Michigan Laws For Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
Our Michigan dog bite lawyers file civil lawsuits for victims of dog bites and dog attacks. The cases are filed against the owners and keepers of dogs who attack innocent victims. The suits claim compensation for injuries related to the attack, including scars, disfigurement, nerve injuries, and psychological injuries. Damages are also sought for medical expenses, plastic surgery, and psychological counseling.
In Michigan, the law recognizes three potential causes of action arising out of a dog bite or dog attack incident: (1) statutory strict liability; (2) common-law strict liability; (3) and common law negligence (including statutory and ordinance violations).
Strict Liability for Michigan Dog Bite & Dog Attack Cases
Michigan has enacted statutory strict liability under what is commonly referred to as the dog-bite statute. Under this law, 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 is 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.
This means that if someone is bitten while lawfully on public or private property, the owner of the dog is automatically liable for any injury or damage the dog causes as long as the dog was not provoked. In addition, the law makes clear that people considered lawfully on the private property of the owner includes social guests, friends, family members, contractors, postal employees, utility company workers, newspaper carriers, and others who were invited onto the property for a business or social purpose.
In addition to strict liability under the dog-bite statute, Michigan law recognizes two other potential causes of action arising out of a dog attack incident: common-law strict liability and common law negligence (including statutory and ordinance violations).
Common Law Liability For Michigan Dog Bite & Dog Attack Cases
A cause of action for common law strict liability attaches for harm done by a dog or domestic animal where three elements are present: (1) one is the owner or possessor of the animal; (2) one knew or should have known of the animal's abnormal dangerous propensities; and (3) harm results from the dangerous propensity that was known or should have been known. This means that if someone owns or harbors a vicious dog and a person is harmed as a result of the dog's vicious behavior, then the owner or keeper of the dog will be liable under common law strict liability.
Common Law Negligence For Michigan Dog Bites & Attacks
Next, a cause of action under common law negligence is available without regard to whether the owner, keeper, or possessor had knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities if that person was negligent in failing to prevent foreseeable harm and that negligence resulted in an injury. This means that the dog or animal owner may be liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless in controlling the dog. This can include not putting a leash on the dog, the lack of a proper sign in warning citizens of a vicious dog, and simply not paying attention to the actions of the dog.
Many times, the owner is automatically liable for failing to properly have the dog restrained or on a leash under city ordinances and rules. This might include in a public park or just somewhere in the neighborhood. Dog owners are also responsible for attacks in these places.
No "One Free Bite Rule" for Michigan Dog Bite Cases
Some people believe that the one-bite rule is the law in Michigan. This rule means that the owner is not liable or responsible if the dog had never bitten anyone before your incident. This law does not exist in Michigan and dog owners are not entitled to a free bite.
Free Michigan Dog Bite Book
To learn more about your rights after a dog bite or dog attack incident in Michigan, you should request our FREE BOOK, "The Ultimate Michigan Dog Bite & Animal Attack Handbook." It is written in plain English and teaches your rights after a dog attack. It also teaches you how to find the best Michigan dog bite lawyer for your case and how to avoid the biggest mistakes that can destroy your case. The book sells for $14.95 on Amazon.com but author Lawrence J Buckfire will send it to you for FREE.
Contact Your Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer
To speak with an experienced Michigan dog bite lawyer, call our office today at (800) 606-1717 for a no obligation, free consultation. If we accept your case, will not charge any legal fees unless we get a settlement for you under our NO FEE PROMISE. Call Now!