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Dog Bite Liability Claim Laws in the State of Michigan

The majority of people have owned a dog at some point in their life, or spent enough time with a friend or family member’s dog to know this: Dogs can lash out, sometimes seemingly unprovoked. Even if you are familiar with a dog and it is not aggressive, they can become startled by minor events, and react by jumping, scratching, or biting.

Although some of these behaviors result in minor scratches, there are some dog attacks that cause major injuries. Broken bones, infections, and other serious ailments can all arise from a dog bite, along with the associated medical costs. In these cases, victims may be able to recover compensation for their expenses by filing a personal injury claim.

Do I Need to Prove Negligence in a Dog Bite Case?

There are multiple states that do not require a dog bite victim to prove negligence as a factor in the attack. Called “strict liability” laws, these statutes establish the precedent that people who are bit by dogs only need to prove that the attack occurred unprovoked. Michigan follows strict liability laws, so residents in the state do not need to prove fault to receive benefits in a dog bite case.

What if the Dog is Owned by Someone I Know?

As previously stated, even a dog you know can attack if it feels threatened. In addition to the injuries and expenses, attacks by a familiar dog carry another hardship: The question of whether filing a claim is appropriate. Yes, you want to recover compensation, but do not want to sue your family member, friend, or neighbor to get that compensation. Michigan law accounts for this potential uncomfortable situation by allowing dog bite claims to be paid through homeowner’s insurance.

Despite Michigan’s strict liability laws, it is still possible that you can be denied compensation — this is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Contact Goodman Acker P.C. to discuss the details of your case.

Call (248) 793-2010 or use our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.

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