Questions + Answers About

Dog Bites

How long do I have to file a claim after a dog bite incident?

The statute of limitations is a time limit established by the laws of Wisconsin, and it determines how long you have to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies depending on the details of your dog bite incident, so we recommend you pursue your case immediately.
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Whose insurance has to pay for my medical bills if I am injured in a dog bite incident?

If you are injured in a dog bite incident, the dog’s owner and their insurance company are responsible for expenses that may result from the incident, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses.
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Do I still have a claim if my health insurance paid my medical bills after a dog bite incident?

Those injured in a dog bite incident are entitled to the full value of their medical treatment. This includes the actual cost of the treatment, not just their copay or deductible. Oftentimes, insurance carriers attempt to reduce damages by offering to pay only “out of pocket”’ expenses, which leaves the injured person less than whole.

While your health insurance carrier has to pay for your medical expenses, they also have the right to be paid back. This is generally referred to as subrogation.

Keep in mind that you may be entitled to more than medical expense reimbursement. Punitive damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and more are often part of personal injury cases.
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What if the dog bite incident was provoked?

In Wisconsin, dog bite victims can be held partially liable if they provoked the bite, intentionally or not. You are still eligible to receive damages even if you are deemed “negligent” in the incident, though the total amount may be reduced.
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What if the dog hadn’t been previously aggressive?

Wisconsin’s dog bite law is a strict liability statute, meaning that the dog owner is liable for the bite simply because they owned the dog at the time of the incident, even if their dog had not previously been aggressive and was properly contained. Proving negligence is not required.

If the dog had previously been aggressive, the owner may be required to pay double the damages under Wisconsin Law.
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Who is liable in dog bite incidents?

In Wisconsin, a dog owner is liable for damages caused by their dog.
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A dog bit me or my family member, what should I do?

If you or a family member find yourself victim to dog bite, you should visit a doctor and seek medical treatment for any injuries. Be proactive about receiving a proper diagnosis and adequate treatment, even if it seems like a mild injury. Dog bites can look minor but result in serious internal injuries.

The next step is opening a claim with the dog owner’s insurance carrier. Many homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of medical treatment and other losses that result from a dog bite. If you have been injured, seek the representation of an attorney before providing a statement to another party.

Lastly, get in touch with Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs for a review of your case. Our personal injury attorneys specializing in dog bite incidents will review your situation and recommend next steps, which may include legal action.
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