Michigan Remains Top Ten State For Dog Bite Claims
You may have recently read about the story of a 3-week-old Grand Rapids baby who died after the family dog bit her in the head. Surgery couldn’t save the infant who was left alone in the house with three pit bulls for only five minutes before a caretaker checked on her. According to police, when the woman checked on the infant, she found her bleeding from the head and one of the dogs with blood around its mouth. Our thoughts are with the family during this tragic incident.
With 4.5 million victims of dog bites and attacks each year, experts from leading organizations like the American Humane, and the American Veterinary Medical Association say that one of the best ways to prevent dog bites and attacks is being a responsible pet owner since nearly all dogs are capable of biting, even the good, trained ones. A dog that bites can be caused from several reasons, including excitement, fear and even dominance. Dog owners have the responsibility to keep their dogs under control and dog bite or attack victims do have the right to receive compensation for damages.
Dog Bites and Attacks Can Be Costly Liability
According to latest State Farm claim statistics (2016), Michigan remains one of the top 10 states for the number of dog bite claims resulting in a total of 167 claims and $4.4 million paid out. The rise in incidents continues to support Michigan as one of several states with a specific statute that covers dog bites. Under the statute, an individual bitten by a dog can obtain compensation through the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy without having to prove negligence. This can happen even when the dog was not previously vicious and had never bitten before — leaving owners liable the very first time their dog bites someone. Since most landlords do not provide dog bite or dog attack coverage, renters should consider purchasing their own renters insurance.
In addition, there are three theories of liability for Michigan dog bites and attacks.
- A person can bring a lawsuit under the Michigan dog bite statute, MCL 287.351.
- A person can file a lawsuit under Michigan common law strict liability.
- A person can file a lawsuit asserting basic negligence principals against the dog owner.
The principal defendant in most Michigan dog bite and dog attack cases is the dog owner who can be held liable for paying money damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress and embarrassment to a victim.
We Are Michigan Dog Bite Experts
There are time limits in making a Michigan dog bite or dog attack claim. This is called the statute of limitations, so it is important to contact a lawyer and protect your legal rights.
Please call our Michigan dog bite lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about Michigan dog bite and Michigan dog attack law. Let us help you today.