March 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Wisconsin owners must pay when dogs cause harm
Article provided by The Law Offices of John V. O'Connor, LLC
Visit us at http://www.jvoconnor.com/
Many Wisconsin residents have found pets to be lovable creatures and a great joy to their owners. Unfortunately, cats and dogs have a down side. Whether defending their territory, acting out of self-protection or for some other reason, these animals may bite, and the resulting injuries can be severe.
Bites are serious
A recent incident made headlines in a Midwest city, when a dog got loose from the two young boys who were walking it and bit a 14-year-old girl. The 8- and 10-year-olds took the mixed-breed dog to a fenced-in park, where it attacked the teenager, inflicting wounds to her foot and abdomen. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The law in Wisconsin attempts to protect people from such terrifying experiences. A state statute makes dog owners liable for any injury their dogs cause to any person, domestic animal or property.
Owners who know that their dogs are likely to bite, because the dog previously injured a person, animal or property, can be required to pay double the damages if the animal causes injury again.
Wisconsin's law is open to interpretation. There have been dog bite cases in which an owner was not considered responsible. For example, a woman and her three-year-old entered a friend's house when the friend was not home. The child wandered into the living room, where the family dog bit her. The judge said that it was not reasonable to allow someone to recover damages for a dog bite that happened on another person's property, when they had not been given permission to enter the property.
Other harm dogs can do
Because the state law does not specify that it covers only dog bite injuries, but rather any injury, pet owners have been sued in Wisconsin for other kinds of harm. Although most Wisconsinites probably think about bites when they think about injuries these animals may cause, there have also been cases in which a dog was found to be responsible for an accident.
In one of these cases, a dog ran under the rear axle of a farm tractor, startling the operator, who accidentally overturned the tractor. In another, a dog got out of its enclosure and ran into the road, where a driver swerved to avoid it and crashed.
There is a limit to a pet owner's legal liability, though. One woman sued her daughter, claiming the daughter was liable for injuries the mother sustained from tripping over the daughter's dog. The mother had been invited to dinner at the daughter's house, and the dog fell asleep behind the mother's chair at the dinner table. Not expecting the dog to be there, the mother stumbled over it when she got up. The court decided that the dog owner was not negligent, and allowing the mother to recover damages would open a can of worms, encouraging others to file lawsuits that really had no solid basis.
Holding owners accountable
Dog bite injuries can require a long, painful recovery. When someone has been injured by a dog, the owner can be required to pay for the injured person's medical expenses and any wages the injured person lost from being unable to work. Another part of the damages awarded to a dog bite victim is compensation for pain and suffering.
Anyone in Wisconsin who has been bitten by a dog or cat, or who has otherwise been injured due to a pet's behavior, needs help from an attorney with expertise in this area of law. A personal injury attorney will work diligently to see that an injured person is compensated for the harm that was done.---
Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com
# # #Read more Press Releases from FL Web Advantage: