Wisconsin’s New Dog Bite Law and Double Damages

Wisconsin has long held that if a dog has a history of “dangerous” behavior the owner will be liable for any damages AND get penalized for not taking extra precaution.  Knowing a dog is dangerous and letting it off leash or able to roam free and cause ANOTHER injury is worthy of double damages.

In the past “dangerous” dogs were those that caused injury to property or person. The NEW law is much more detailed and requires specific proof of permanent injury.  The new law as of November 2015 is as follows:

On Wednesday, November 11, the Governor signed legislation altering the double damages provision of Wisconsin’s ‘dog bite’ statute, Wis. Stat. § 174.02. Specifically, the legislature altered Wis. Stat. § 174.02 (1)(b) to make it far more difficult to win double damages. Double Damages will now be available only in situations where a dog has bitten a person “with sufficient force to break the skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement” and where the owner knew that the dog had previously “bitten a person with sufficient force to break the skin and cause permanent physical scarring or disfigurement.”

If a dog in Wisconsin causes injury to someone you love please call our law firm so we can help.   Much more investigation will need to be conducted right away given this new law.   Call us for assistance at 414-375-2030