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:
- That the defendant was the owner of the dog that attack, and
- 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.