Michigan Dog Bite Laws

Furious German Shepherd.

A dog bite can cause serious injuries, including puncture wounds, scarring, facial scars, and infection. Being attacked by a dog can also cause psychological trauma and a lifelong fear of animals.

If you were bitten by a dog, you should seek immediate medical attention and report the incident to the police. Then contact the dog bite lawyers at Michigan Injury Attorneys, who will analyze your situation and protect your rights.

Michigan Dog Bite Laws Make the Owner Responsible for Most Injuries

Under Michigan law, dog owners are responsible for almost all dog bite injuries. Michigan’s dog bite statute applies strict liability to dog bite injuries and states that:

Sec. 1. (1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner’s property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner’s property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

Under Michigan dog bite laws, the dog owner does not need to know that the animal had "dangerous tendencies" or was of a particular breed. The victim does not need to prove that the dog had bitten someone before. If you were bitten by a dog, as long as you were not tormenting the dog, the dog owner is responsible for causing your injuries.

Defenses Under Michigan Dog Bite Laws

When a dog causes injuries, dog owners generally have two defenses available:

  1. The victim was provoking the dog; or
  2. The victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property.

Provocation can include hitting the dog, pulling its tail, or other conduct that would cause a dog to attack. However, small children may not understand that they are provoking the dog or might think the dog is playing with them. A child's actions are often minor compared to the ferocity of a dog attack.

Trespassing has a technical legal definition. Whether this defense will be successful will depend on the circumstances of your case. During your initial consultation, our lawyers will analyze your situation to determine whether trespassing is a viable defense within Michigan dog bite laws.

You Are Entitled to Compensation After a Dog Bite Injury

If you were injured by a dog bite, you may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Property damage; and
  • Punitive damages (in some cases).

But obtaining full and fair compensation after a dog bite injury is not always easy. The dog bite injury lawyers at Michigan Injury Attorneys can help. We will answer your questions, assess your situation, and provide advice on whether we think you have a case. Then we will help you recover the compensation you deserve.

What To Do After a Dog Bite

After a dog attack, you should exchange contact information with the dog owner. Ask if the dog is up to date on its rabies shots, and ask for contact information for the dog’s veterinarian. Be sure to ask the dog owner for their homeowner’s insurance information, as dog bite injuries are often covered by a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.

Take photographs of the dog, its owner, and the address and street names of the location where the dog attack occurred. Make note of the make, model, and license plate numbers of any vehicles in the vicinity, as these could be potential witnesses to the incident.

You should also photograph your injuries, especially any torn or bloody clothing, bite marks, torn flesh, and any bruises you suffered.

To treat your injuries, you should thoroughly clean the wound. Wash the area with soap and warm water. If the wound is bleeding, cover it with a clean cloth and apply pressure.

Next, apply a topical antibiotic to reduce the chance of an infection. Then cover the wound with a sterile bandage and seek medical attention.

Once you have received medical treatment for your injuries, contact the dog bite lawyers at Michigan Injury Attorneys to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Contact the Dog Bite Lawyers at Michigan Injury Attorneys Today

Our experienced litigators will work to resolve your case quickly and favorably. Our goal is to obtain the compensation you deserve after a serious injury. We resolve most cases without going to trial. But when a trial is the only option, our lawyers have the experience and resources to win.

To learn more about Michigan dog bite laws, contact Michigan Injury Attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a dog bite lawyer.

Categories: Dog Bites