Dog Bite Laws in Michigan

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Dog bite laws in Michigan – What you need to know:

Getting bitten by a dog is one of the most traumatic and upsetting things that can happen to a person. Partly because of the pain and suffering, partly because most people love and trust dogs. Dogs are inherently good, for the most part, we forget that they have descended from one of the most vicious animals in the world. If you are sadly bitten, it can be a very stressful and anguish inducing time in your life. You may not want to focus on the legal side of things at this very moment, but you probably should. This article will cover everything you need to know clearly and concisely to make this as easy for you as possible.

How serious are dog bites?

Dog bites can range from being a minor annoyance to completely life-changing most devastatingly. Dogs are very, very powerful. Especially the strong fighting breeds like pit bulls. If a dog does bite you, you could end up in a life long physical therapy regime just to keep full use of all your limbs. If a dog bites you, how serious the injury may be might not even be apparent until weeks after the fact. The initial shock can cause you to completely ignore some of your pain and trauma. You may end up repressing your anxiety and fear for weeks before you are ready to process it. That’s why speaking to medical professionals is so important. You want a record of everything that has happened to you, and that will happen.

What are some common injuries?

Some of the most common injuries from a dog bite are infection from the wound area. Dog’s mouths are filthy, bacteria-filled, breeding grounds for disease. If you have ever owned a dog, you will know they have no problem sticking their mouth anywhere and in anything. If a dog bites you, all those bacteria will enter your system through the wound and could cause devastating damage. This is one of the reasons damage is not always apparent until after the incident, an infection could take a few days to take hold and a few weeks to run its course. Then, you must consider broken bones, lacerated skin, even disfigurement. Some dogs are bred to have locking jaws, meaning when they bite they can’t/won’t let go. This means when someone does pull the dog off you, they can bring a lot of your skin and flesh with the dog.

How much will the recovery cost?

Recovery is a very hard thing to put a firm price on. In Michigan, the average dog bite claim recipient was awarded around $35,000. Which is no small sum, of course. However, once you consider medical bills, lost wages, ongoing therapy and perhaps counseling this number starts to look a little insignificant. By hiring a lawyer, you can ensure you get well upwards of that $35,000. Because you deserve much more. A week in the hospital could cost tens of thousands of dollars, now imagine you needed plastic surgery? $35,000 is starting to look a lot less generous.

Ongoing therapy, both physical and psychological, can last a lifetime. These sessions can cost you thousands of dollars each. So, expecting a one-off settlement to cover you for life is a little naive, sadly. A good lawyer will be able to ensure that you get ongoing payments from those found liable to make amends. Why should you suffer for a lifetime and have to pay for it too? You shouldn’t.

Who is found liable?

Who is found Liable in Michigan is a little tricky. The dog’s owner is of course at fault, by default, but the blame can end up being shared around in some scenarios. For example, if the dog was being walked by a dog walker they may be found at fault if they were aware of how dangerous the dog was. Then again, they might have been just as surprised as you. They may even be the person who was bitten. Then, you need to consider why the dog attacked. Were you on private property? If it was well signed then you may be found at fault and are at risk of being sued yourself. It can get very hazy very quickly when all the factors come into play. That is where a good lawyer can help the most.

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If you have been bitten by a dog it is important that it is reported immediately so that all possible action can be taken to ensure it does not happen again.


CALL US NOW ON: (734) 508-5119

How to avoid being bitten?

It seems a little harsh to put the responsibility of not getting bitten on anyone but the dog owner, but that’s the price of safety. There are so simple things you can do to keep yourself safe. In Michigan, you can be found liable if you antagonize the dog. The line between antagonizing and playing is thin. So don’t play roughly with dogs you don’t know. Don’t even approach strange dogs, it is better to be safe than sorry with animals you don’t know. Of course, don’t trespass. Apart from the fact it is illegal in of itself if you get bitten while trespassing you are doubly at fault. Lastly, don’t approach injured dogs. You may think they look sweet and that they need your help, but injured dogs bite out of fear. They don’t mean to hurt you, it’s just instinct. Always call animal control to collect them. Stay near them if you like, but don’t approach.

Do I need a lawyer?

When you are bitten, whether or not you are at fault is the driving factor in how much compensation you get. If any. So yes, you probably do need a lawyer. It is not a legal requirement but it is the most financially savvy thing to do. Without a lawyer, you may miss out on compensation, which can have a horrible knock-on effect. You could lose your job, lose your house, and spend a life in debt just because you can’t afford your medical bills. If you were bitten, it should be an easy enough case for a lawyer. But not if you represent yourself. You may be on the right side of the incident, but that doesn’t mean the court will see it that way.

Contact Us About Your Case

If you have been bitten by a dog it is important that it is reported immediately so that all possible action can be taken to ensure it does not happen again.


CALL US NOW ON: (734) 508-5119