Dog Bite Injury

As a dog owner myself, I understand how much our pets are more than just companions–they’re family. Unfortunately, dogs sometimes attack people and other pets, and the injuries they inflict can range from mild to life threatening. These can be heartbreaking cases, but the dog owners need to be held accountable, regardless of whether the attack was caused by provocation or some unknown instinct.

If you or your loved one has been injured by a dog bite, reach out to me. My legal team has helped resolve hundreds of these cases, with compassion and determination.

Our combination of big city experience and small town service, along with our willingness to fight hard for our clients, make Wisconsin dog bite lawyer Steve Caya your best choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Injuries

Yes. Under Wisconsin law, a person injured by a dog can hold the dog’s owner liable for injuries caused by the dog. Wisconsin follows the “strict liability” law, which holds that a dog owner can be held liable for injuries caused by the dog whether the owner knew the dog had the potential to be dangerous or not. If it turns out the dog has a history of biting or attacking, the dog owner can be held liable for twice the damages.

In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for filing a suit over a dog bite injury is three years from the date of the occurrence. This may seem like a long time, but you’d be surprised how insurance companies can drag things out. They are hoping the 3 years will elapse so you can no longer file a lawsuit to recover your damages.

If the dog owner isn’t willing to offer you full restitution for your injuries, my best advice is to file a suit, and the sooner you file it, the better–particularly if your injuries are serious.

Give me a call and we can review the specifics of your case at no charge. I’ve won countless dog bite lawsuits and won’t tolerate any tactics the insurance company tries to use.

Most dog bite injuries are settled without ever going to court, but there are cases that progress to a court trial—particularly those involving serious injury or death caused by a dog attack. Obviously, the more that’s at stake (i.e. money), the more likely a case will go to trial.

For more minor injuries, the at-fault dog owner is usually covered by insurance. Once liability and the restitution amount is established, cases like this can usually be settled out of court within 1-3 months.

For cases where the dog owner and the injured party dispute what happened and what is owed, a lawsuit progresses through a discovery phase, which involves both sides gathering information and evidence to present at trial. Following discovery, there is a mediation phase, and if that is not successful, the last resort is trial. There can be a long wait just to get a court date (2+ years is not uncommon), and the outcome is in the hands of a jury. For this reason, all but the most serious dog bite injury cases are settled without ever going to trial.

Theoretically, you don’t need an attorney to file a dog bite lawsuit, and the insurance company of the at-fault party may encourage you not to hire one because they know it’s virtually impossible for a DIY novice to win a case against them.

Insurance companies have highly experienced attorneys to defend against lawsuits. I know every one of their tactics firsthand, as I represented insurance companies in the first 13 years of my legal career. I’m here for you, to make sure you’re not bullied and to fight for every penny you deserve.

The size of your settlement depends on how serious the injuries are. I can help you seek compensation for all of the following:

  • Reimbursement for medical bills. This can include not only the treatment you’ve already received but also any ongoing medical treatment you may require.
  • Lost income. If the injury caused you to take time off work to recover, you can request compensation for the income you would have earned if you had been able to work.
  • Out-of-pocket costs. If you’ve had to hire someone to help care for you or a family member because of your injury, or if you’ve been unable to drive and had to hire a cab or Uber, you’re entitled to compensation for your expenses.
  • Pain and suffering. The trauma of being attacked by a dog, as well as the pain of having your wounds treated can be factored into your claim. Insurance companies and attorneys have several ways of calculating awards for pain and suffering. Obviously, the greater the pain and suffering, the greater the monetary award.

If the at-fault party’s dog has a history of causing damage, it’s likely they’ll want to avoid any involvement with the courts or the police. If the injury you suffered is serious, I don’t recommend going along with any settlement proposal that stipulates you won’t file a police report.

Get the medical treatment you need, then file a report with your police department. If the dog has a history of unprovoked attacks, and the attack you suffered is serious, the dog will need to be euthanized before it attacks someone else. It’s heartbreaking, but a necessary step to prevent someone else from getting hurt.

Wisconsin has a comparative negligence rule that allows the at-fault dog owner to assert that the injured party was either partly or entirely responsible for the dog attack. For instance, if the dog owner can show the injured person provoked the dog somehow, or was burglarizing their property, then the injured person bears some responsibility for the injury.

In Wisconsin, if the injured party is found to be 50% or less responsible for the injury, the award of damages is reduced by whatever percentage of fault is attributed to the victim. In cases where the injured person is found to be more than 50% responsible, there is no award for damages.

In cases where the at-fault party is alleging the victim is partly responsible for the attack, it all comes down to evidence. This is where an experienced attorney like myself can help you build your case and fight for your rights as a victim. I have a highly skilled and relentless legal team that will help you gather the supportive evidence necessary to fight your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

We take winning personally.

Let’s get you EVERYTHING you’re owed.

I can’t say enough great things about this team. They truly go above and beyond to take care of their clients. I’ll forever be grateful of how they handled my case and helped me navigate through it all. You won’t be disappointed with their service!

Brittni Murray Avatar Brittni Murray
Dog Bite Injury
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