Dog Bite Lawyers
Find out how our team of experienced Dog Bite attorneys
can get you the compensation you deserve.
Dog bites can be one of the scariest experiences someone can have. When dogs attack, their bites can lead to severe injuries, disabilities, and sometimes death.
In addition to any physical injuries sustained, dog bites can leave psychological damage, include Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder, or PTSD.
However, an attack by a dog doesn’t have to just be a bite, and an owner can be liable even if no physical contact by their dog occurs. For example, a dog can chase a small child, causing them to trip, fall, and get injured.
And while it may be impossible to prevent dog attacks, there are certain steps a person can take to decrease the likelihood of a bite. For example, a person should be cautious and vigilant around strange dogs, especially any that look unfriendly or do not have an owner in the vicinity.
Furthermore, a person should be alert and aware of their surroundings and teach the same to their children. A simple asking of an owner for permission to pet a dog before doing so may also help to avoid a bite.
After sustaining a dog bite, a victim may feel overwhelmed and frightened. Of course, seeking medical attention should be a person’s number one priority. Getting a dog owner’s name and contact information is also important for a future claim. Additionally, requesting proof of a dog rabies vaccination can determine if a person needs a shot to treat the disease.
WHAT ARE THE DOG BITE LAWS IN MICHIGAN?
Michigan has specific dog bite laws for victims of attacks. The Michigan dog bite statute holds the owner of the biting dog strictly liable for the attack. This means the owner is automatically liable if the conditions of the statute are satisfied.
In addition, there are leash laws and other common laws used in lawsuits to get compensation for the victim.
There are only a few legal defenses to a dog bite lawsuit. One defense is that the victim was a trespasser at the time of the attack. As such, no legal duty was owed by the dog owner.
The other major defense is if provocation, discussed more below. Lawyers defending dog bite lawsuits often argue that the dog was provoked to attack the victim. This could be a child pulling a dog’s tail or taking away a bone. However, the dog’s response must be proportional to the degree of provocation and in most cases, this defense cannot be proven because it was not proportional.
CAN I PURSUE LEGAL ACTION FOR A DOG ATTACK?
You can sue for a dog bite in Michigan if you were bitten by a dog and suffered an injury. This includes attacks on your property, public property, and on the property of the dog owner if you were lawfully on the property. An experienced dog bite attorney can be extremely helpful and will review the facts of your case and determine if you can sue the dog owner or keeper.
Being lawfully on the property means that you were a proper guest of the property, or you were there for a business purpose. This includes a courier, delivery person, salesperson, contractor, or other person providing services or maintenance on the property. Trespassers on private property are barred from suing in some cases.
For a successful claim, an injured plaintiff must prove a dog owner was negligent. There are four primary elements to prove legal negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
First, you must establish the pet owner owed a legal duty of care to another person. Every dog owner has an obligation to reasonably look after their pet.
Then, you must prove the dog owner breached this duty of care. For example, neglecting to keep their pet properly leashed during a walk or failing to restrain the dog at the home when a business or social guest is on the property.
Finally, you must prove the victim suffered an injury and damages. These are easy to prove in a dog bite lawsuit with medical records and photographs.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BRING A LAWSUIT AFTER A DOG BITE?
In Michigan, the statute of limitations to sue for a dog bite is three years from the date of the bite. This means you must file your lawsuit within three years, or your claim can be lost forever.
However, if the victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the attack, the deadline is extended to their 19th birthday. So, a child bitten at the age of 5 can still sue until age 19.
Any claim filed after these deadlines can be dismissed by the court. As such, you should contact a dog bite lawyer immediately to start your case.
HOW CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP ME?
If you suffered an injury and incurred medical expenses from a dog attack, an attorney can help you immensely in establishing a claim to pursue financial compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys at Koussan Law will evaluate your case and discuss with you the likely settlement award. Research studies show that injury victims with lawyers receive substantially larger settlements than those without an attorney. That is because of the investigation needed into these cases: from start to finish, it is important to establish liability, investigate into the facts, and bring this claim all within the time limit imposed in the statute of limitations. Attorneys are trained to do this process efficiently and effectively to maximize your compensation.
For child dog bite cases, it is necessary to get court permission to settle a case so having an attorney is essential for the victim. To finalize a settlement, the child and parent must appear in court with their attorney so a judge can determine if the child is being fairly compensated in the case.
At Koussan Law, we know how devastating it can be to try and recover from a serious dog bite injury, especially when combined with the financial burdens associated with healing. It is important to know your rights and avenues of recourse when dog bite incidents occur due to another’s negligence. Our compassionate attorneys are here to listen, support, and help you through this challenging time. Call us today at (313) 444-8348 to speak with our legal team.