Our dog bite injury lawyers in Michigan represent victims of dog attacks in cases for personal injury damages. Our clients include both adults and children and range from joggers to postal workers who are bitten by dogs on both public and private property. Injuries are often severe and include nerve injuries, fractured bones, and permanent disfiguring scars.
Quite often, a person suffers serious injuries when they are bitten by a neighbor’s dog. This happens when an unleashed or unchained dog runs onto the neighbor’s yard or attacks a person in the street or somewhere else in the neighborhood. It also occurs when one neighbor is visiting the other neighbor and the dog attacks at that time.
Legal Rights After A Dog Bite or Attack
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 and defend the vicious attack of the dog.
Michigan law holds the person who owns, keeps, or harbors the dog responsible for a dog bite or attack, regardless of prior knowledge (called, “strict liability” laws) of the viciousness of the animal. Also, the negligence law is used to hold the owner responsible for the attack. This means that the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless in controlling the dog. The only defense to the dog owner in these cases is if the victim provoked the attack or was a trespasser on the property.
Who Pays the Settlment if I Sue a Family Member or Relative in a Dog Bite Case?
In these cases, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company usually pays a settlement to the dog bite victim. Family members do not have to worry about the relative 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 insurance company cannot require the dog owner give away or put the dog to sleep. This is a common misconception and the owner will never be asked to do this by the insurance company.
How Much are Michigan Dog Bite Settlements?
The amount of a dog attack settlement depends on several factors. These include:
- The severity of the bite (puncture wounds, lacerations, broken bone, nerve damage, etc.)
- The location of the bite (hands, legs, face, etc.)
- The types on non-bite injuries, like from a fall running from an attacking dog
- The medical treatment received for the attack (plastic surgery, scar revision, etc.)
- The permanency of any scars or disfigurements
- The age and gender of the victim
- The psychological harm caused by the attack
- The future treatment needed for the injuries
- The amount of medical bills and lost wages, if any
- The amount of liability or homeowner's insurance to pay your claim.
There are no calculators or guidlines that determine the amount of your settlement. The settlement is based upon the above factors and the skill of the attorney that you choose to handle your case. Our attorneys regularly win among the highest dog bite settlements and jury verdicts in Michigan. We will do the same for you.
No Fee Unless You Win Your Dog Bite Case
We will represent you under our No Fee Promise, which means we do not charge any legal fees or costs until we win your settlement. We even advance all of the case costs and expenses so it literally costs you nothing to start your case. If your case is unsuccessful for any reason, you owe us nothing. We put that in writing for you!
Contact Our Michigan Dog Bite Lawyers
If you or a family member is bitten or attacked by a relative’s dog, you should contact our Michigan dog bite lawyers as soon as possible after the attack so that we can explain your legal rights to you and begin our investigation of the claim. Call us today at (888) 797-8787 and an attorney will be available to speak with you about your situation.
You can also contact us through the FREE CASE REVIEW box on this page or chat with our live operator and an attorney will be in touch soon.