Wisconsin is a ‘strict liability’ state for dog bite injuries

Dogs are considered some of the most loyal and loving creatures on earth. Just ask any dog owner in the state of Wisconsin. While we’d like to think that man’s best friend would never harm a fly, some dogs can act aggressively when provoked. In some cases, the dog may attack a person with their teeth, causing severe injury. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, you could be facing extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, as well as emotional trauma, depending on how bad the bite was.

Treatment for a dog bite injury can be expensive, which is why victims of a dog attack should know that they may be able to recover damages from the owner of the dog. Every state is different, but in Wisconsin has a strict liability statute, meaning that the owner is liable for any injury caused by their dog, even if the owner was in no way negligent. Merely owning the dog at the time of the incident is enough to be held liable for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

In cases where the dog owner knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities prior to the incident, and the injuries are serious, Wisconsin law says the owner may have to pay two times the amount of damages. This is often established by showing that the dog had previously bitten or injured another person.

Despite strict liability, victims can also be held partially liable for their own injuries if they provoked the dog or acted negligently leading up to the incident. If the victim is found to be more than 50 percent liable for their own injuries, they may not recover damages.

We love our four-legged friends, but the truth is, they can cause serious injury. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you file a claim against dog owners for damages.