Each year in the United States, approximately 850,000 people receive medical
attention for a dog bite, with the CDC estimating more than 4.5 million
dog bite victims per year. Dog bites can be extremely painful and, in the worst
cases, can be fatal. Dog owners who knowingly keep a vicious or dangerous
animal not only face civil liability but may also face criminal charges
as well. Dog bite victims are encouraged to seek legal aid as soon as
possible after an injury to pursue the financial compensation they need
to recover from their incident.
What Does Michigan Law Say About Dog Bites?
Section 287.351 of Michigan state law states that if a dog bites a person
without provocation, the owner is responsible for all damages. This is
true in all cases except those in which the bite happened on the owner’s
property and the victim was a trespasser or there to commit a crime.
In order for a personal injury claim for a dog bite to be successful, it
must be shown that:
- The person’s injury was caused by a dog bite (in other words, any
injury caused by other dog behavior is not covered under this law)
- The person who was bitten did nothing to provoke the dog
- The person was either in a public place or lawfully in a private place
when the injury occurred
Dog owners have a responsibility to control their pets, especially when
guests are around. While some states handle dog bite cases by placing
them under the category of “negligence,” Michigan is a “strict
liability” state. This means that a dog owner cannot escape liability
by claiming that they had no warning or way of knowing that the dog was
dangerous or likely to bite. Regardless of whether or not the dog has
displayed aggressive behavior in the past, the owner can still be held
responsible for any damages.
It is important to note that the statute does not apply if the bite resulted
from the victim’s provocation. This means that an injured person
cannot demand that the dog’s owner pays damages if the victim teased
or bothered the animal and made it angry enough to attack. Trespassers
or would-be criminals also cannot demand compensation if they were bitten
on while illegally on another person’s property.
When there is a valid claim filed and won against a dog owner, compensation
is typically collected from the dog owner's homeowner's insurance,
not out of pocket. Knowing this can provide a sense of relief to victims
who are uneasy about filing a claim against the dog owner since more often
than not the dog owner is the victim's friend, neighbor, or family member.
Time is of the Essence – Begin Your Dog Bite Claim Now!
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a dog
bite in Michigan is three years. After this window closes, a dog bite
victim will no longer have recourse for their injury. If you have been
injured by a dog, do not hesitate to contact a
Detroit personal injury lawyer at Goodman Acker P.C. to consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer.
If we agree to take your case, you may be able to collect compensation
for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Our law firm has been representing victims of dog bite injuries for over
30 years and we have the dedication, expertise, and skill to provide you
with the best possible legal services. With a track record of success
in obtaining fair compensation for our clients, we use the correct tools
to get the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.
Call Goodman Acker P.C. today at (248) 793-2010.
Case reviews are free of charge!