Who’s liable for a dog bite in Wisconsin?
Based on CDC statistics, each year there are about 80,000 dog bites in Wisconsin with 30,000 in the Milwaukee metro (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Washington, Ozaukee, Dodge, Jefferson, and Walworth counties). Children are often dog bite victims. These dog bites will require medical attention including reconstructive plastic surgery. In addition, dog bites get infected, require stitches, and leave scars.
Under Wisconsin law, dog owners and dog keepers (dog sitters) are liable for damages caused by a dog injuring a person. Accordingly, it is critical for dog owners and anyone watching a dog to be certain to have homeowners, renters and/or umbrella insurance.
Not all insurance policies cover your dog. Some insurers “blacklist” breeds due to vicious bites and injuries or even death. Lists of the “most dangerous dog breeds” or “aggressive dogs” exist, but breeds commonly blacklisted or banned from insurance are: Akitas, Chows, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Huskies, Malamutes, Pit Bulls, Presa Canarios, Rottweilers, and Staffordshire Terriers. If you have one of these, read your insurance policy to make sure they are not excluded.
If you are bitten by a dog, try to keep calm. After, wash the wound with warm soapy water and contact a doctor. Later, report the bite to a local animal control agency. Finally, consult with us as you will not be treated fairly by the owner’s or keeper’s insurer (insurer statistics show dog bite victims with a lawyer recover 3.5 to 5 times more than those without an attorney).