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Were you attacked and injured by a dangerous canine? Even if the dog’s never attacked anyone before, a Detroit dog bite lawyer can help you recover full compensation for your injuries and losses.
Dogs make wonderful pets and companions and usually live up to their title of “man’s best friend.” Most dogs are friendly, with owners who care for them and work hard to socialize them appropriately. However, when owners are not responsible, a dog can be a threat to other people.
Getting bitten by a dog can be a truly traumatizing experience. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year. One in five of these bites become infected. An infected bite means a higher likelihood of developing an illness such as rabies or tetanus. Children are at the highest risk of being bitten, although a canine attack can seriously injure anyone of any age.
A dog bite can cause lasting physical, financial, and emotional harm, and it’s important that negligent pet owners be held accountable. A Detroit dog bite lawyer with David Christensen Law will work hard to hold the irresponsible dog owner or handler accountable and get you the full compensation you deserve.
Michigan has a specific “dog bite” statute: Section 287.351 states that if a dog bites a person, the owner is held strictly liable. Even if this is the dog’s first bite, the owner will be responsible and cannot claim that he or she did not know the dog was dangerous.
In order to prove that the dog owner was liable, your Detroit dog bite lawyer must clearly illustrate all of the following points:
Note that this dog bite statute only applies to injuries resulting from a dog bite—not from other aggressive behavior engaged in by the dog. For example, if a dog jumped on you, knocked you over, and injured you in the fall, the owner would not be deemed strictly liable. However, in such a case you could still file a personal injury claim outside of what’s laid out in the dog bite statute if negligence can still be established.
In Michigan, there are two defenses available to someone whose dog bites another person: that the injured person provoked the dog, or that the injured person was trespassing on private property. A defendant is likely to deploy these defenses against you in court. It’s important to have a legal ally well-versed in dog bite cases who can identify the weaknesses in these arguments and disprove them.
If a dog attacks a person on its second bite and causes a serious injury or a fatality, Michigan law states that the dog owner may be charged with a felony. This is true even if the bitten person was trespassing. If the dog attacked someone and caused a non-serious injury when it was “running at large,” the owner could be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
If the canine’s owner or handler is convicted of these charges, it can actually help your injury case dramatically. While a conviction won’t bring you compensation for your losses, it might be used as evidence to support your version of events and establish the dog owner’s negligence.
Additionally, the statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Michigan is three years from the date of the mauling. It’s important to seek legal help as soon after the event as possible, so that the details of the attack are still fresh in your mind.
A Detroit dog bite lawyer from our firm will understand that a canine bite can negatively impact your life long after the attack. Debilitating injuries, high medical bills, and emotional trauma can leave you scarred—literally and figuratively—for weeks, months, or even the rest of your life.
Our firm will work to recover full compensation that accounts for all the financial damages and lost quality of life you may be facing after your dog bite, including any of the following that apply to your case:
Being attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience that can leave you reeling. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer through this time alone. David Christensen Law will work to hold the irresponsible dog owner accountable and get you the compensation you are owed.
Contact us for a free consultation with a Detroit dog bite lawyer by calling 248-213-4900 or by filling out the contact form on this page.