Dog Bite Lawyer Needed?
Dog Bite Lawyer
If You’ve Been Injured by a Dog Bite, Read This
Have you or someone you love been bitten or attacked by a dog? In a recent case in Warren, Michigan, a 9 year old girl was mauled by a pit bull according to police. While it is unclear how the pit bull got loose or if the owner will face charges, the dog was taken away by Animal Control. The girl did survive but suffered significant injuries to her face. Who is responsible when this happens? What should you do? Who do you contact?
Who is Responsible?
While many dog attacks may cause only minor injuries, some unfortunately result in serious injuries. This holds true particularly in cases involving attacks on children or the elderly. In the worst instances, dog attacks may even result in death. In Michigan, dog owners are responsible for keeping their pets under control. In the majority of cases the owner is legally responsible for an attack on another person. Some states are one-bite states, meaning the owner will not be liable if their dog has never previously attacked someone and there was no negligence on their part. Michigan, however, is not one of these states. Under the Michigan Dog Bite Statute (MCL § 287.351), owners are held strictly liable for injuries caused by their pets, regardless of their knowledge of the dog’s dangerous tendencies. However, there is a catch. The victim of the attack must have been lawfully on the property and cannot have provoked the dog, meaning if you’ve trespassed and/or taunted the dog, you might not be able to recover for your injuries. If you were lawfully on the property, meaning you were a guest or potential customer (contractors, postal workers, etc.) you can likely recover for your injuries. The exception to this is if the owner knows or has reason to know the dog can be dangerous and fails to take appropriate measures. Under Michigan common law, the owner could then be liable.
What Should I do if I’m Attacked?
- Seek medical attention promptly – Don’t wait. Animal bites or attacks are serious and could result in lacerations, tissue damage, disfigurement and potentially lasting psychological trauma. There are many online sources available providing useful information on treating dog bites.
- Report the attack immediately – Report the bite to your local Police or Michigan Humane Society. Include all information available to you. This may include the owner’s name and address if you know it, as well as everything you know about the dog. If the dog is a stray, include what the dog looks like, where it was seen, whether you’ve seen the dog before, and what direction the dog went.
- Gather Evidence – Evidence that you should gather before speaking with an attorney are all records regarding your attack. This may include police reports, animal control records, medical records, and any other records or reports regarding the incidence. Taking pictures may also prove to be very beneficial as it is much easier to present the picture of the injury rather than describing it verbally.
- Consider speaking with Mindell Law – If you or someone you know has been the victim of a serious injury due to a dog bite or attack, you may want to consider speaking with one of our personal injury attorneys that is familiar with personal injury cases. In Michigan, you generally have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Otherwise your case may be lost forever and you may not be able to file for your injuries. For children that have been victims of a dog bite or attack, a lawsuit can be filed until the child’s 19th birthday regardless of when the attack occurred.
If you have been injured by a dog, call 800.963.5595 for a free consultation, or email us.
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