In a 2011 survey by Harris Interactive, 92% of dog owners responded that they considered their dog to be a member of their family. Although many of us are extremely close with our dogs, dogs can and do bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Unfortunately, children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites.
The vast majority of dog owners feel that their family dogs are members of their families. Often, a dog owner will insist that his or her dog that plays lovingly with small children in the family would never attack someone. Unfortunately, a Wisconsin resident can face a serious personal injury from a dog despite its owner's belief that it would never harm anyone.
There are millions of households across the country that have pets. As a result, animal bites have affected thousands of people. Even dogs, or other pets, that an owner would swear were gentle and would never cause harm have been known to attack a completely innocent person. Unfortunately, animal bites can have serious financial and physical ramifications -- including infection or disease. As a result, many people in Wisconsin have sought legal recourse in form of a personal injury claim filed in a civil court.
In a society where more than half the population has a family pet or two, it is not uncommon to encounter animals wandering unaccompanied along neighborhood roadways. Whether the animal escapes from their yard or are not properly contained, owners are responsible for their animals, even when they are unaware of their pet’s whereabouts. In Wisconsin, when someone is injured by an animal the owners could face a personal injury lawsuit.
Physical pain is not the only consequence that occurs when someone is bitten by a dog. Emotional trauma can add to the pain and suffering that occurs when the bite results in serious injury. The lasting physical, emotional and financial damages can be considerable.
An injury from a dog bite can be serious even life threatening. Dog owners have a responsibility not only for the whereabouts of their animal, but for their medical needs including vaccinations as well. A recent story about a Wisconsin girl that suffered an injury as the result of a dog bite has made local headlines and has people looking for the dog that bit the girl.
It used to be that every dog got one bite. That was literally the wisdom underlying personal injury law relating to dog bites. In Wisconsin and many other states, however, that one-bite approach has given way to laws providing that the owner has absolute liability for any dog bite injury caused by the dog. Even if the owner uses due care in restraining the dog, the owner will be absolutely liable to compensate the injured person. Some states provide some exceptions to strict liability, such as provocation or for a dog used in law enforcement.
Wisconsin readers may have heard news coverage of a horrific dog attack that has claimed the life of a young child. The case has shocked one Wisconsin community, and has raised a great deal of debate surrounding how best to prevent future attacks leading to injury or death. There are no words to express the pain and grief that the child's family is currently weathering, although it is hoped that they know that they are in the thoughts of many as they try to come to terms with their loss.