has been attacked, hurt, or bitten by a dog, it is crucial for them to understand their rights under the law. At Nicolet Law Office, we have experience advocating for dog bite victims across the state. A successful dog bite claim can provide an individual with compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and physical rehabilitation.
All dog owners have a responsibility to prevent their pets from causing injury or harm to another person or pet. Wisconsin Statute 174.02(1) establishes that animal owners are strictly liable for injuries or damages caused by their pets. These situations can include:
- Dog bites
- Dogs running into someone, causing a slip and fall
- Dogs running into the street, causing car accidents
Because Wisconsin has a strict dog bite liability statute, the injured party in a dog bite case does not need to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner in order to receive compensation for their injuries. Furthermore, if a dog has caused injury to another person in the past, the dog owner may be responsible for twice the amount of damages sustained in the accident.
Many of our clients wonder whether filing a dog bite claim will result in the animal’s death. Thankfully, this does not usually happen. Wisconsin Statute 174.02(3) states that a court may only order a dog to be killed if the dog has caused serious injury on two separate occasions and the owner was aware of the first injury.
At Nicolet Law Firm, our experienced dog bite attorneys know the ins and outs of the legal system and are committed to helping our clients secure the financial compensation they deserve.
Who Pays for a Dog Bite?
It is not uncommon for individuals to be injured by the dog of a friend, neighbor, or family member. As a result, many victims hesitate to seek legal action because they do not want to upset anyone by filing a claim. However, it is important to know that most dog bite claims are paid by a dog owner’s homeowners insurer, rather than by the owner.
At Nicolet Law, we understand how to navigate the legal system to make sure our clients can fully recover after an attack or accident. We have experience helping our clients receive compensation for the costs of:
- Medical treatment
- Reconstructive facial surgeries
- Physical rehabilitation
- Mental health treatment
When you trust us with your case, our top priority is ensuring that you have everything you need to rebuild your health and well-being after an accident.
Skilled Legal Representation for Dog Bite Victims
Our firm has successfully protected the rights of people who have been attacked by all types of dogs, including Dobermans, pit bulls, German shepherds, and hunting dogs. Whether your case involves being hurt by the dog of a family member or injured by the dogs of total strangers, we can pair you with an attorney who will pursue just compensation for your injuries.
Children are often the victims of dog bites, and their injuries frequently result in scarring and other long-term disfigurements. It is also common for dog bite victims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional traumas following an animal encounter.
The passionate attorneys at Nicolet Law Firm understand that it is important to show the effects of post-traumatic stress and other conditions that cause pain and suffering. Otherwise, our clients may not receive the full value of their dog bite claims. It is vital to discuss your injury claim with an experienced attorney who can help you maximize the compensation you receive from a lawsuit.
Additionally, our experience has shown us that it is not uncommon for an insurance company to deny claims and stick victims with the bill. This is especially problematic when medical bills pile up and the victim is unable to work. At Nicolet Law, we are passionate in our pursuit of maximum compensation for our clients. We believe it is our job to make sure the court considers the lasting consequences of a victim’s injuries so that they always have access to the care they need.
Wisconsin Dog Bite FAQ
Wisconsin loves its dogs. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, golden retrievers, labs, and German shepherds are some of the most popular dog breeds in the state.
However, although these animals are considered man’s best friends, at the end of the day, they are still animals that can bite, and those on the other end of these attacks can suffer debilitating harm, excruciating pain, and a slew of expenses that can significantly impact them financially.
That is why if you have been harmed in a dog bite incident in Wisconsin, you should not have to deal with these devastating repercussions on your own. Instead, you deserve not only justice for the harm you endured, but answers regarding the legal options you can pursue.
For these reasons, we have prepared the following general information. In it, we will examine some frequently asked questions our clients often have after a dog bite attack in Wisconsin. We hope with this information, you have a better understanding of what you need to do after this incident to ensure your legal rights remain protected and the legal remedies you can pursue to secure maximum compensation.
1. Who Should You Report a Dog Bite Incident to in Wisconsin?
Generally, if a dog bite harmed you in Wisconsin, immediately make several calls. The reports that each call will generate can protect your medical and legal recovery.
- Animal Control: If an animal attacks you and bites or scratches your skin, you should report the incident to the appropriate governmental agency as soon as possible. The agency will often ask for your name, contact information, description of your injuries, and information about the dog bite. Once these details are provided, an inspector will likely be assigned to your case.
- The Police: If the injury you suffered is serious, you want to call 911 immediately after the attack so that emergency medical personnel can get to the scene as soon as possible.
- A Physician: Dog bite injuries can result in debilitating disfigurement and severe infections. That is why you need to get to a doctor as soon as you can to get the proper medical treatment necessary for your injuries.
In addition, to protect your legal rights, reach out to a skilled Wisconsin dog bite attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. We can contact the appropriate insurance companies, and if required, file a lawsuit within the mandated time frame.
2. What Health Risks Can a Dog Bite Cause?
As mentioned previously, dog bites can cause serious injuries, often damaging the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels under the skin. Worse yet, this damage can occur even if the wound appears tiny, such as from puncture marks.
However, it is also equally important to note that these dog bites can result in significant bacterial infections, posing a risk of rabies or other infections such as MRSA or tetanus. As a result, if a dog attacked or bit you, you need to get to a medical professional fast. These doctors can promptly get you the medical treatment you need, including antibiotics or shots, to stop many of these issues from escalating into deadly injuries.
3. How Do You Know If You Have a Viable Legal Case After a Wisconsin Dog Bite Incident?
After a dog bite, many victims often want to know if they have a viable legal claim against the dog owner to collect compensation for the injuries they suffered. However, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as many people hope it to be.
This is because numerous factors go into determining this answer, such as:
- What was the extent of the injuries following the dog attack or bite?
- Is there time to bring legal action against the wrongful party?
- Is there any insurance available following the incident?
Due to these numerous elements, the best way to determine if you have a valid case is to reach out to a skilled Wisconsin dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can review the incident, go over these questions, and help you figure out if you have a viable case.
4. How Much Time Do You Have to File an Injury Claim Following a Dog Bite Incident in Wisconsin?
The statute of limitations is a specific regulation that dictates the maximum amount of time you have to file a lawsuit following an alleged offense. If you do not bring this claim within that allotted time, you can be barred from obtaining the compensation you need for your losses and injuries.
In Wisconsin, if you want to bring an injury claim following a dog attack, you have three years from the injury date to file a lawsuit. However, certain exceptions may extend or shorten this filing period. For these reasons, do not wait to seek legal help.
Instead, reach out to our skilled Wisconsin dog bite lawyers as soon as possible. We can review your claim, figure out how much time you have to file your case, and prepare and file everything correctly before time runs out.
5. Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Incident in Wisconsin?
According to Wisconsin law, the dog’s owner is ultimately liable for the total amount of damages caused by their dog when it harms another person, property, or domestic animal. Furthermore, in some instances, the dog’s owner can be on the hook for double the damages.
For example, if the dog attacked another individual with enough force to break their skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement, and the owner knew their dog had previously done this without any provocation, may need to pay these double damages.
6. If a Dog Harmed You, Can You Recover Compensation From the Dog Owner’s Insurance Company?
To determine if you can collect compensation from the insurance company following a dog attack, you need to consider two questions:
- Was the dog insured? Not all homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies cover dog bite attacks. Some of these policies may even exclude coverage for injuries caused by certain dog breeds. That is why before you can look to the insurance company for money for your injuries following a dog bite, you may want a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer to review the specific insurance policy in effect at the time of the dog bite.
- How much money will the insurer pay for your dog bite injuries? Assuming that the dog’s owner has a valid insurance policy, you will next need to examine how much money you can get from the insurance policy. To determine this, a lawyer will often have to complete a detailed analysis of the situation, including a review of the policy limitations and assessing your damages.
In addition, simply asking for a recovery from the insurance company will not ensure you get all the damages you need. Instead, you will also need to create compelling arguments and present detailed and relevant evidence showing fault and damages to go after a fair settlement. Thankfully, with a skilled dog bite lawyer, you will not have to do this on your own. These attorneys can go after these insurance companies on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve.
7. Are There Certain Actions You Need to Take After a Dog Bite Incident in Wisconsin?
Following a Wisconsin dog bite incident, there are numerous steps you should take to ensure your safety and legal rights remain protected.
- Gather As Much Evidence From the Scene As You Can. After you contact the appropriate authorities, you will want to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible. This should include videos and photos of your visible injuries that resulted from the dog attack, the dog in question, your torn clothing, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
- Obtain Information From the Dog’s Owner. If the dog’s owner is there, you will want to get their name, phone number, and insurance details if they have coverage. In addition, you will also want to find out further information about the dog, such as if they have all their necessary shots. These details will be important for your doctor to determine if you need to undergo a series of expensive and painful shots to protect you from serious and deadly conditions such as tetanus or rabies.
- Check for Others at the Scene. If people were present when the dog bite incident occurred, you will want to get their names and numbers. These witnesses can often provide you with further details about the incident and help back up your claim.
- Get to Your Doctor. Getting to a doctor can not only ensure you are not at risk of any serious medical complications, but it can also help your legal claim. Insurance companies are often looking for anything they can to deny your case or try to get you to settle for less than you deserve. By not getting prompt medical attention after the dog bite incident, the insurer may try to argue that your injuries are not that severe or resulted from a subsequent event. Fortunately, when a doctor examines you after the attack, these physicians can jot down information regarding your injuries in their medical report and provide you with evidence of a direct connection between the harm you sustained and the dog bite incident.
- Keep Track of Reports and Bills. You will also want to keep track of all your medical bills and expenses related to your dog bite attack. This includes the time you had to miss from work because of your injuries and any other costs associated with the incident, such as your personal property damages. These documents can help your lawyer prepare the strongest case possible to go after the maximum damages you need.
- Be Careful What You Say After the Incident. After the dog bite incident, you want to make sure you watch what you say to others. This means you do not want to make any definitive statements about the dog bite incident, apologize for anything that occurred or take the blame for the attack. These types of comments often are well intended to comfort the dog’s owner, but this type of good deed can come back later, hurt your case, and impact the amount of money you can receive.
8. How Can a Skilled Wisconsin Dog Bite Lawyer Help After a Dog Bite Attack?
If a dog bite injures you or a loved one, you need a knowledgeable Wisconsin dog bite attorney in your corner, not only fighting for your legal rights but going after the maximum compensation you deserve.
Once you retain Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we can swiftly get to work, going over your case and figuring out if you have a valid legal claim. From there, we can determine the legal options you should pursue and start investigating your incident, securing the evidence needed to prove fault and the extent of your damages.
With this evidence, they can negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company if they have valid insurance and go after a just settlement. If the insurer is unwilling to negotiate fairly, these lawyers can take your case to trial and fight relentlessly for its successful resolution.
For these reasons, do not wait any longer to call Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers and secure the legal help you need after a dog bite injury.
Injured by a Dog? Contact Nicolet Law for Help
Our firm is pleased to offer free initial consultations, allowing our clients a risk-free opportunity to explore their legal options. Moreover, we represent dog bite victims on a contingency basis, which means that our attorney’s fees will come out of the settlement distribution, rather than out of pocket. Our clients won’t pay unless we win.
With eight convenient locations throughout the state, our personal injury lawyers represent people across Wisconsin. To get started, call us toll-free at 1-855-NICOLET or use our secure online form to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our lawyers.