While the summer months in Wisconsin allow us to enjoy the great outdoors with our loved ones, including our pets, sometimes incidents do occur. Each year walkers, runners, and bystanders are bitten or attacked by dogs. Whether accident or not, Wisconsin lawyers seek damages from negligent dog owners year after year. Dog bite cases are agonizing for the person bitten, as well as the dog’s owner. This blog will help to ensure that you protect yourself as a dog owner, and will provide some information in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is bitten or attacked by a dog. We must remember that all of our pets are animals, and therefore act out of instinct. While their actions may be unpredictable, the owner of the dog is indeed liable if their actions cause harm to another human. Wisconsin statute dictates that, “the owner of a dog is liable for the full amount of damages caused by the dog injury, or causing injury to a person, domestic animal or property.” In addition to damages, the owner of a dog who has caused injury to a person, domestic animal or property also faces statutory penalties.
In order for a pet owner to be liable for damages due to their dog, the owner must have been proven to be negligent. What this means is that the owner must have not been properly taking care of the animal (maintaining the animal’s home, fence, etc), or have allowed multiple incidents to occur. If the animal has a past record for being known as violent, the owner may face judgment up to double the damages awarded. In essence, the state of Wisconsin holds the owners, those who harbor, or keep dogs liable for them. For more information check out this link that we found detailing Wisconsin’s law on dog bites http://dogbitelaw.com/statutory-strict-liability-state/wisconsin.html.
Here are some tips to protect yourself, as well as your beloved dog from facing damages due to a dog bite. The first is to properly train your dog from a puppy to be friendly around groups of people, and to be able to interact with other dogs. Secondly, keep your dog on a short leash while out for walks so he or she does not stray towards others. Another good idea is to not let strangers pet your dog, especially if you are unsure with how he or she reacts with strangers. Finally, it is important to often and thoroughly check your fence, and other dog constraints for defects and openings. It is necessary to provide an area that will restrain your dog when you need to leave him or her alone, or when unexpected company comes over.
Dogs are indeed man’s best friend, however they do react to their instincts and accidents do happen. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite or have any questions please comment below or contact a lawyer at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC.