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Dog Bites

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Do You Have a Case?

Free.Simple.Quick.Takes less than 60 sec.

2. About Your Case
3. Last Step
Thank You. Submit and get our No Fee Guarantee® and the Bernstein Advantage® today.
* required

A dog bite can be a traumatic event that results in serious injury. Vicious dog attacks cause numerous deaths every year. Often a dog bite will result in permanent scarring, nerve damage, and a significant risk of infection. Many times, there is psychological harm that lasts well beyond the physical injury.

Michigan dog bite law is considered a “strict liability” statute. In other words, the law makes a dog owner responsible for any bite injury the dog causes to an individual.

The Dog Bite Statute, MCL 287.351, states:

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.

The two key elements necessary to prove a claim are:

  1. That the defendant was the owner of the dog that attack, and
  2. That a dog bite occurred

Although sometimes difficult, the dog owner usually can be identified with licensing and vaccination records, as well as the testimony of witnesses. In most cases, the second element can be established with photographs, medical records, witness statements or other evidence that the dog caused substantial physical harm.

Under Michigan law, a dog’s “good behavior” before an attack does not shield the dog owner from responsibility.

If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible.

Submit a simple, free consultation form now.

We are ready to help. Get the Bernstein Advantage® today.

Legal Resources

The following sections have more information on Dog Bites:

  • What if they claim the dog was provoked?

    It is common for an insurance company to assert that a child in some manner “provoked” the dog and that the child is actually responsible for the resulting injury. This assertion is almost always incorrect.

    Most of the time, the children are behaving themselves and it is the dog owner that is responsible for the injury.

    If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible.

    Submit a simple, free consultation form now.

    We are ready to help. Get the Bernstein Advantage® today.

  • How much time do I have to bring a dog bite claim?

    Michigan law allows a dog bite victim to take legal action against up to THREE YEARS from the date of the attack. It is not wise to delay. Seek immediate legal help if you or a loved one was the victim of a dog bite.

    In some situations, a victim has additional time to file a claim. The most common example is a child under the age of 18. As a legal minor, a child bitten by a dog has until his or her 19th birthday to start formal legal proceedings. However, waiting is not in the child’s best interest. A parent or legal guardian should get immediate legal assistance to pursue the claim on the child’s behalf.

    If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible.

    Submit a simple, free consultation form now.

    We are ready to help. Get the Bernstein Advantage® today.

  • How much is my dog bite case worth?

    Determining the value of a dog bite claim is a complicated matter. Before an attorney can engage in serious negotiations regarding settlement of a claim, it is important to assess the degree of long-lasting damage.

    In some situations, it may strengthen the case to wait a few months to determine the extent of any permanent scarring. We can advise you on the best way to proceed.

    Submit a simple, free consultation form now.

    We are ready to help. Get the Bernstein Advantage® today.

  • What to do if bit by a dog (Checklist)

    Here are steps you should take to protect yourself if you have suffered a dog attack. Please print a version to keep in your home in case it is needed.

    1. Immediately wash the dog bite wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
    2. Contact your physician for additional care and advice. If you are in immediate medical distress, call an ambulance or go to the emergency room immediately.
    3. Report the dog attack to the Animal Control agency in your community. Tell the Officer everything you know about the dog, including name and address of the dog owner.
    4. If the dog is a stray, you still should make a report to your local Animal Control agency. Tell the Officer what the dog looked like, where you saw it, whether you saw it before, and the direction it went after the attack.
    5. Get the Bernstein Advantage® to protect your legal rights.

    If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible.

    Submit a simple, free consultation form now. We are ready to help.

  • How to Protect Your Family from Dog Bites

    If confronted by a dog, stand still, do not try to run away. Most dogs will move away after determining that you are not a threat.

    There are several ways to help reduce the risk of dog bites:

    • Never interfere with a dog that is caring for its puppies.
    • Never startle a dog by waking it up or throwing an object in its direction.
    • Do not disturb a dog while it is eating or drinking.
    • If you feel threatened by a dog, do not run. A dog’s instinct may be to give chase. Stay calm. If you speak, talk in a firm voice without screaming.
    • Be very mindful of your children around all dogs, including family pets. Most dog bites occur to children.
    • If you think a dog may attack, remain motionless with hands at your sides. Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until the dog is out of sight.
    • If the dog does attack, “feed” the dog your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
    • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Do not scream or roll around.

    Despite the best preventive measures, dog attacks do happen. If a dog bites you or your child, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

    Just as we teach our children to practice safety in other situations, we can teach them ways to avoid becoming dog bite victims. The most important lessons for children are:

    • Do not chase or tease dogs that you know
    • Stay away from dogs that you do not know
    • Treat all dogs as potentially dangerous, unless supervised by an adult.
    • Children should never be alone with a dog.
    • Never approach a restrained or confined dog.
    • Never approach a barking dog, even if he is wagging his tail.
    • Never take a toy or food from a dog.
    • Never disturb a sleeping dog.
    • Never discipline a dog by hitting it.

    If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible.

    Submit a simple, free consultation form now.

    We are ready to help. Get the Bernstein Advantage® today.