Our dog bite attorney in Oakland County recently settled a dog bite lawsuit for a forty-one year old woman. The client was attacked by a neighbor’s dog in the driveway of the neighbor after she was invited to their home. She suffered numerous bites on her back and her wrist and has permanent scarring.
The dog owner argued that our client provoked the dog into biting her but there was no basis for this defense. The facts and witness testimony confirmed that this was an unprovoked attack. Our client was lawfully on the defendant’s property and there was no valid defense to this case.
A person bitten by a neighbor’s dog does have legal rights to sue the neighbor for the dog bite injuries. This can present an uncomfortable situation between two neighbors who had previously been friendly acquaintances, but the animosity often begins immediately after the attack when the owner of the dog is unapologetic or relatively unconcerned about the dog attack. In fact, the dog owner will often blame the victim for causing the attack.
In these cases, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company usually pays a settlement to the dog bite victim. Neighbors do not have to worry about the other neighbor paying a settlement out of their own pockets and insurance rates usually do not increase after this type of settlement payment. Therefore, if both neighbors act in a civil manner after the attack they can still maintain their relationship after the victim is fairly compensated for the dog bite injuries.
The lawsuit was filed in the Oakland County Circuit. After taking depositions of witnesses, the parties agreed to settle the case for $65,000.00. The settlement was paid by the homeowner’s insurance company for the dog owner.