Dogs may be man’s best friend—but that doesn’t mean they’ll hesitate to bite. Regardless of breed, age, temperament, or behavioral history, all dogs have the potential to harm, even without provocation.
When they do, victims can suffer serious physical injuries and emotional trauma, even developing a crippling fear of dogs that can last years or even a lifetime. However, many dog bite victims are hesitant to pursue compensation after an attack, despite suffering complications that can result in expensive medical bills and temporary or permanent disability.
At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, our Green Bay dog bite attorneys believe that dog bite victims deserve monetary compensation for the harm they suffered. If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog without provocation, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket or deal with your lost wages on your own. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.
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What Complications Do Dog Bites Cause?
Dogs can range from under 10 pounds to well over 100 pounds. In addition, their bite strength can vary significantly from breed to breed. However, all dogs have sharp teeth and strong jaws that are capable of causing serious damage to people and other animals when they bite. According to statistics collected by the CDC, nearly 1 in 5 dog bites require medical attention.
Common complications associated with dog bites include:
- Severe Bleeding—Dog bites often occur on victims’ hands, arms, and legs. These areas of the body bleed easily when punctured by dogs’ sharp teeth. Bleeding can range from minor to life-threatening, especially if an artery was punctured or severed.
- Nerve damage—Because dogs’ teeth are long and sharp, they’re capable of penetrating deep into skin, muscle, and tendons. In some cases, they can even damage nerves. Dog bite victims who suffer nerve damage may lose some or all use of affected digits or limbs.
- Infection—Contrary to popular belief, dogs’ mouths aren’t clean. Like all animal mouths, dogs’ mouths are full of bacteria, and the potential for infection after a bite is extremely high.
- Disease—In addition to the risk of infection from ordinary bacteria, dogs can also pass serious diseases onto people when they bite. Rabies, an almost always fatal disease, is the most well-known of these, but there are others, including MRSA and Tetanus.
What Are Wisconsin’s Dog Bite Laws?
Due to the severe injuries and complications that dog bites can cause, Wisconsin enforces a strict liability statute for dog bites. That means dog owners can be held liable for bite-related injuries their dogs inflict on others, even if they weren’t being negligent when the bites occurred. In other words, dog owners who keep their dogs leashed or enclosed can still be held liable for injuries if their dogs injure someone.
In addition, dog owners are required to pay twice the amount of normal damages to victims if they knew their dog had injured someone before—even if their dog was owned by someone else at the time of the last attack.
However, Wisconsin’s comparative negligence statute applies to dog bite claims, which means injured victims may have some of their damages reduced or deducted if they are partially at fault for their injuries, such as by provoking the attack.
How Much Compensation Can Dog Bite Victims Receive?
Compensation for dog bites can vary from case to case. At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, our Green Bay dog bite attorneys view victims’ medical records to determine the severity of their injuries. Then, we look at how much medical treatment they’ll need now and in the future. Finally, we’ll determine how their injuries will affect their careers and their paychecks, both now and in the years to come.
It’s important to note that if you are hesitating to seek compensation after a dog attack because you know the owner, don’t. If the owner has homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, their insurance will likely be the one providing the compensation.
After we’ve made our calculations, we’ll determine a fair settlement for our clients, which we’ll demand from the at-fault party. We never settle for less, and if they don’t agree to pay what our clients deserve, we won’t hesitate to go to court. As mentioned above, the amount you are eligible for can double if the dog(s) in question previously attacked other people.
How Much is the Fine for Dog Bites?
In addition to being required to pay injured victims’ damages, dog owners may also be fined up to $1,000 if their pets attack, bite, or injure others. If it’s the second bite on record for a dog, the owner’s fine may be double, or up to $5,000 depending on the extent of the injuries incurred. Dog owners may also be fined up $100 if their dogs are found roaming freely and up to $200 on the second offense.
How Many Times Can a Dog Bite before Being Put Down?
Unfortunately, some dogs are kept in environments that make them prone to lashing out and acting aggressively. When that happens, dogs may bite people multiple times throughout their lives, or they may engage in serious attacks that severely wound or even kill innocent victims.
When dogs meet the following criteria, they may be subject to court-ordered euthanasia:
- The dog caused serious injury to a person or domestic animal on at least two separate occasions off the owner’s property and without reasonable cause.
- The owner was aware of the first injury prior to the occurrence of the second injury.
Got Questions After a Dog Bite? We’ve Got Answers.
We understand the reluctance many people have after dog bite injuries, especially if the dog owner is a friend, neighbor, family member, coworker, or even just someone you don’t want to inconvenience. However, you’ve suffered as a result of the bite, and you deserve compensation. Our Green Bay dog bite lawyers are here to help you get the money you need to get your life and happiness back to how it was prior to the attack, while treating your claim with respect and sensitivity.