As a rule, Michigan dog bite laws are more favorable to victims than dog owners. When a dog injures or bites someone else, the owner is usually liable, unless the victim provoked the dog or was on the property illegally. However, there are certain situations where a landlord or property owner may be responsible for a dog attack in an apartment complex or other rental residence. The following is a guide to landlord liability for dog bites in Farmington Hills and beyond. However, because these cases are complicated, it is wise to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer if you or a loved one is injured by a dog.
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Michigan dog bite law which includes a “strict liability” statute, holds owners responsible when their pets cause harm to another person. This rule applies even if a dog has never bitten before. Consequently, a dog bite victim is entitled to sue the owner for direct expenses such as medical bills as well as intangible damages such as pain and suffering.
However, the dog owner is usually not responsible if one of the following conditions exists:
The term “lawful right” applies to anyone invited onto the property by the owner or their representative, including guests and people authorized to be on the premises to perform work or provide services. It also those making deliveries for the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and Amazon, in addition to those carrying out duties required by state or federal law.
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Under the above circumstances, the victim is typically not entitled to compensation for damages resulting from a dog attack. However, as in most areas of the law, there are always exceptions. Therefore, if you are injured, it is important to consult an experienced dog bite lawyer to achieve the most successful outcome.
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Yes. Dogs on public property must be leashed at all times, with the exception of leader dogs, farm dogs and certain others. Failing to comply with this law can result in being charged with a misdemeanor.
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Michigan landlords have a duty of care to keep their premises safe and free of hazards. When a dog attack occurs on rental property such as an apartment complex, the victim may be able file a “premises liability” claim. This concept applies to personal injury cases where a landlord fails to maintain a safe environment and someone is injured as a result. To win compensation for injuries occurring on rental property, a victim must prove the landlord knew (or should have known) about the hazard and failed to fix the problem in a reasonable amount of time.
In the case of a dog attack, a landlord could be liable when a tenant does not have adequate renters’ insurance, or their policy excludes the specific breed of their dog. However, while a vicious dog may be considered a hazard, the landlord would only be responsible if they knew (or should have known) there was a dangerous dog on the premises and neglected to remedy the situation in a timely manner.
A landlord who provides care for the dog, such as feeding or walking, could be considered a co-owner and therefore liable for a dog attack. In that instance, a victim may be entitled to recover damages from more than one party. And, to make these cases more challenging, responsible parties such as dog owners, landlords and insurance companies often try to avoid responsibility by claiming the victim provoked the dog.
These are a few of many reasons to retain the services of a skilled dog bite lawyer.
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If you or a loved one is injured by a dog, we can help. Our knowledgeable legal team knows what it takes to win your case, and we have the expertise and resources to make sure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve.
Dog bite law is complicated, but finding the right dog bite lawyer is simple.
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