My 9 year old got a dog bite, should I find an attorney? 4 Answers as of May 16, 2012

My 9 year old son was the 3rd kid that this dog had bitten. He had 9 stitches above his right knee with extensive scarring. 7 months and a plastic surgeon visit later the homeowners insurance company is offering us 16k less medical(homeowner only has 1000 medical coverage) so we would end up with 13,700 in an annuity or court approved plan since he is a minor. I think this is worth much more, they did this to my child by keeping the dog after the 1st 2 dog bites. Should I get an attorney and try to get more or is this a realistic offer?

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Law Office of Jason D. Baltz | Jason Daniel Baltz
I am sorry to hear about your son getting bit by this dog, especially after the owner had notice that the dog was a biter. You should get an attorney, because the homeowner's insurance company is not treating you fairly. Here is Wisconsin's law that govern's dog bites: 174.02. Owner's liability for damage caused by dog. (1) Liability for injury. (a) Without notice. Subject to s. 895.045 and except as provided in s. 895.57(4), 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. (b) After notice. Subject to s. 895.045 and except as provided in s. 895.57(4), 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. Therefore, the owner's homeowner's insurance company is liable to you for 2 times the full amount of damages caused by the dog. Your son's injuries are worth more than $14,000.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/16/2012
Fox & Fox, S.C. | Richard F. Rice
Yes, you should get an attorney so that you know your rights under the law so that you can get the maximum amount available under the law for primarily your Son's but also your benefit. So contact an attorney asap.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/15/2012
Atterbury, Kammer & Haag | Eric J. Haag
You not only should have an attorney, but these facts will require court approval, and that means that a guardian ad litem "GAL" will need to be appointed. Even if you do not hire an attorney, the court will appoint a GAL to review the settlement. If the GAL does not believe that the settlement is fair, the court will likely reject it. Usually, in cases where there are more than modest injuries (including this case), an injured person will benefit from retaining a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/15/2012
Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston
Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston | Maxwell C Livingston
Dog owner is strictly liable for a dog bite, when the dog has known dangerous propensities (i.e. has bitten before). This is called the one bite test.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/15/2012
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