Over the years, the lawyers at Peterson, Berk & Cross have represented many victims of attacks and bites by dogs. Tragically, the victims are often little children who end up with lifelong physical and emotional scars. Our attorneys and staff are experienced in working with victims and their families during the initial trauma after the attack, the wounds and their repair, and healing during the months or years following the attack.
Facial scars are particularly difficult for people to deal with. We have worked with counselors and psychologists to help dog bite victims deal with their scars. We have worked with plastic surgeons in assessing whether scars can be improved by surgery. Although scars cannot be erased, plastic surgeons can often replace an unsightly scar with one less noticeable. This decision must be made between the treating plastic surgeon and the patient. If the child is very young, sometimes the decision is deferred until the child is mature enough to participate in the decision making process.
It is extremely important that the facts in dog bite cases be investigated as soon as possible after the attack occurs. Under Wisconsin law, a dog does not have to be put to sleep when it bites someone for the first time, although the dog's owner may be held responsible for damages which could include a reasonable award for pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of earning capacity and medical expenses. If the dog bites someone again, damages for its second victim would double. In order to protect the public, it is crucial that an investigation be conducted quickly, even if the case will continue for months or even years, depending on the nature of the injuries. The lawyers at Peterson, Berk & Cross have learned after many decades of experience, that these cases demand patience. We work with our clients on an ongoing basis to ensure that the final result is fair and reasonable.