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Homeowner, Not Dog Owner, Responsible For Dog Bite December 3, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Dog Attack Information, FAQ Personal Injury.
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Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals held today that a homeowner whose friend lived with him for four months before the attack was responsible for the damages caused by the dog.  The Oshkosh Northwestern reported:

The dog bite statute holds persons who “own, harbor or keep” a dog strictly liable for any damages the dog causes.  A statutory keeper may be simultaneously liable with an owner.  The trial court concluded that at the moment of injury, the dog’s legal owner had control of the dog and, therefore, Seefeldt was not a statutory keeper under § 174.02.  We reverse the trial court’s ruling. 

The dog was one of 4 dogs at the residence.  The dog ran out of the front door, charged across the street and bit the victim three times causing 16 puncture wounds.

There was a dissent.  Judge Snyder argued:

That dog bite cases are decided on their particular facts and Seefeldt had relinquished her limited “keeper” status when Waterman ran after his dog.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisSheboygan,  Plymouth,  and  Germantown.

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Take Responsibility Dog Owners! November 6, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Dog Attack Information.
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The Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter noted a frustrating story about a dog bite victim.  A Keil woman was attacked by a dog.  It appears that, at first, she didn’t realize that the dog broke her skin.  The dog’s owners left the scene and didn’t give any identifiable information.  Soon thereafter the victim noticed that the dog broke her skin.  She went to the hospital and was told that because no one knew whether the dogs were up on all of their shots she would have to undergo rabies vaccination shots. 

This is just another example of a victim of a dog bite having to undergo potentially unnecessary medical care.   The victim may have to worry about having rabies, the pain of the shots not to mention the time away from work and her family.   There isn’t an update so I don’t know whether they ever found the dog owners.

Wouldn’t it just be easier if the dog owner stuck around and gave the victim her information?  No matter how small the bite seems at first why not just exchange information?  If the dogs don’t have rabies then all this would not have to happen.

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Racine, Wauwatosa, New Berlin and Manitowoc.

Happy Pit Bull Awareness Day October 24, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Dog Attack Information.
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Yes, the day has finally arrived!  Tomorrow is Pit Bull Awareness day. 

Celebrate responsibly.

http://www.jonpgroth.com

Animal Attack Quarantine October 15, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Dog Attack Information.
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Sauk County discusses the law that mandates that any owner of a dog or cat must quarantine their animal if it attacks.  

In short, if your dog or cat bites someone it is Wisconsin law that the animal be quarantined so it can be observed for rabies.  Obviously, you should call the police first and then work with them and your veterinarian to make sure the animal that attacked is up to date on all vaccines.

Remember that the owner of the animal is responsible for the costs of the quarantine.  So, be sure to read your insurance policy to see if this will be covered under your home owner’s insurance policy.

http://www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Kansasville, Beloit, Sheboygan, Wauwatosa and Oconto.

800,000 Dog Bite Victims Need Medical Attention Annually October 9, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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That’s the American Veterinary Medical Association talking.  For what it’s worth 800,000 is approximately the population of San Fransisco.

The AVMA goes on to say that dogs attack children more than adults.  Check out the site.  I recommend it. 

And please, take their advice.  If you are bit by a dog or if your dog bites please contact the police.  Why?  Because it’s important that the proper authorities are notified in order to ascertain whether the dog has rabies.  Isn’t it better safe than sorry?

I have a client who was bit by a rottweiler while at a motorcycle race.  The owner never came forward.  My client gave the police a lot of information while in pain from the bite.  The police conducted an investigation that resulted in almost a dozen page report. But, no dog.  After my client returned home from the hospital he did remember the rottweiler’s owner’s motorcycle number.  Using that and google we were able to find the owner and help the police find the dog.  Finally, after the police caught up with the owner she admitted to owning the dog and to the bite.

Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier if the dog owner took responsibility from the get go?  It would have saved taxpayer money and a lot of stress and unnecessary trouble.

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West Allis, Eagle, CrivitzPlymouthand Germantown.

What to do: Dog Bite September 23, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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I’ve written a lot about dog bites and my experience with litigating cases where pit bulls and other dogs have attacked and injured kids and adults.  

But, right after the dog attacks what are you to do?  I found this helpful check list written by a Doctor that is pretty easy to read.  Knowing what do to after a dog bite should take some of the stress out of the already very stressful situation. 

http://www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Janesville, Kenosha, Wauwatosa and Lomira.

Insurance Required for Dangerous Dogs? September 9, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Does that sound unreasonable?  Semi trucks are required to have a certain amount of insurance.  Why?  Because they are more likely to cause serious injuries.  I think it is pretty safe to guess that dangerous dogs are more likely to cause injuries.  Why else would they be classified as “Dangerous”?

The story comes from Omaha, Nebraska.  They propose that in order to obtain a license for a “dangerous”  or “potentially dangers” dog the owner must show proof of $100,000.00 in liability insurance. 

A “Dangerous Dog” is defined as:

an animal which attacks, snaps at, bites, or has a history of attacking a human being or domestic animal, one or more times, without provocation.

The city would enforce the law with fines.  If a dog owner violates the law three times in 24 months all pets must be turned over to animal control.

Interesting law.  Anyone hear of anything like this in Wisconsin?

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Kansasville, Beloit, Sheboygan, Wauwatosa and Oconto.

Pit Bull Attack…Wow…Big Surprise! August 18, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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You may have read my previous posts about dog bites/attacks.  Here’s a link about a case I handled for a victim of a pit bull attack.

This case involved an interesting issue regarding Wisconsin’s Dob Bite Law.  As you probably know, in Wisconsin if a dog previously causes injury or property damage then all subsequent recoveries are doubled.  But, what exactly is damage?  Is a hole in someone’s jeans damage?  How about a dog pulling at someone’s jeans without a hole?

It was a unique case and, like usual, the at-fault insurance company blamed the victim for bending down to pet the dog!  The jury didn’t buy their argument. 

FYI: The juries verdict was actually about $18,375 which included costs awarded by the court and taxed against the at fault insurance company.

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Fond du lac, Mayville, Port Washington and Wauwatosa.

Wisconsin’s Dog Bite Law July 28, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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It must be summer.  I’ve been talking with a lot of new clients injured by dogs.  For everyone’s information below I’ve linked to and posted Wisconsin’s Dog Bite Law (Sec. 174 Wis. Stats.)

When a dog causes injury to a person for the first time (“without notice”):

“the owner of a dog is liable for the full amount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injury to a person, domestic animal or property.”

When a dog owner knows that a dog has caused injury in the past and the dog causes injury again (“after notice”):

“the owner of a dog is liable for 2 times the full amount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injury to a person, domestic animal or property if the owner was notified or knew that the dog previously injured or caused injury to a person, domestic animal or property.”

If you have questions about the Dog Bite Law in Wisconsin feel free to contact me at 800-950-9882.  I’d be happy to discuss your situation.

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Cascade, Lomira, Janesville and Wauwatosa.

Pit Bull vs. Golden Retriever? May 30, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Guess who started the fight?  Linda Spice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently wrote an article about a pit bull that attacked a golden retriever in Port Washington, Wisconsin.  The pit bull’s owner was dragged across the street as the dog ran at two golden retrievers and their owner.  The police were at the scene almost immediately and shot the pit bull. 

This brings up an interesting question.  In Wisconsin, the law states that if a dog bites and previously caused injury to person or property then the dog’s owner is liable for double the damages caused by the dog bite. 

If this pit bull had bit the golden retriever and then almost immediately afterwards the owner of the golden retriever would double damages apply? 

If you are in this situation it’s important to hire an attorney that deals with these situations.  I’d be happy to help. 

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Port Washington, Wauwatosa, Ozaukee and Milwaukee.

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