A dog bite injury can lead to a great deal of physical pain, emotional trauma and financial stress. Dogs can also transmit potentially life-threatening infections that require immediate treatment.
If you suffered an injury from a dog bite, you can contact the trusted law firm of Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham to discuss your legal rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your damages. For nearly 100 years, our law firm has been representing Wisconsin residents and our injury lawyers have obtained significant compensation, including recoveries by partner James Pitz, ranging from $2,500-$400,000.
Your initial consultation is free and there are no upfront legal fees. We can discuss the specifics of the attack and the legal options that may be available to you.
Call (877) 888-5201 today to learn more.
Liability for a Dog Bite in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin has a strict liability rule for dog owners when their dog bites someone, according to Wisconsin statutes. Dog owners are held liable when a dog causes injury to a person, another domestic animal or property, even if the owner was unaware the dog was dangerous or could become violent.
If the dog owner did know the dog was dangerous or previously caused an injury, he or she may be liable for double the amount of damages suffered by the victim. However, a previous known bite or injury must have been severe enough to qualify you for double damages.
What is a Dangerous Dog?
According to Green Bay Animal Control, a dangerous dog is one that, without provocation, or under the control of the owner:
- Chases, confronts or approaches a person while off the owner’s property
- Approaches a domestic animal in a menacing or threatening way
- Causes a non-severe, non-bite injury in a menacing or threatening way to a person or animal
A Green Bay dog bite attorney from our firm can review your situation and determine if the owner could potentially be liable for your injuries.
Feel free to call us today to discuss your potential case. Call (877) 888-5201.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
You have a limited amount of time to take legal action, if you have a case. Most Wisconsin personal injury cases, including dog bite cases, must be filed within three years of the incident that caused the injury. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to pursue compensation.
There may be exceptions to this three-year deadline for your specific case. For example, there are some cases that require you to file a notice well before the three-year deadline. There are also some situations when victims can file lawsuits after the three-year deadline. For example, when the injury victim is a minor, state law says the statute of limitations will extend to the victim's 20th birthday.
Our attorneys at Sigman Janssen have decades of combined experience pursuing compensation for injury victims and have extensive knowledge of deadlines for personal injury lawsuits. We can discuss the deadlines that may apply to your case in a free case evaluation.
There is no cost or obligation for your free consultation.
What Forms of Compensation May be Available?
Dogs can cause serious injuries when they bite or attack, from lacerations and broken bones to infections like rabies and tetanus. You may be eligible for compensation for the damages these injuries cause.
The Green Bay dog bite lawyers at our experienced law firm can discuss potential compensation with you, which may include things like:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical care
- Damaged property
- Bills for surgery
- Wages lost from missing work
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be eligible to pursue compensation for the emotional damages your injuries have caused, which may include:
- Emotional suffering
- Physical pain
- Permanent disfigurement
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Lost companionship
Unlike some other states, Wisconsin does not put a cap on these kinds of damages, also called non-economic damages. That means, if you have a case, your attorney can pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your damages.
The damages that may be available depend on the specifics of your claim, the severity of your injuries and other factors. One of our licensed attorneys can discuss this with you to determine how much your claim may be worth.
Fill out a free case review form now to find out how we may be able to assist you.
What You Can Do to Help Strengthen Your Claim
There are certain steps you can take immediately after a dog bite that can be critical to your well-being and helping to protect your potential legal claim for compensation.
Get Medical Care
It is important to seek medical attention right away after a dog bite, even if you think your injuries are minor. Some dogs may not be vaccinated against rabies or may be carrying certain germs that can spread and cause a potentially life-threatening injury or illness.
A doctor will be able to properly treat your wounds and accurately document the harm that you have suffered in your medical record. He or she will examine whether the dog bite was deep enough to damage any muscles, tendons, nerves or bones. You will also be given a treatment plan to follow.
Document important details about the incident, including when, where and how it happened. Take detailed notes about the dog, such as its size, color and breed.
Be sure to take pictures of any visible injuries, torn or bloody clothing, the location of the incident, and whether there was proper fencing or dog warning signs.
Report the Dog Bite
The next step is to report the dog bite to the police or your local animal control office. Be sure to provide a clear and concise account of what happened and how it happened. Filing a report will create an official record of the incident and may help prevent future dog bites by the dog that attacked you.
If the dog owner is present, you should exchange information. This includes obtaining the owner’s name, address and phone number, whether or not the dog has been vaccinated, the contact information for the veterinarian, as well as the breed, color and size of the dog.
Be sure to obtain the contact information from anyone who witnessed the incident and take notes on what they say they saw. With their permission, you can record the conversation on your phone.
Contact an Attorney
A Green Bay dog bite lawyer from our firm can help determine if you have a claim for compensation. We are prepared to conduct a detailed investigation to determine the full value of your claim.
We are ready to assist you. Call for a free consultation. Phone: (877) 888-5201.
Injuries and Infections from Dog Bites
Dog bites can lead to significant injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Scratch marks
- Bite or teeth marks
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Tissue loss
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones or fractures
- Torn ligaments or tendons
- Loss of limb function or movement
- Nerve damage
- Deep scarring
- Permanent disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Emotional and mental trauma
Dog bites can also lead to dangerous infections. Up to 18 percent of dog bites become infected with bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some of the common infections dogs can pass along include:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
The Green Bay dog bite lawyers at our firm understand how traumatic a dog bite can be. We can determine if you may be entitled to compensation.
Contact Our Green Bay Dog Bite Attorneys Today
If you have been attacked by a dog that is not your own, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. Our licensed attorneys are prepared to answer any questions you may have about your claim during a completely free legal consultation. Sigman Janssen accepts dog bite claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no upfront or out-of-pocket fees for you to worry about, and there are no costs for our legal services at all unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.