What to do Following a Dog Bite
Being attacked or bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. However, after a dog attack or dog bite, a victim may not know what steps he or she should take, or what his or her options are in regards to holding the dog's owner responsible. If you or a loved one is attacked or bitten by a dog, the following steps can help to increase your chances of fully recovering for any injury-related losses.
Determine Who Was in Control of the Dog
In order to recover under Wisconsin law, you need to know who owned the dog or was responsible for the dog at the time of the attack. If the owner is present following an attack or bite, you should obtain contact information including his or her name, phone number and address. You should also request the name of the owner's homeowner's insurance company. Ask the individual if the dog is up to date on its rabies vaccinations and whether it has any known infections. If you do not know who the owner is, try to take a photo of the dog so that you can ask neighbors if they know who owns the dog.
If anyone saw what happened, you should take down his or her name and contact information. Witnesses can corroborate your version of events, which can make it significantly easier to prevail in any subsequent legal claim. If you are able to do so, take photos or video of the scene of the bite, including pictures of your resulting injuries. Photos can serve as important evidence of the dog owner's negligence. If possible, search local records to determine whether the aggressor dog has ever attacked or bit someone previously. In Wisconsin, an owner or keeper of a dog may be liable for twice the amount of an individual's damages if the aggressor dog caused a prior injury.
Speak with the Police
After a dog bite occurrence, you should report the event to the police. Law enforcement officers will write a report, which can serve as an official record of the attack or bite. You should then request a copy of the report when it is ready so that you can check to make sure that all of the information is accurate. If the report does not reflect the true nature of the incident, you should request that it be amended.
Seek Medical Attention
If you require emergency treatment, you should heed the advice of all emergency personnel. Furthermore, you should undergo a medical evaluation even if you think that your injuries are relatively minor—dog bites can have many complications if not properly treated. Additionally, medical records can prove the nature and extent of your injuries, the recommended treatment, and the losses you incurred for your treatment.
Discuss a Possible Claim with a Wisconsin Dog Bite Attorney Immediately
Dog bites can cause painful physical injuries, emotional trauma, disfigurement and more. Many dog bite victims are entitled to substantial compensation by the owner of the aggressor dog and anyone who has sustained dog bite injuries should contact a qualified Appleton personal injury lawyer or Green Bay personal injury lawyer to discuss his or her rights and options. The lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. have extensive experience with dog bite cases and are thoroughly familiar with dog bite laws in Wisconsin. We assist clients out of our offices in Appleton, Green Bay, New London, and Oshkosh, so please call 920-739-7366 to schedule your consultation today.