How to Find the Best Lawyers for Dog Bites
August 23, 2018
Dogs are a great source of companionship and unconditional love, but even the friendliest dog can become vicious and bite a child or adult. A severe dog bite can cause a dangerous injury with far-reaching consequences, including infection and disfiguration.
Important facts about dog bites (based on information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, or CDC).
- More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States
- More than 800,000 of these bites are severe enough to require medical attention
- Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are more likely to be severely injured
- Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims, followed by postal carriers
Michigan Dog Bite Law
Under Michigan law, a dog’s previous “good behavior” does not shield a dog owner from responsibility if their dog attacks and bites another person. Even if the dog has never bitten before, a victim may still be able to file a lawsuit and collect damages.
The Michigan 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.
Because the law requires that the dog bit the victim “without provocation,” owners and insurance companies will often claim the victim instigated the attack. While this assertion is usually incorrect, it takes an experienced dog bite lawyer to document and present a winning case.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Any dog can bite, regardless of breed, size or age. Even a dog that has never bitten before can suddenly turn vicious. Dogs tend to bite when they feel scared or threatened, or when they are protecting something valuable such as their puppies, food or toys.
How To Be A Responsible Pet Owner
- Choose a dog that is right for your family situation in terms of breed, size, and temperament
- Provide appropriate training and regular exercise
- Help “socialize” your dog by introducing it to people and other animals while it is young
- Always use a leash when taking your dog out in public
How To Avoid Dog Bites
Since children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, it is important to teach them how to behave around dogs. Here are some basic dog safety tips that apply to children and adults:
- If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, stand still and remain calm
- Never disturb a dog that is caring for its puppies, eating or drinking
- Avoid startling a dog by waking it up abruptly or throwing an object its way
- Never chase or tease any dog
- Stay away from unfamiliar dogs
- Never hit a dog
- If a dog attacks, try to put something between you and the dog, such as a jacket, purse or bicycle
Emergency Measures For Dog Bites & Finding Lawyers For Dog Bites
If you or your child is bitten by a dog:
- Wash the dog bite wound thoroughly with soap and warm water
- Contact your physician for additional treatment or go to the nearest emergency room
- Call an experienced dog bite lawyer immediately
“The long-term consequences and potential damages of a dog bite may not be readily apparent,” said Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “That’s why it is so important to contact a qualified dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. We will evaluate your case and fight to make sure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.”
Michigan dog bite law is complicated, but finding the right dog bite lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation consultation.