In Wisconsin, personal injury law allows a person to sue if they are bitten by a dog. The state has specific statutes that are over these types of personal injury cases. In fact, it is section 174.02 that allows an injured person to hold any dog owner liable for biting them.
Dog Bite Law in Wisconsin is not the One Bite Rule
Strict liability refers to a person being held liable for injuries their dog causes. It doesn’t matter if the dog was deemed dangerous by Wisconsin officials or not. It also doesn’t matter if the dog never acted in a way that could cause an injury. This means the dog doesn’t get away with biting anyone the first time before their owner is held liable.
The law also doesn’t distinguish between a dog bite and a person injuring themselves to avoid a dog bite. For instance, if a person jumps on a vehicle to get away from a charging dog and breaks their leg, they have the right to sue. The owner is strictly responsible for the dog’s actions.
A Dog Owner Does have a Defense Available to a Dog Bite Injury Claim
A dog owner facing a personal injury lawsuit does have a defense to decrease damages. It is called comparative negative. This is where the owner claims the injured party was partly or fully responsible for causing their dog to bite them. If a jury finds in their favor, the injured person’s damages may be decrease. The amount of money they receive will depend on a percentage of fault. For instance, the injured individual is 50 percent responsible for the accident and received $10,000. The damages would decrease to $5,000.
In some situations, they may receive no damages. For example, a person constantly puts their face in a dog’s face. The dog bites them on the cheek. The person dog sits later. The injured person sues, and the jury finds that they caused their own injury. The person may not receive money for their injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Injuries
It’s important for a person bitten by a dog contact an attorney such as Gruber injury lawyers. The state has imposed a statute of limitation regarding dog bite claims. The state only allows an injured person three years to obtain compensation for a dog-related injury. This means that a person has from the date the dog bite occurred to three years later to file. This doesn’t mean the lawsuit must be resolved. The claim must be filed.
Settling a Dog Bite Injury in Wisconsin
A dog bite injury is one of the worst types of personal injuries because there may be a long recovery period and permanent scarring. The dog owner may agree to settle immediately. This is fine, but the injured person should be represented by a lawyer. Settlement negotiations are tough and not always fair. A lawyer will ensure the injured person receives their full damages include medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.