Answers to Your Wisconsin Dog Bite Questions

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From helping you after a dog attack or truck accident in Wisconsin to defending your rights as a rider, the personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy & Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need.

With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by slip and fall incidents, car accidents, wrongful deaths, drug and medical device injuries, dog bites, nursing home abuse and motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.

Contact our professional team of Midwest injury attorneys by calling 800-800-5678 today for your free consultation.

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  • I was recently the victim of a dog bite in Milwaukee and am concerned about rabies. How do I know if the dog was infected?

    It is very common for a dog bite victim in Wisconsin to become worried about infections after the attack. One of the most talked about infections that can be transmitted through a dog bite is rabies. Some studies estimate that as much as 97 percent of rabies infections in the United States are transmitted through a dog bite.

    Rabies is a serious infection that is only treatable before the infection sets in. Knowing whether or not the dog is infected with rabies will help you decide what action to take after being bitten.

    Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine whether or not the dog that bit you was infected with rabies at the time. To determine whether the dog that bit you is infected with rabies you can:

    • Look for symptoms. Dogs that have rabies may have certain symptoms of the disease. You should be concerned if you have noticed any behavior or temperament changes in the last few days to months before the bite.
       
    • Check the dog’s vaccination record. If the dog is not your dog, it is important to find out whether or not the dog has received its rabies vaccinations. Demand that the owner of the dog show you vaccination records to be sure.
       
    • Test the dog. The dog can be tested for rabies. A veterinarian can take samples of the dog’s saliva or spinal fluid to test it for rabies. These methods are fairly accurate but not perfect. The only sure way to determine if the dog has rabies is to check the brain tissue, which requires sacrificing the animal.
       

    Dog bite victims are often entitled to compensation to recover damages incurred due to the bite. To determine if you have a possible case, contact a Milwaukee dog bite lawyer at Hupy and Abraham. Call us at 800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation.

  • I was hurt by a dog in Milwaukee, but the dog never actually bit me. Should I still contact a Milwaukee personal injury attorney?

    Yes. If you have been injured by the actions of a dog in Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois, then you should contact our experienced Milwaukee personal injury lawyers. You may be able to recover damages if a dog:

    • Mauled you.
    • Scratched you.
    • Jumped on you and caused you to fall.
    • Otherwise hurt you.

    Of course, the mauling, scratching, jumping, or other action must have resulted in a personal injury in order for you to have a possible lawsuit. You may be able to recover damages if a dog has directly caused your injury and you have suffered medical or emotional trauma resulting in:

    • Unpaid medical bills, surgical bills or rehabilitation costs.
    • Time away from school or work.
    • Other physical or financial damages.

    Dog owners—and dog owners’ insurance companies—may see things differently and may not understand their responsibilities to provide you with fair and just compensation for your injuries. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact the Milwaukee dog injury lawyers who will fight hard to get you the results that you deserve.

    For more information and to schedule a free and confidential consultation, please contact us via this website or by calling 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800. Calling a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer does not create any obligation to bring a lawsuit, but it will allow you to learn all about your rights and possible recovery so that you can make an informed decision about your future.

  • How are Wisconsin dog bite cases similar to other personal injury claims?

    Wisconsin dog attack cases are both similar and different from other personal injury cases that involve serious injury. Here is a list of characteristics common to all personal injury cases, including dog bites, car accidents, and slip and fall injuries:

    • There may be property damage.
    • There is an injury.
    • The injury could have been prevented.
    • The injury was caused by the negligence or reckless action of a person or entity.
    • The injury may be minor, or it may be serious or even life-threatening.
    • The injury may cause pain and discomfort. The pain may be minor or extreme. The pain may be long-lasting or permanent and may require medical treatment.
    • The injury itself may require medical care.
    • The injury may or may not cause long-term disability.
    • There may be permanent or temporary scarring.
    • The injury may require the victim to miss work and lose income.
    • The injury may leave the victim permanently unable to work, causing a loss of future earning potential.
    • The victim may develop anxiety as a result of the incident or injuries.
    • The victim may require mental health counseling as a result of the incident or injuries.
    • The victim’s injuries may leave him unable to participate in the hobbies or other activities that he enjoyed before the accident.
    • The victim’s spouse, children, and family members may be negatively impacted by the incident, both financially and emotionally.
    • A spouse may lose companionships and consortium.
    • Children may lose guidance and care.
    • The victim and family have a right to seek damages from the party responsible for the injury.
    • Damages may include compensation for property damage, past and future medical care, disfigurement or disability, lost income, lost earning potential, mental health counseling, pain and suffering and loss of support to the family.

    While dog bites cases share similarities with other Wisconsin personal injury cases, they are also unique. An experienced Milwaukee dog bite attorney will use Wisconsin dog bite law to ensure that you and your family get the compensation you deserve. To learn more about Wisconsin dog bite claims or to schedule a free consultation, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • How are Wisconsin dog bite and dog attack cases different from other personal injury cases?

    While Wisconsin dog bite cases have many similarities to other personal injury cases, they are also unique. For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney who has experience with Wisconsin dog bite claims similar to yours.

    Here are several ways in which Wisconsin dog bite cases are different from other personal injury cases:

    • Wisconsin dog bites can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. A visible scar is more than an injury. People tend to judge others based on appearance. A scar can affect the dog bite victim’s ability to make friends, enjoy social relationships and even hold a job. A scar can even affect the victim’s self-esteem. A visible scar matters, and the victim should be compensated for the effect the scar has on his life.
    • A dog bite is a traumatic incident. Many dog bite victims suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A Wisconsin dog bite victim may never again feel safe around dogs.
    • You may be eligible for punitive damages for your Wisconsin dog bite case. A dog bite owner who purposely allows a dangerous dog to run loose may have to pay punitive damages. These damages are paid to the victim, but serve as punishment to the negligent party rather than compensation for the victim’s losses.
    • If a dog involved in a Wisconsin dog attack has bitten before, the owner may have to pay double damages.
    • Judges and jury members may have strong opinions about dogs and the responsibilities of dog owners.

    An experienced Milwaukee dog bite attorney will investigate every aspect of your Wisconsin dog bite claim and make sure that those responsible for your injury are held accountable. To learn more—or to schedule a free and confidential consultation—contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • Can a Wisconsin dog bite victim recover damages for pain and suffering?

    Both children and adults can suffer greatly due to a dog attack

    Most Wisconsin dog bite victims suffer more than physical injuries from a dog attack, and Wisconsin law allows those who experience pain and suffering to recover compensation for these injuries.

    Signs of Emotional or Psychological Injury After a Dog Bite Attack in Wisconsin

    You may be experiencing emotional suffering if you have:

    • Unusual or excessive fear.
    • Anxiety.
    • Depression.
    • Sleep disturbances.
    • Nightmares.
    • Flashbacks.
    • Feelings of helplessness.
    • Withdrawal from loved ones and favorite activities.
    • Feelings of intense anger or rage.

    Children who have been bitten by dogs may experience the same types of emotional suffering, or they may have:

    • Excessive crying.
    • Unusual clinginess.
    • Regression to out-grown behaviors, including bedwetting or thumb-sucking.
    • Difficulty sleeping.
    • Fearful behavior.
    • Tantrums.

    If you or your child experiences any symptoms of psychological or emotional injury after a Wisconsin dog bite, then it is important to talk to a doctor. A dog bite is an extremely traumatic event, and your symptoms are the natural response as your brain tries to deal with the horror you experienced. You can get help. Asking for help does not make you weak.

    And Fighting for Fair Damages Can Make You Strong

    Your lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence and make convincing arguments for your full recovery of damages for your non-economic injuries such as physical pain and emotional suffering. The money that you recover for these injuries can help you afford the care and accommodations that you need to heal and recover as fully as possible.

    If you were injured in a Wisconsin dog bite attack, our experienced dog bite lawyers can help you hold the dog owner liable for all your injuries. However, your time to take action is limited so it is important that you learn about your rights and take the necessary steps to protect your dog bite recovery now. To learn more, contact Hupy & Abraham at 1-800-800-5678. The initial consultation is always free.

  • How long do I have to file a dog bite injury case in Wisconsin?

    State law limits the amount of time you have to file a dog bite lawsuit

    Time is limited for you to file a lawsuit for your dog bite injury. If you fail to file your case by this deadline, then the defense will make a motion for the court to dismiss your case, the court will grant that motion, and you will be unable to recover damages. Thus, you need to know when your time to file a case—or statute of limitations—expires.

    Wisconsin Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites

    Generally, the Wisconsin statute of limitations for dog bite injuries is three years from the date of the dog bite. That means that in most cases you have three years from the date on which you were bitten to formally file a legal lawsuit, but it does not mean that you should wait three years to contact an attorney or pursue your legal claim.

    It also does not mean that there aren’t exceptions to the general rule. The most important exception to the three-year statute of limitations for Wisconsin dog bite injuries is for children. Children who suffer dog bites when they are under the age of 18 have an extended statute of limitations. In most cases, the statute of limitations is extended for two years after their 18th birthday.

    While the statute of limitations allows you a generous amount of time to file your claim, that does not mean that you should wait. By contacting an attorney as soon as possible, you not only make sure that you act before the statute of limitations expires, but you may also be in a better position to preserve evidence and you may be able to recover damages sooner.

    Parents of minors who have been hurt, and those adults who have themselves been injured, should contact an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after a dog bite injury. For more information about how Wisconsin dog bite cases work generally and about your own recovery specifically, please call us any time—24/7—at 1-800-800-5678.

  • I recently adopted an adult dog that had not been socialized as a puppy. I don’t want him to be the cause of a Milwaukee dog bite. Is it too late to socialize him?

    Many dog bites in Milwaukee are a result of how the dog was treated as a puppy and into adult hood. The actions of its owner, other animals, and strangers can either make the dog loving and gentle or difficult and unruly. That is why it is important to start the socialization process from a young age.

    There are instances where a dog grows up and is not properly socialized. Sometimes adult dogs are rescued and adopted from unfortunate situations. For these dogs, it is not too late. They may take a little more time, patience and love to become properly socialized, but it can be done.

    Some tips for socializing your adult dog are:

    • Use treats. Dogs love to be rewarded by having treats. Be sure to have plenty of treats during all of your socialization events. Reward-based methods are one of the best training methods for aggressive or fearful dogs.
    • Take it slowly. Don’t overwhelm your dog by trying to present too much too quickly. Start by inviting a few friends over, preferably ones who have dog experience, and let your dog warm up to them. Be sure to keep him on a leash. Feed him dog treats until he is relaxed around them.
    • Let him watch. Take the dog to a place where he can watch other dogs from afar. Feed him treats as long as the other dogs are in sight. Repeat this process as you get closer and closer to other dogs.
    • Stay calm and positive. It is important for you dog to see that you are having a good time with him. If the dog barks or growls, try not to react by yanking on the leash. This will actual teach your dog to be aggressive himself.

    By socializing your dog you may prevent him from being the cause of a dog bite in Wisconsin. If you have been bitten by a dog yourself, it is important that you speak with a Wisconsin dog bite attorney at Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678 today for a free consultation.

  • What is blood poisoning, and how can a Wisconsin dog bite cause blood poisoning?

    Blood poisoning is another word for bacteremia, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that results from the presence of bacteria in the blood. It is a serious illness that can result in organ failure and even death.

    Untreated bacteremia can lead to sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the immune system overreacts and has an inflammatory response to an infection. The inflammation causes microscopic clots to form in the blood. These clots can prevent blood from reaching essential organs, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, or brain. Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization. If sepsis is allowed to progress, a patient’s blood pressure will drop causing, “septic shock.” Septic shock can lead to multiple organ failure, and even death.

    Blood poisoning can easily follow after a Wisconsin dog bite injury. Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s mouth is not cleaner than a human mouth. A healthy dog’s mouth contains more than 600 species of bacteria. When a dog bites a person, those bacteria are transferred through the bite into the bite victim’s blood stream. The blood can spread the infection throughout the body. 

    Sepsis from a dog bite is a risk even if the dog bite is minor. It is important that all Wisconsin dog bite victims know the signs of bacteremia and sepsis.

    Signs of bacteremia:

    • Sudden fever
    • Chills
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Rapid heart rate

    Symptoms of sepsis:

    • Fever above 101.3 degrees F
    • Body temperature below 95 degrees F
    • Rapid heart beat
    • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
    • Warm skin and possible marbled-looking skin rash
    • Mottled skin
    • Weakness
    • Signs of infection

    Do you have additional questions about your own Wisconsin dog bite injury? Contact the Green Bay dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • My child was bitten by a dog in Green Bay that had it's rabies shot, but later the bite became infected. Our doctor said she caught a MRSA infection from the bite. Is that possible?

    Rabies is not the only fatal disease that can be transmitted through Wisconsin dog bites. According to the 2009 study, Bite-Related and Septic Syndromes Caused by Cats and Dogs, bites and scratches from both dogs and cats have the potential transmit potentially fatal MRSA infections.

    According to the authors of the study, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections from pet bites are increasing. This is because MRSA is easily transmitted from humans to dogs and from dogs to humans, so as MRSA becomes more common in humans, it is also becoming more common in pets.

    Most staph infections are easily treated; however, the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph bacteria that causes MRSA is very difficult to treat. About ten percent of dogs carrying staph bacteria carry the MRSA strain. A MRSA skin infection can be passed from a dog to a human through any type of skin to skin contact, especially if the skin is broken from a bite or scratch.

    As a skin infection, signs of MRSA include small red bumps or pimples that can quickly become fluid-filled abscesses that must be surgically drained. When MRSA from a dog bite infects the blood stream, the bacteria can cause fatal infections in the bones, joints, heart and lungs. 

    Dog bites pose a risk of many types of infection, not just MRSA. After any Wisconsin dog bite, it is important to get immediate medical care in order to prevent all types of infection.

    Dog owners are responsible for making sure that their pets don’t pose a danger to the public. If you or your loved one suffered a dog bite in Wisconsin, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other expenses related to your injury. To learn more, contact the Green Bay dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham by calling 800-800-5678.

  • I love dogs, even though one recently bit me. Am I responsible for the death of my neighbor’s dog if the dog is put to sleep after biting me in Milwaukee?

    No. While our Milwaukee dog bite injury lawyers appreciate your concern for the life of the animal that bit you and caused you to suffer an injury, the decision about whether the dog will be allowed to live is not one that you will make in most cases.

    Typically, if the dog survives the situation in which you were bit, any decision about whether the dog should be put to sleep is made in court. Section 174.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes allows the state or a municipality to bring a civil action in court if the state or municipality believes that the dog should be put to sleep after a dog bite injury in Wisconsin. A court may grant an order allowing the dog to be killed only if it finds that: (1) The dog caused serious injury to a person or domestic animal on two separate occasions off the owner’s property, without reasonable cause; and (2) the owner of the dog was notified or knew—prior to the second injury—that the dog caused the first injury.

    Thus, the decision is not yours to make. However, you do have other important decisions to make after a Milwaukee dog bite injury. Those decisions include where to get medical care and whether to pursue a civil action for damages. In most cases, damages may be available from your neighbor’s insurance company. For more information, please contact an experienced Milwaukee dog bite attorney today at 1-800-800-5678 or 1-414-223-4800.