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What You Need To Know About Wisconsin’s Dog Bite Law

Personal Injury Attorney

If someone’s pet dog has ever bitten you in Wisconsin, you have the right to sue them for damages. The strict liability state holds pet owners accountable for injuries that can result from a bite or an attack by their dogs. Besides owners, this includes keepers who may also be fined or penalized for neglect.

Applying the Dog Bite Law

The law applies to all incidents involving dogs, which have caused bodily harm to someone. If their bites puncture the skin, draw blood or lead to disfiguration and scars, the owner can be held liable. This includes incidents that involve dogs jumping on people and knocking them down causing injuries. In this case, even if the owners try to restrain their pet, they will still be held responsible.

The only exception to this rule involves police dogs which are not held liable if their attack injures a criminal suspect they are pursuing as part of their duty.

Additional Penalties

Besides the normal penalties, the liable dog’s owner may also face additional fines, for instance:

  • If the owner of the dog knew their pet was dangerous, he/she will have to pay a minimum $200 fine, while $5,000 must be paid at most in case an attack causes injuries or damage to property, game birds, other domestic animals and personal injuries.
  • Even if the owner of the dog were not aware their pet was dangerous prior to the incident, they must pay a minimum $50 in fines in case they are held liable. On the high end, $2,500 must be paid in cases an attack causes injuries or damage to property, game birds, other domestic animals, and personal injuries.

Statute of Limitations for Wisconsin Dog Bite Claims

According to the Wisconsin statute of limitations for dog bite claims, you have at least three (3) years to bring your case forward concerning a dog attack. The timeline starts from the date you suffered the injury and if the deadline is missed, you case will be discarded.

In Wisconsin, every pet owner can be held accountable if their pets attack others or they are negligent in any way. They may even face multiple fines and penalties if their animals have a violent history. If you have been attacked by someone’s dog and wish to receive compensation for damages, get in touch with our attorneys at the Law Office of John V. O’Connor in Kenosha, WI for a consultation today.


    The Law Offices of John V. O'connor

    The Law Offices of John V. O'Connor
    600 52nd Street Suite 120
    Kenosha, WI 53140


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