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Clarifying Wisconsin law regarding injuries from animal bites

Many people have had the terrifying experience of being attacked by a dog or other animal while strolling through their neighborhoods or visiting friends. Animal bites often cause very serious injuries requiring stitches, and perhaps even plastic surgery to achieve full recovery. Wisconsin law is very specific when it comes to animal bites and is known as a strict liability state.

Throughout the state, a dog owner can be held accountable for any bite or attack by a pet that causes injury to another person. When a dog is determined to have a vicious propensity, the amount of damages that may be sought in recovery are doubled.  Those facing such issues are advised to act alongside experienced representation when presenting their case in court. 

One article discussed various factors that help prove a propensity toward viciousness exists. For instance, when a dog has been trained to guard a family and/or home, this often serves as evidence that the animal was taught to attack under various types of circumstances. Also, a history of aggressive behaviors, such as snapping, growling or previous biting incidents suggests a pattern of viciousness that may convince the court that propensity existed at the time a bite occurred. Even if a particular animal has never bitten a human being but has attacked or engaged in multiple fights with other animals, those facts may be proffered as evidence.

Many people, most likely including some in Wisconsin, have had situations where they have complained to pet owners about a dog being repeatedly vicious toward others, but nothing has been done to rectify the problems. When filing personal injury claims regarding animal bites, such incidents may be offered as proof to demonstrate that dog owners knew of their pets' propensities to bite. Anyone seeking state law clarification or guidance related to the issue, may request a meeting with a personal injury attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Prove Fault in States Without Dog Bite Laws", Accessed on Aug. 31, 2016

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