Dog bite victims can be faced with serious physical and mental injuries that may take a lifetime to heal. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog biting incident, contact an Appleton dog bite lawyer at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham today. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling injury cases and have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients - including recoveries from $2,500-$400,000 obtained by attorney James Pitz.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss the details of your claim in a free consultation and explain the legal options that are available for your specific case. There are no upfront legal fees and we are ready to help you today.
Contact our team by calling (877) 888-5201.
Wisconsin Dog Bite Laws
Wisconsin follows a strict liability rule (Wisconsin Statutes 174.02(1)(a)) in dog bite cases. Under this rule, a dog’s owner is liable when a dog causes injury to someone, another animal or property. Unlike other states, dog owners in Wisconsin do not get off with a warning even if the owner was unaware of the dog’s history and aggressive tendencies.
However, if the dog owner had prior knowledge of his or her dog attacking someone, and the attack was serious enough to cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement, the owner may be required to pay double damages.
As a dog bite victim, you are protected by Wisconsin law and have the right to pursue compensation for medical bills and even non-economic damages like emotional trauma and other forms of pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
Dog bite lawsuits are a type of personal injury lawsuit, and personal injury cases are governed by a strict time limit known as the statute of limitations. Most dog bite cases must be filed within three years from the date the dog bite occurred - failing to file before this deadline means you may be prohibited from seeking compensation for the damages you have received.
HOWEVER, there can be exceptions to this rule. When the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations will be extended to his or her 20th birthday. If you are unsure about your specific incident, please contact us for a free review of your claim. We have many years of experience handling personal injury cases and can determine which laws are applicable for your claim.
Some victims of dog bites may be eligible to pursue insurance compensation for their injuries. However, insurance companies may also prolong the investigation of your claim, with the intention of stretching your finances and consequently, tempting you to take the first settlement they offer - which is often much lower than the amount you may receive with the help of a licensed attorney. That is why we recommend speaking to a qualified lawyer from Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham before speaking to the insurance company or filing a claim. We will handle all communication on your behalf and ensure that the insurance company is not practicing in bad faith.
Need help? Call us today at (877) 888-5201.
Recovering Financial Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite injuries may be severe enough that you need extensive medical treatment and cannot work for a certain period of time while you recover. Our dog bite attorneys can help pursue the following compensation for your dog bite injury:
- Past, current and future medical bills
- Loss of income from inability to work
- Lost wages
- Corrective surgery
- Property damage
Our attorneys can also pursue compensation for the emotional trauma a dog bite injury may cause, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
Call our team today for your free consultation. One of our lawyers can discuss your specific incident and determine if you have grounds to file a damages lawsuit.
Steps to Take After Being Attacked by a Dog
If you or someone you love has been attacked or bitten by a dog, following the steps below may help ensure your safety and protect your claim for damages.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if the injury appears to be minor, it is important to seek medical care. Sometimes, injuries are more dangerous than they appear at first. A medical professional can properly examine your injury and take imaging tests, if necessary, to determine the severity of your injury.
Having medical documentation is also crucial to your personal injury claim. It is a form of evidence that connects your injury to the accident. One thing you need to know about personal injury claims is that the other side will try to claim your injury is not connected to the incident in question.
If your injuries allow, take pictures of your injuries and the dog that attacked you. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the scene in case there is any property or environmental damage that resulted from your attack. If your clothes have obvious damage, be sure to have photographic evidence of that as well.
Call Animal Control or Law Enforcement
It is important to report the dog bite to authorities by contacting your Appleton animal control facility. They can create an official record of the incident and take appropriate steps to try and prevent others from getting hurt by the dog.
Collect Information About the Dog and Owner
Take descriptive notes about the dog, including breed, color and size. Note any visible signs that may indicate that the dog has been neglected. If the owner is on the scene, take down his or her information (address, phone number and insurance information).
Talk to Witnesses
If there are witnesses, write down or record what they say they saw. Collect their contact information in case you or your lawyer have further questions.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Although most dogs we encounter daily are friendly, they are still animals and can cause serious, debilitating injuries when they attack. Such injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Pulled or torn tendons and ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Head injuries
- Punctured skin
- Rabies, tetanus or other infections
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Dog bite injuries can require long-term medical treatment that may include prescription medications and physical therapy. These treatments are costly, particularly if they are necessary for weeks or months. At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, we believe in protecting the rights of our clients by building a robust argument for their damages claim. We have the experience and resources to fully litigate every case we handle.
Contact an Appleton Dog Bite Attorney Today
Contact a dog bite lawyer you can trust; one with a track record of recovering significant compensation for personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin. Our office is located just blocks away from the Outagamie County Courthouse and your initial consultation to discuss your claim is free. There are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we are able to recover compensation on your behalf, through a settlement or victory in the courtroom.
To learn more, call us today at (877) 888-5201.