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How a Dog Bite Lawsuit Works in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s legal system can give you a fair recovery for a dog bite injury

Your dog bite injury is unique. No one else has suffered in exactly the same way that you suffered, and your recovery will reflect your specific damages. While your injury and individualized recovery will be the subject of your lawsuit, there are certain rules and procedures that apply to all Wisconsin dog bite cases. It is important that you understand these rules and procedures, because a mistake could mean that you don’t recover damages for your injuries.

Eight Things to Know Before Filing a Complaint in Court

Your dog bite case will officially begin when you file a complaint in a Wisconsin state court. Before you take that important step, however, it is important to know:

  1. That you have a limited time to file a lawsuit. The Wisconsin statute of limitations limits the amount of time that you have to file a case in court. In most cases you have three years from the date that you were injured, but in some cases that time may be lengthened or shortened.
  2. Whether you have a legal right to file a lawsuit. This is known as standing to sue. You have standing to sue if you were the one who was hurt, if you are the parent of a minor child or the legal guardian of someone who cannot bring a case independently, or if you are the administrator of the estate of a person who died from dog bite injuries.
  3. How to collect and protect evidence that is important to your case. Evidence such as photographs, video footage, and witness testimony should be protected so that it can be used in your case.
  4. What witnesses may be important to your recovery. People who saw the dog bite you and certain expert witnesses who may prove what happened or the value of your injuries can be important to your recovery.
  5. What could happen if you were partly to blame for your dog bite injury. You may be able to recover damages even if you were partly to blame for the dog bite as long as you were not primarily responsible for the dog bite.
  6. How dog bite settlements work. Settlements take negotiation and have binding consequences. There are advantages to settling your case, however, if you can do so fairly.
  7. How to protect the rights of your child after a dog bite injury. It is up to you as a parent to protect the right of your minor child who has been bitten by a dog. This requires taking certain actions to protect your child’s financial recovery.
  8. Whether you need an attorney. Dog bite cases can be complicated and hotly contested. Accordingly, an experienced lawyer can help you make sure that your rights are protected and that you get the recovery that you deserve.

Once you understand these rules and procedures then you can begin the process of getting the fair recovery that you deserve. While each case is unique, the process generally involves:

  • Filing a complaint in state court. The complaint will set forth what happened, why you have a lawsuit, and what compensation you should recover.
  • The defendant answering the complaint. The defendant will respond to the allegations in your complaint.
  • Engaging in discovery. You will ask for certain documentation and statements from the defendant, and the defendant will request documentation and statements from you as you both seek to learn more about the case.
  • Filing motions. You and the defendant may both file various motions with the court. Some of these motions may seek an early judgment as a matter of law and others may relate to deciding evidentiary matters.
  • Presenting your case to the court. Many cases settle before trial. However, if yours does not, then you may need to present arguments and evidence to the court to prove what happened. After that, the judge or jury will decide your case.

You have been seriously hurt by someone else’s dog and you should get a fair recovery. The recovery process may be complicated, but it is possible to get the compensation that you deserve. If you would like to know more about protecting your rights or about how to fight for the recovery that you deserve, then please call our experienced Wisconsin dog bite attorneys any time—24/7—at 1-800-800-5678.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham