Dog Bites


A dog bite or attack is a traumatic and terrifying event leading to serious injury, and permanent disfigurement. The Center for Disease Control estimates that you have a 1 in 750 chance of going to the emergency room for a dog bite each year.

Dog bites result in approximately 44,000 facial injuries each year. Children under the age of 10 suffer the highest rate of severe injuries. Dog bites are a greater health problem for children than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog contact our office at (800) 900-4539 for a free consultation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical association:

  • Dog attacks cause 4.7 million injuries annually, 800,000 of which require medical treatment.
  • Children and Senior citizens are the most common dog bite victims.
  • Most children are bitten while interacting with dogs they are familiar with.

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What to Do After a Dog Bite

If you or your child have been attacked by a dog the most important thing is to SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Our firm is here to protect your legal rights; however, our first concern is your well being. Please DO NOT WAIT TO SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT.

We suggest you do the following things if you are bitten:

  • Call the police and paramedics if necessary.
  • Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses.
  • If you have a camera available, photograph the accident scene and the dog that bit you. If you are unable to photograph the dog, make notes about the incident as soon as possible after the accident include the dog's name, breed, size, color, location, how the bite occurred, date, time, etc.
  • You should also take photographs of any injury (after medical treatment).
  • Notify your local animal control and give general information about the attack.
  • Contact Lawton & Cates at 800-900-4539 or by

Legal Recovery

Wisconsin's law is a "strict liability" statute. That means the owner of the dog is liable for any damage caused by their dog regardless of whether or not the dog has ever bitten anyone in the past. There is no "free bite" rule for dog owners or keepers in Wisconsin. The dog bite victim need only show that the dog bit him or her and caused injury. Once that is established the owner of the animal must pay for all the damages caused by his or her dog.

Wisconsin law provides double damages for dogs that have caused injury in the past. It also provides that a keeper or owner of a dog is liable if the dog bites. This means that there is a broader range of recovery for dog bite victims.  Contact our personal injury attroneys in Madison to disuss what we can do to assist you with your dog bite claim in Dane County.

The law provides that you are entitled to damages for:

  • Medical expenses: such as first aid, emergency care, hospitalization, revision, etc.
  • Future medical treatment: including scar reduction and or revision.
  • Loss of earning from work: this can include lost wages for a parent or caregiver who cared for the child after injury.
  • The pain, suffering and emotional trauma of the attack.

Children and Dog Bite Injuries

Children are the most common victims of dog bites:

  • Children are trusting and will be more likely to try to pet a dog, even if it is dangerous.
  • Children are smaller and often seen by the dog as threatening causing the dog to attack more often.
  • Children are more vulnerable in dog attacks and unable to protect themselves.

If your child suffered from a dog bite, it is necessary to consult with an attorney as soon as possible regarding damages in your case. Our attorneys have the experience and expertise to get your child the compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and for any reconstructive surgery or counseling they deserve.