Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer: Your Legal Support After a Dog Attack
When a dog bite attack occurs, the repercussions can be catastrophic. While dogs are cherished family members offering companionship and love, they can also inflict severe injuries resulting in permanent disfigurement, nerve damage, infections, and even fatalities. Shockingly, between 2005 and 2018, dog attacks resulted in 471 deaths, with pit bulls accounting for 66% of these incidents.
In addition to the physical injuries, survivors of dog attacks often struggle with lasting psychological damage, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In these trying times, a Michigan dog bite lawyer is your dedicated legal ally, ready to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
Dog Bite Statistics: Insights from A Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer
A Michigan dog bite lawyer is well-versed in the alarming statistics surrounding dog attacks:
- Each year, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States
- Over 800,000 of these incidents require medical care
- More than half of these victims are bitten by dogs they know, usually within their own home
- Households with two or more dogs are five times more likely to be bitten
- Children are the most common victims of dog bites, with the majority bitten by dogs they are familiar with
- Senior citizens rank as the second most common victims of dog bites, followed by postal carriers.
- Michigan ranked 6th in the nation for fatal dog attacks from 2005 to 2017
ARE DOG OWNERS LIABLE WHEN THEIR DOGS BITE?
In Michigan, dog bites are governed by a "strict liability" statute. This means that dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the dog's prior good behavior.
The Dog Bite Statute, MCL 287.351, unequivocally 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.
A Michigan dog bite lawyer understands the significance of "without provocation." It is common for dog owners to blame victims, alleging provocation. However, the person who is bitten is rarely at fault. A victim injured by a dog bite is entitled to file a lawsuit and collect damages, even if it's the dog's first bite.
Successfully Proving a Dog Bite Case: Michigan Dog Bite Lawyers at Your Service
To win in a dog bite case, the plaintiff must establish three key elements:
- The person being sued (the defendant) was the owner of the dog that attacked. While dog ownership may not always be apparent, it can be determined through licensing and vaccination records and the testimony of witnesses.
- The dog bit the victim. This can usually be established with evidence such as photographs, medical records, witness statements, or other proof of substantial physical harm caused by the dog.
- The dog bite resulted in an injury. Medical records and the plaintiff's testimony will confirm that the dog bite indeed caused harm.
Your Michigan dog bite lawyer needs to be well-prepared to help gather and present this critical evidence.
Other Dog-Related Injuries: Expertise of A Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer
A Michigan dog bite lawyer understands that strict liability applies only to injuries caused by dog bites. In situations where a dog's actions, other than biting, lead to injuries, a different legal standard may apply. For example, if a dog chases a person, causing them to trip and break an arm, strict liability might not apply. In such cases, the matter would proceed as a standard personal injury case.
In such cases, the plaintiff would be required to prove the dog owner was negligent. They would have to demonstrate that the dog owner owed you a duty of care and breached that duty. You must also show that you were injured, and the dog owner’s breach caused your injuries.
Distinguishing between dog-related injuries subject to strict liability and those governed by standard negligence law is crucial. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a dog bite, contact us immediately to consult with a dog bite lawyer.
MORE INFORMATION ON DOG BITES:
What If the Owner Claims the Dog Was Provoked?
Insurance companies frequently allege that victims provoked the dog, particularly when children are involved. However, this assertion is often incorrect. In most cases, children are not to blame, and it is the dog owner who bears responsibility.
If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury due to a dog bite, contact us immediately for legal assistance.
We are ready to help. Get The Bernstein Advantage® today.
How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Dog Bite Claim?
Our dog bite lawyers are here to guide you on the legal timeframes for dog bite claims. These claims adhere to the same rules as most personal injury cases. Typically, victims have up to three years from the date of the attack to file a claim. However, it is advisable to consult a dog bite lawyer and start your case as soon as possible. Seek immediate legal help if you or a loved one has fallen victim to a dog bite.
Certain situations may grant victims additional time to file a claim. For instance, minors under the age of 18 bitten by dogs have until their 19th birthday to initiate formal legal proceedings. Waiting is not in their best interest though and parents or legal guardians should get immediate legal assistance to pursue the claim on their behalf.
How Much Is My Dog Bite Case Worth? Expertise From A Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer
Evaluating the value of a dog bite claim is a multifaceted process. Before engaging in settlement negotiations, it is crucial to assess the extent of any lasting damage. A Michigan dog bite lawyer can provide guidance on the most appropriate course of action.
As Michigan's most experienced personal injury law firm, we are prepared to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation with a skilled Michigan dog bite lawyer, fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page.
What to Do If Bitten by a Dog
If you have experienced a dog bite, follow these steps to safeguard your well-being. Print a copy to keep at home for reference.
- Thoroughly clean the dog bite wound with soap and warm water immediately.
- Seek additional medical care and advice from your physician. In cases of immediate medical distress, call an ambulance or visit the emergency room.
- Report the dog attack to your local Animal Control agency, providing all available information about the dog including the owner's name and address.
- Even if the dog is a stray, report the incident to your local Animal Control agency. Provide a detailed description of the dog, where you encountered it, prior sightings, and its direction after the attack.
- Contact us to get The Bernstein Advantage® and protect your legal rights. Our Michigan dog bite lawyers will stand by your side throughout the entire legal process.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury because of a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible.
How to Protect Your Family from Dog Bites: Guidance from A Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer
A Michigan dog bite lawyer offers valuable advice on safeguarding your family from dog bites:
If confronted by a dog, avoid running and stand still, as most dogs will move away once they realize you are not a threat.
Implement preventive measures to reduce the risk of dog bites, including:
- Never interfere with a dog caring for its puppies.
- Avoid startling a sleeping dog or throwing objects in its direction.
- Do not disturbing a dog while it is eating or drinking.
- If you feel threatened by a dog, refrain from running, as a dog's instinct may be to chase you. Remain calm and speak firmly without screaming.
- Exercise caution when children are around dogs, including family pets, as most dog bites occur with children.
- In the case of a potential dog attack, stay motionless with your hands at your sides, slowly backing away until the dog is out of sight.
- In the event of a dog attack, create a barrier between yourself and the dog using your jacket, purse, bicycle, or any available object.
- If knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands covering your ears and remain still. Avoid screaming or rolling.
Despite taking these preventive measures, dog bites can still occur. Seek immediate emergency medical attention if a dog bites you or your child.
Similar to teaching children safety in various situations, educate them on avoiding dog bites. Important lessons for children include:
- Refraining from teasing or chasing dogs
- Staying away from unfamiliar dogs
- Treating all dogs as potentially dangerous
- Avoiding being alone with dogs
- Not approaching restrained or confined dogs
- Not approaching barking dogs
- Never taking a dog's toy or food
- Do not disturb a sleeping dog.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury due to a dog bite, contact us as soon as possible. We are Michigan's most experienced personal injury law firm, and we are ready to help you through the legal process.
Get The Bernstein Advantage® today!
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