Explaining Dog Bite Laws in Michigan

Dog bites and attacks can cause victims to suffer serious injuries in some cases. If you’ve recently been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering what the laws are regarding dog bites and owner responsibility.

You may end up facing significant hardships following a dog attack, such as hospital bills, surgeries, and lost wages from missing time at work. That’s not to mention the mental and emotional trauma such an event can cause in your life.

In Michigan, there are liability laws for the owners of dogs that bite or otherwise harm people. Below, we will take an in-depth look at these laws and how they might affect your case.

Owner Liability

Michigan’s law regarding dog owner responsibility provides for strict liability. This means that if you are bitten by a dog on public property or while legally on the dog owner’s property or other private property, the owner is liable for any damages you incur as a result.

In a strict dog bite liability state like Michigan, it doesn’t matter if the owner knew the dog might bite someone. The owner is financially responsible for your damages.

Here’s an example: Your friend invites you over to his house for a barbecue. Your friend’s sister brings her dog over, and the dog bites you. You did not provoke the dog in any way. You suffered a deep bite wound and had to go to the hospital to obtain medical treatment.

The above example demonstrates a situation in which the dog owner would be strictly liable for your injuries and losses.

What Does Provocation Mean?

If you provoke a dog and it bites you, you may not be able to file a claim for damages. Provocation means antagonizing, tormenting, or otherwise bringing about aggressive behaviors that the dog may not have shown if not for your actions.

Damages You Could Request for a Dog Bite

Every dog bite victim will suffer different types of damages. Your damages will depend entirely on your situation. Dog bite injuries can be relatively minor, but they can also be extremely serious. In some cases, people have died from dog attacks—particularly children.

As long as you have evidence of your damages following the dog bite, you can be compensated for all of the losses you’ve been forced to deal with. Here’s a look at some of the types of damages frequently requested in Michigan dog bite claims:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, medications, surgeries, and doctor visits
  • Psychological trauma caused by the experience
  • Physical therapy and mental health treatment costs
  • Loss of work wages
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Meet with a Detroit Dog Bite Lawyer

When you’ve been bitten or harmed by a dog, you can seek damages by filing an injury claim against the dog’s owner. Filing a claim isn’t an easy undertaking—it will require gathering evidence to prove your case and filling out mountains of paperwork.

Contact David Christensen Law via the contact form below or by calling 248-213-4900 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with an attorney at our firm.