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Dogs are fondly referred to as man’s best friend. However, not all dogs are friendly to everyone. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there were more than 1,000 reported dog bites in the state in 2018.

For instance, if you’ve been bitten by a dog in Milwaukee, you should file a dog bite lawsuit to recover the losses you incurred during treatment. However, since few people are familiar with dog bite laws, it’s advisable to consult a Milwaukee dog bite lawyer to help you recover the maximum settlement.

Who is responsible for your dog bite?

One of the most challenging things about filing a dog bite lawsuit is that you might not know who to sue.

In most cases, you can file a claim against the dog owner for your damages. Usually, they will have some sort of insurance, such as a homeowners policy or an umbrella cover, to help them pay for such accidents.

However, sometimes other parties might be partly responsible for the dog bite. For instance, you can sue a negligent landlord who knew a dangerous unleashed dog was on their property.

When can you file a dog bite lawsuit?

It’s important to note that not every dog bite in Milwaukee is eligible for compensation. For instance, if you were trespassing on private property and got bitten by a guard dog, you might not be able to recover your damages.

According to Wisconsin’s dog bite law, you’re entitled to compensation if:

  • You did not provoke the dog.
  • You were in a place you’re lawfully allowed to be.
  • You were acting peaceably.

Since some of these requirements are difficult to prove, it’s important to work with an experienced dog bite attorney to help you build a robust case.

What can you recover in a dog bite lawsuit?

A dog bite can leave you with serious injuries that affect your daily life. It’s, therefore, essential to receive the maximum settlement to help you mitigate the losses resulting from your injuries.

1. Pain and suffering

Dog bites can be excruciatingly painful, and just like any other serious injuries, they might take weeks or months to heal.

You can include pain and suffering in your dog bite lawsuit claim as non-economic damages resulting from the dog bite. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company how much money you should receive for your pain and suffering, depending on the severity of your injuries and how long they take to heal.

2. Property damage

If the dog bite causes damage to your property, such as clothes, phones, or other personal items, you can claim compensation for them or the cost to repair them.

3. Medical expenses

It’s essential to seek medical care immediately after a dog bite. This is because, apart from the injuries, dog bites can also transmit diseases such as rabies, Pasteurella, and Campylobacter.

dog bite

Going through all these tests and receiving rabies shots does not come cheap.

It’s, therefore, essential to sum up all your medical expenses, including vaccinations, medication, and doctors’ consultations in your dog bite claim.

4. Disfigurement and scarring

If a dog bites you on some of the more visible parts of your body, like your forearms or face, you might end up with a noticeable scar. This can negatively affect your quality of life or even decrease your self-esteem.

In most cases, you will be awarded disfigurement and scarring compensation depending on how much it impacts your life. For instance, if you work in an industry that focuses on your appearances, such as modeling or the service industry, you’ll likely receive a higher settlement.

5. Lost wages

Even if you’re not a model or flight attendant, you might still have to miss work for a few weeks or months to recover from a dog bite. As a result, you can file for lost wages in your dog bite claim to recover the income you’d be earning if you weren’t recovering from your injuries.

6. Punitive damages

While dog bites are mostly accidents, sometimes they’re a result of negligent or carefree dog owners. If you feel like the person responsible for the dog acted maliciously and caused the dog bite, you can file for punitive damages in your dog bite claim.

Punitive damages are awarded on top of compensatory damages to punish a defendant’s risky or negligent behavior. This is to deter the individual from repeating such misconduct in the future.

To sum it up

Dog bites can cause serious injuries and put you at risk of dangerous diseases like rabies.

If you know someone who’s been attacked by a dog in Milwaukee, encourage them to talk to an attorney and file a dog bite lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries.

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