Dog bite attacks are scary and often life-altering events. The trauma and physical harm caused by a dog can vary from small puncture wounds to horrible injuries and scarring. Sometimes dog bite attacks can even end up in death.
An experienced and aggressive Saginaw 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.
Who is the Correct Defendant in a Saginaw Dog Bite Lawsuit?
To obtain compensation following a Saginaw dog bite attack, it is important to find the correct defendant. In almost all cases, the correct defendant is the dog owner.
Under Michigan law, a dog owner is responsible for the actions of his or her animal. In some situations, the caretaker of possessor of the dog may also be responsible. This can occur when a person is dog sitting for a period if time and allows the dog to attack a person, leading to personal injury.
What is the Statute of Limitations of a Dog Bite in Saginaw?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit in court against a defendant. After that time expires, the plaintiff is forever barred from filing a lawsuit against that specific defendant. The statute of limitations for a dog bite case for compensation is three (3) years against private dog owners.
Once a lawsuit is filed, the statute of limitations is tolled, or stopped.
It is important to identify the correct dog owner(s) following a Saginaw dog bite attack. Misidentifying the dog owner, and then naming the wrong dog owner in a lawsuit can take away your right to compensation.
There are exceptions to the standard 3-year statute of limitations for minors and certain other plaintiffs.
What is the Dog Bite Statute?
Under Michigan law, specifically MCL 287.351, a dog owner is responsible for any 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.
What is Provocation in a Dog Bite Claim?
Provocation is not defined by Michigan statute. However, various cases decided by Michigan courts have concluded that provocation is an action by an individual that incites or angers a dog in a way that is out of proportion to the manner a dog should normally act.
Typical actions involving provocation can include kicking or hitting a dog. Aggressive petting, sudden hand movements or hand gestures that amount to taunting can also be considered provocation. The normal act of petting and stroking a dog’s fur is not provocation under the eyes of the law.
Provocation can be both intentional and unintentional. This means that just because you did not mean to provoke the animal does not mean the dog owner can’t use provocation as a defense in a dog bite case.
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 Saginaw:
- Broken bones;
- Nerve damage;
- Torn ligaments;
- Low back pain and neck pain;
- Broken hip;
- Loss of vision, loss of hearing;
Important Saginaw Dog Bite Contacts and Emergency Information:
Saginaw Police Department
612 Federal Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48607
Saginaw Twp. Police Department
4930 Shattuck Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48603
Saginaw County Animal Control
5641 Bay Road
Saginaw, MI 48604
Saginaw County Animal Control
1312 Gratiot Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48602
The Humane Society of Saginaw County
7628 Gratiot Rd., Suite 102
Saginaw, MI 48609
Dog Bite Attorney Saginaw
It is important to find an experienced and trusted Michigan dog bite lawyer to handle your case. Our attorneys are experts in obtaining compensation for the pain and suffering, emotional damages, trauma, scarring, medical expenses and lost wages a Saginaw dog bite attack causes.
We have represented hundreds of dog bite victims. We understand the intricacies of dog bite cases. Our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case. If you are looking for a Saginaw dog bite lawyer, please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free case evaluation.