There’s a reason dogs are often referred to as our best friends. They are beloved pets who offer  companionship, love, protection, and so much more. However, even the most well-behaved dog  can bite unexpectedly, and unfortunately, dog bites happen more often than you might think.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million  dog bites occur each year in the United States, with nearly 20% of the bites requiring medical  attention. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite in Wisconsin, you may be wondering if you have  legal recourse. Can you sue someone for a minor dog bite? While the answer may depend on  the particulars of your case, the short answer is yes, you can sue someone for a minor dog bite. 

Understanding Liability in a Dog Bite Case 

Dog bite liability laws vary from state to state. There are several types of laws regarding dog  ownership: 

In Wisconsin, the owner of a dog is liable for any injuries that the dog causes without having to  prove that the owner was negligent. This is known as strict liability law. 

When to Sue for a Minor Dog Bite 

Minor dog bites can still result in significant physical and emotional harm, and victims may be  entitled to compensation. Here are some situations where legal action may be appropriate: 

  • Medical Attention Required 

Even minor dog bites can require medical attention, such as stitches or treatment  for infection. If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite, and medical treatment was  required, such as an emergency room visit, doctor’s office visit, or medication,  you may be able to sue for damages. 

  • Emotional Trauma 

Dog bites can have a significant emotional impact on victims, particularly  children, who may develop a long-term fear of dogs. Depending on the  circumstances, a person may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder  (PTSD), anxiety, or depression. If you or a loved one has suffered emotional  trauma as a result of a dog bite, legal action may be appropriate. 

  • Lost Wages 

If a dog bite injury results in lost wages due to missed work, you may be entitled  to compensation. For instance, if a dog bite victim is unable to work during  recovery, medical treatment, or therapy, they should be paid for any missed  wages or lost income. 

  • Property Damage

In some cases, a dog bite may cause damage to personal property, such as  clothing or jewelry. If the bite led to the need for repair or replacement of  personal property, legal action may be appropriate. 

  • Legal Limitations 

It is important to act quickly after a dog bite, as legal claims may have time  limitations. In some states, the deadline for filing a claim is one year, while other  states may require action within as little as six months. 

Reach Out 

Though each case is unique, you can sue someone for a minor dog bite, and the owner may be  financially responsible for any harm caused by their dog. Contact us to find out more about your  rights and learn what to do if you or a family member suffers a minor dog bite. 

There are many legal nuances to Wisconsin dog bite laws, so consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you are considering taking legal action. The Nowlan Personal Injury  Team has navigated hundreds of these cases, and we are knowledgeable in the various local  jurisdiction concerning dog bite laws. We’ll fight for you to receive top dollar.