The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website is reporting that a 17-year-old boy fleeing a Rottweiller dog suffered a fractured skull Monday night after he ran into a tree.
Police are reporting that the boy was trying to escape from the dog when it broke free from its chain and the teen ran into a tree, fell to the ground and hit his head, fracturing his skull and suffered bleeding in his brain.
The dog did not bite the victim, but its owner was cited for failing to keep the dog was not kept behind a fence, police said.
Wisconsin’s dog bite statute, 174.02, Wis.Stats., imposes liability on the owner of a dog “for the full amount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injury to a person.” Thus, even though the dog did not bite or touch the victim, if the dog causes the injury, as the dog seems to have done here, the owner is liable. And if the dog has attacked before and its owner was notified of the prior attack, the dog bite statute provides for an award of double damages to the victim. The statute is designed to discourage owners from harboring dogs having dangerous propensities to attack or bite.
A victim such as the teen injured here would do well to consult a personal injury attorney to explore compensation for an incident like this.