If you or someone you love is bitten by a dog in Detroit or Michigan, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can help pay for your dog bite treatment, other medical bills, scarring, emotional distress, and additional potential damages.
However, it’s essential to understand your state’s specific dog bite laws before attempting to file a claim. The laws concerning dog bites and liability can vary from state to state, which can affect your claim and who is liable for the attack. Our Detroit dog bite attorneys can walk you through these Michigan dog bite laws and help you get the compensation you deserve.
In Michigan, a dog is considered dangerous if:
- The dog bites or attacks a person; or
- If the dog causes severe injury or death to another dog while on the owner’s property or under the control of the owner
However, a dog is NOT considered dangerous if it attacks and bites a trespasser or attacks a person who was provoking it. It is also not dangerous if the dog acts in a manner designed to protect a person being assaulted or engaged in a lawful activity.
Michigan is a “strict liability” state regarding dog bites. This means a dog owner can be held liable if their dog attacks and bites another person, even if the dog has not previously shown any aggressive behaviors.
This also means that as the victim of a dog bite, you do not have to go out of your way to prove that the dog owner was at fault. Instead, you only need to show that:
- Your injury was the result of the dog bite
- You did not provoke the dog
- You were in a public place when you were attacked and bitten, OR you were lawfully in a private place (meaning you were not trespassing)
You are considered to be lawfully in a private place and not trespassing if:
- You were there because you were performing a duty imposed on you by the laws of the state; or
- You were there because you are a postal worker; or
- You were there because the owner of the property permitted you to be there as an invited guest.
If you provoked the dog or if you were not legally allowed to be on the property where you were attacked and bitten, then you will likely be unable to hold the owner of the dog liable for the attack.
Some states allow dog owners a “free pass” when it comes to liability for dog bites, meaning they will not be held liable for the first time their dog bites someone.
However, as Michigan is a strict liability state, this “one free bite” rule does not apply. Instead, if a dog bites a person in Michigan, even if it had never bitten or shown aggression previously, the dog owner can still be held liable.
This means that as the victim, you are entitled to file a claim against the owner, regardless of the dog’s previous display of good behavior.
How Detroit Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help
Though Michigan is a strict liability state, working with an attorney for dog bite cases is still beneficial. Just because the owner can more easily be held liable in Michigan does not mean they won’t try to argue against your claim.
You don’t have to prove that the owner was negligent, but you do have to show that you did not provoke the dog and that you were legally allowed to be on the premises where you were bitten. The dog owner may work with their own lawyer to try to claim that you did something to provoke the dog or that you were not allowed to be on the property.
If this happens, you need experienced dog bite lawyers to defend you. They will know about fighting against these kinds of arguments or defenses and what it takes to ensure the owner is held liable.
A Michigan dog bite attorney will also be able to help you provide evidence to show how much the dog bite injury has affected your life and your finances, which will help you get more compensation for the damages you have suffered. For example, not only will you have medical bills to pay for your injury, but you could also suffer mental trauma and distress as a result of the dog attack,
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm: Detroit Dog Bite Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog attack and were injured, the team at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. We care about the safety of our clients. We will fight hard to protect your rights and ensure the dog owner is held accountable for their actions.
Call our Michigan dog bite attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or request your free consultation here. You’ll pay nothing until we settle your dog bite case.
You can also visit our website for more information about Michigan dog bite cases here.