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Bay City Woman a No-Show In Court On Dog Bite Charge

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Michigan Dog Bite LawyerBAY CITY -- A Bay City woman whose pit bull bit a child over the summer is facing a new charge that alleges her dog also bit someone in an earlier event. Before she can be arraigned on the charge, though, she needs to actually show up for her scheduled court appearances.

Katherine L. McSweyn, 28, was scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference before Bay County District Judge Mark E. Janer on Friday, Feb. 17. But she did not appear, prompting Janer to issue a bench warrant for her arrest, according to the Bay City Times.

McSweyn in October was arraigned on single counts of having a dog that attacked or bit a person and allowing a dog to stray. Both charges are punishable by up to 90 days in jail, with the former also having a $500 fine and the latter up to a $100 fine.

Those charges stem from an incident that happened July 15 in the 200 block of North Jackson Street, a few doors down from McSweyn's home. A 7-year-old boy had been bitten by a pit bull McSweyn owned named Polor, police reports state.

The boy's mother told police she and her kids were outside when she saw Polor crossing the street. Her kids were riding their bikes and she was trying to gather them inside when she saw the dog, she said.

"As soon as (the boy) got off his bike the dog jumped up and bit him," the mother said. "Then when he turned around to come inside, the dog grabbed his leg from behind."

The boy had three small wounds, the police reports state. Although an ambulance responded, the boy's family took him to a hospital themselves.

What To Do If A Dog Bites You in Michigan

If you or someone you care about was bitten or attacked by a dog in Michigan, you should take the following steps:

  • Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
  • Try to keep the injured area elevated.
  • Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
  • Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
  • Get prompt medical attention at a hospital, urgent care clinic, or doctor's office
  • Notify Animal Control or the Police Department and file a written report
  • Take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible after the dog bite
  • Contact our experienced dog bite attorneys to see if you are eligible for a settlement

What Are The Michigan Dog Bite Laws?

MCL Section 287.351 is the Michigan law for dog bites and attacks. 

(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.

In addition to the dog bite statute, Michigan also has common laws that are used for victims to make claims for injuries caused in an attack.   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.  A dog owner is also liable if the dog was not on a leash at the time of the attack if the attack occurred on public property, like a park, public street, or neighboring property.

How We Help You After a Dog Bite or Attack

Our dog bite injury attorneys will get the animal control reports, police reports, medical records, and medical bills. We then contact the insurance company for the dog owner to set up your claim. We will deal directly with the insurance adjuster to get your medical bills paid and you reimbursed for your out of pocket medical expenses.

We then negotiate with the insurance adjuster to get you the highest possible settlement for your case. If you do not receive a fair settlement offer, we file a dog bite lawsuit on your behalf. Suing for a dog bite doesn't have to be difficult and we handle everything from start to finish. We will do everything to make this a stress free process for you.

Best Michigan Dog Bite & Animal Attack Lawyers

Buckfire & Buckfire Best LawyersOur legal team includes the most successful dog bite attorneys in Michigan. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. and our lawyers have won the top awards in the legal profession, including:

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms
  • "Best Michigan Personal Injury Attorney" by American Lawyer Academy
  • Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Michigan
  • Honored as "Super Lawyers"
  • Top Martindale-Hubbell Rating (AV) for Skill & Integrity
  • Member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Our No Fee Promise for Michigan Dog Bite Cases

You can afford to have the best dog bite law firm on your side.  We promise you in writing:

  • No money to get started
  • We pay all case costs and expenses
  • No legal fees whatsoever unless you receive a settlement
  • Phone calls are always free, forever.

Get Your Free Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer Consultation

To start on your case today, you can:

  1. Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page. We will contact you shortly.
  2. Engage with the Live Chat operator on the screen
  3. Call (800) 606-1717 any time of day to speak with a dog bite injury lawyer about your case.

Warning: There are strict time deadlines for filing Michigan dog bite lawsuits. Call us to learn more about Michigan dog bite lawsuits and to see if you are entitled to a dog bite settlement award.

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