If You Have a Dog in Wisconsin, You’re Liable for All Dog Bite Injuries
Wisconsin law states dog owners are responsible for costs associated with dog bite injuries — even if the owner did his or her best to prevent the bite. This is a “strict liability” state, meaning there’s no gray area where an owner’s actions might reduce any financial responsibility. For dog owners, that means they have to keep a close eye on their dogs and be extremely careful about where the dog can go, especially because “strict liability” applies to more than just bites.
When dogs cause problems, be they bites, scratches, or even running out in front of cars and causing accidents, the people affected by the dogs’ actions don’t always have the ability to protect themselves from the dogs. For example, a jogger who is suddenly bitten by a dog may not have time to take defensive action. Wisconsin adopted the strict-liability statute for this reason, so that those left with injuries or damage from a dog’s actions wouldn’t have to deal with the financial fallout.
Owners also need to note that if the dog has a history of biting and drawing blood, liability is doubled. In other words, if your dog has bitten someone in the past, you’ll owe even more this time around.
But that poses a problem for dog owners. Dogs aren’t always predictable; even well-trained ones can have their outbursts. Because the owner would have to pay for costs associated with anything the dog did or caused, it pays to keep a close eye on the animal. Make sure your dog can’t suddenly run out of the house, and put it through training classes so that its behavior is as good as possible.
If you have been bitten by a dog, contact Eisenberg Law Offices at (608) 256-8356.