Dogs are usually incredible companions. However, when dogs are not properly handled, trained or cared for, bad things can happen. The injuries caused by a dog bite attack can be severe and permanent.
An experienced and aggressive Bay City dog bite lawyer can assist a dog bite victim in putting the pieces back together. Under Michigan law, the dog owner is liable for the injuries his or her dog caused.
By having trustworthy and diligent dog bite attorneys on your side, you can obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, get medical bills and hospital bills paid, obtain lost wages and receive compensation for the scarring caused by the dog bite attack.
What is the Dog Bite Law in Bay City?
As a municipality, Bay City and all surrounding communities in the county such as Essexville, Pinconning, Kawkawlin, and Auburn must follow Michigan law. Under state law, any person who is bit by a dog without provocation is entitled to compensation for the injuries and scarring the dog causes. This is known as the “Michigan dog bite statute.”
Specifically, MCL 287.351 says a dog owner is responsible for any personal injuries or damages the dog causes from biting a person. The statute says directly:
(1) 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.
(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner’s property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner’s property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.
As the law says, so long as the victim did not provoke the attack and was not trespassing, the dog owner is “liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten.” This means the dog owner is strictly liable because the plaintiff does not have to show negligence or fault.
Does Bay City have Local Ordinances for Dogs?
Bay City does have local ordinances that govern how dogs must be kept and contained. Most of these local ordinances can be found under Chapter 18, which governs animals. For example, under city law:
- No dog may stray beyond the premises of such owner unless under the reasonable control of a handler;
- All dogs older than 6 months-old must be licensed and vaccinated;
- No person can keep more than 3 dogs, six month of age or older, in any single family dwelling within the city.
What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?
The types of injuries caused by a dog bite can vary. Typically, scarring can result from the dog breaking the spin and causing blood vessel damage and damage to the dermis. New collagen fibers mend the break, creating a scar. However, scarring is not the only injuries from a dog bite attack in Bay City:
- Broken bones;
- Nerve damage;
- Torn ligaments;
- Low back pain and neck pain;
- Broken hip;
- Permanent scarring;
- wrongful death;
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Bay City Dog Bite Claim?
The law only allows a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for compensation following a dog bite attack. This is called the statute of limitations. In Michigan, the statute of limitations for a dog bite case against a private dog owner is three (3) years from the date of the attack.
This means you have three years to file a lawsuit in court against the proper defendants. Once that time limit expires, the injured person forever loses his or her right to file a lawsuit against the defendant not named in the lawsuit.
There are certain exceptions to this time limit. For example, minors (or children under the age of 18) usually have until they are 19 years-old to file a lawsuit from a dog bite injury.
Who Pays for Dog Bite Injuries?
In most circumstances, the homeowners’ insurance for the dog owner is responsible for paying a dog bite claim. This is true even if the bite did not occur in the homeowners’ residence or property.
For example, if a dog owner is walking his dog on a city street in Bay City, and the dog breaks free from the leash and bite an innocent bystander, the homeowners’ insurance for the dog owner will cover the injuries caused by that dog on behalf of the dog owner.
Renters insurance may also cover dog bite attacks. Individuals who rent an apartment or home would be wise to purchase renters’ insurance with liability coverage. This is especially true if the renter owns a dog. In these situations, the renters insurance will cover any damages or injuries the renter’s dog causes from in an attack.
Important Bay City Dog Bite Contacts and Emergency Information:
Bay City Police Department
501 3rd St.
Bay City, MI 48708
Bay County Sheriff’s Department
501 3rd St.
Bay City, MI 48708
Bay County Animal Control
800 Livingston St.
Bay City, MI 48708
Humane Society of Bay County
1607 Marquette Ave.
Bay City, MI 48706
Bay City, Michigan Dog Bite Lawyers
The Michigan dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. have handled hundreds of dog bite cases in Bay County. We take a detailed approach to each case, investigating the cause, meeting with witnesses, and holding defendants accountable for dog attack injuries.
We never charge anything until we win your case. Please contact our law firm with a dedicated team of Michigan dog attack lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) to discuss your legal issues. The cost is free and the advice can mean the difference in obtaining justice and excellent compensation, or allowing a wrong to continue. Contact us today.