What happens if a dog bite occurs on your property?

If you are not the owner of the dog, common-law liability may protect you from negligence charges, hopefully preventing a lawsuit. However, a law governing the standard of care may be a complication. Standard of care requires landowners/occupiers to keep a relatively safe environment for everyone on the premises, including keeping guests safe from possibly dangerous animals.

Call your homeowner’s insurance as soon as possible, as some insurance companies will cover dog bites in their policy. Be aware the breed of your dog will be a factor. Some insurance companies will not cover certain breeds, such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers. Additionally, once your insurance has defended you, they may increase your premiums, or cease coverage.

How does comparative negligence affect a lawsuit?

Comparative negligence means whoever sustained the injury is partially or fully responsible for those injuries and should, therefore, receive reduced damages, or no damages at all.

  • Trespassing on the dog owner’s property, or provoking the dog may constitute proof of negligence on the victim’s behalf.
  • Both parties could be considered negligent, at which point, a percentage of negligence will be assigned to each.
  • If the victim is less than 50% negligent, the amount they receive in damages will be reduced by the same percentage.
  • If the victim is more than 50% negligent, they will receive no compensation for damages, even if the dog owner is also negligent.

Settlement amounts in dog bite lawsuits

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Settlement amounts in dog bite lawsuits vary significantly from case to case. The amount you receive will be largely dependent on the severity of the injuries sustained, where negligence is assigned, and the judgment given.

Minor injuries vs serious injuries

  • If puncture wounds or scratches are the extent of the injuries you suffered, you may have limited influence to negotiate for compensation when it comes to pain and suffering.
  • If your injuries are more severe, like physical disfigurement, it is likely you will receive a higher amount of compensation for pain and suffering. However, it is also likely your case will take longer because insurance companies and attorneys need to see how fully you will recover from your injuries before settling on an amount. 

If you sustained any type of injury, minor or serious, from a dog bite or other animal-inflicted cause, call Warshafsky Law Firm for a free consultation. We will use our expertise to advise you on your next best course of action to receive the maximum settlement for your injuries.

Dog Bite Reporting in Wisconsin - Who to Call?

After being bit by an animal of any kind, the victim is at risk of infection and disease. First, contact a public health official for a consultation on the injury and then immediately contact your lawyer for a consultation on your case!

Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawsuits Frequently Asked Questions

How long after a dog bite can you sue?

You have three years from the date of the injury to sue for damages.

Can you sue someone if their dog bites your dog?

Yes. If your dog sustains injuries from another dog, you can file a lawsuit.

Are dog bites covered by insurance?

Sometimes. Coverage varies with each company, but many insurance companies will cover dog bites. Factors such as the dog’s breed will influence the policy. If you’re unsure, give your insurance company a call.