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Michigan Dog Bite Laws: Dog Bite Statute & Liability Rules

Michigan Dog Bite LawsOur dog bite lawyers represent victims of dog bites and attacks in Michigan.  Dog attacks  cause serious injuries and harm to the innocent victim, quite often a child.  Common injuries include lacerations, scars and disfigurement, nerve damage, and fractured bones.  Michigan dog bite laws provide victims with the right to claim monetary settlements for compensation against the owner, harborer, or keeper of the attacking dog.

Michigan Dog Bite Statute Law

MCL Section 287.351 is the Michigan dog bite law that provides:

(1) 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 shall 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.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner's property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner's property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

Michigan Dog Bite Common Law Liability

Under Michigan’s common law, the dog attack victim only has to prove that the owner of the dog knew (or should have known) that the dog had vicious propensities.  It is often not necessary to even use common law in a dog bite case because the statutory violations hold the dog owner liability for the attack in almost every circumstance.

Legal Defenses to Michigan Dog Bite Laws

Under the Michigan dog bite laws, there are very few exceptions under which the dog owner will not be held liable for the bite or attack. The only defenses are if the he dog was provoked before the attack or if the victim was a trespasser on the property where the attack occurred.  However, these defenses are often subject to dispute. 

We have won substantial dog bite settlements and jury verdicts for our clients even when a dog owner claims that the dog was provoked by the victim.  In most cases, the actions of the victim do not constitute provocation under Michigan law and this defense is not available.  As a result, the dog owner is liable for the injuries under the dog bite statute.

Free Book on Michigan Dog Bite Laws

If you would like more information about your legal rights after a dog bite injury or attack, you can order our FREE book, "The Ultimate Michigan Dog Bite and Animal Attack Handbook" by Michigan dog bite attorney Lawrence J. Buckfire. The book explains the laws on Michigan bites and animal attacks, your legal rights after a bite, and how to get the best money settlement for your injuries. Our book sells for $14.95 on Amazon, but Lawrence will send it to you for FREE.

Contact Your Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Our dog bite attorneys have significant expertise of the Michigan dog bite laws and how to use them to win substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a dog attack and are seeking the best possible legal representation, you should contact our dog bite lawyers immediately at (800) 606-1717.  You can also fill in the Get Help Now box on this page and press “Click to Send” and an experienced lawyer will contact you shortly. 

Need help? Call our award-winning lawyers 24/7 at (800) 606-1717

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