If you or a family member experiences a dog attack, you could have lasting physical injuries and mental effects. State laws vary about liability when a dog bite occurs.
Review the rules about responsibility for a dog attack in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Wisconsin dog bite statute
Wisconsin requires dog owners to pay the cost of medical bills and other damages resulting from an attack. If the dog bit a person or domestic animal before, the court can double the amount of damages the animal’s owner must pay to the victim.
The state also imposes a separate penalty for dog owners in this situation. This fine ranges from $50 to $500 if the dog has not attacked before and from $200 to $1,000 if the animal has previously injured a person or domestic animal.
Minnesota dog attack laws
Like Wisconsin, Minnesota mandates strict liability for dog bites. That means that the owner is responsible for the cost of injuries even if the animal has never attacked before. In Minnesota, you must file a dog bite liability lawsuit within two years of the incident. Unlike in Wisconsin, the state has no additional penalties or damages when the dog has a history of aggressive behavior.
Both states require you to show that the attack occurred when you were either legally on private property or on public property and that you did not provoke the dog. The defendant may argue that you trespassed or bothered the animal, releasing his or her liability for the cost of your injuries and lost wages.