Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

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Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Dogs can be dangerous when their owners are irresponsible, and there are far too many dog owners who refuse to do what is legally required to keep others safe. An animal attack can result in disfiguring scars, medical bills, and lost work. Being bitten by a dog is also a traumatic experience that can cause PTSD in children and adults alike.

The Michigan dog bite lawyers at Christensen Law are strong advocates for dog bite victims. We understand what victims go through after dog attacks, and we can help you by providing the legal guidance to navigate a claim.

While you focus on recovering, we gather evidence to prove your claim, deal with insurance negotiations, and fight for the best outcome for your family. We have secured record-setting settlements for our clients in Michigan. Learn more about what we can do for you when you call our firm: 248-900-9000.

Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Michigan?

Yes, Michigan law allows dog bite victims to pursue legal claims and sue for compensation after an attack. Under the state’s dog bite statute, dog owners can be held liable if their pet bites or otherwise causes injury to a person, regardless of breed or history of aggression.

Specifically, victims have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the owner seeking:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Permanent disability costs
  • Emotional distress claims
  • Other applicable losses tied to the bite

The dog owner’s home insurance policy often covers dog bite claims up to certain liability limits, which could provide you with an avenue for financial recovery. However, lawsuits may become necessary if an insurer disputes blame or offers you an unfairly low settlement. A Michigan personal injury lawyer will help you navigate this tricky scenario.

How a Dog Bite Lawyer in Michigan Can Help You

There are many benefits to letting an attorney handle your Michigan dog bite case. Here are some of the key ways a dog bite lawyer will help victims pursuing injury claims:

  • Giving legal advice at every stage from the initial incident through trial, if necessary
  • Interpreting complex state laws as they apply to your dog bite claim
  • Explaining your rights and legal options in Michigan
  • Proving legal the negligence of the dog’s owner
  • Gathering evidence like police reports, animal control citations, and veterinarian assessments
  • Demanding fair compensation from insurance adjusters
  • Filing claims or lawsuits ahead of statute of limitations deadlines
  • Representing you in court if a reasonable out-of-court settlement cannot be successfully negotiated first
  • Reducing your stress by managing your legal tasks so you can focus on your recovery

Another way our dog bite lawyers in Michigan help you is by offering free consultations and working on contingency. You don’t have to pay us anything up front to see that justice is served. You only pay if we win your case.

Who Is Liable in a Dog Bite Claim in Michigan?

Proving liability for a dog bite involves identifying all possible at-fault parties. In Michigan, dog bite claims ultimately hold the legal owner of the offending animal financially liable for a victim’s injury damages, regardless of whether they were directly supervising the dog at the time of the incident or if the bite occurred on their property. However, there may be certain exceptions where other parties share liability. A lawyer will help you determine who is liable for the attack and if any circumstances complicate your case.

How Do You Calculate a Dog Bite Settlement?

When calculating potential financial settlements for dog bite injuries, key factors veterinarians, medical experts, and dog bite attorneys weigh when assessing cases may include:

  • The severity and duration of injuries such as laceration scarring, infection risk, broken bones, blood loss, or trauma requiring plastic surgery procedures. More serious current and projected future medical problems warrant higher damages.
  • Ongoing medical expenses like rabies injections, reconstructive surgeries over time, counseling, and medications. Past and anticipated future treatment costs are included.
  • Lasting impairment or disabilities impacting employment capacity, daily functioning, and quality of life. Lost wages from missing work during recovery periods are also considered.
  • Emotional or mental anguish stemming from disfigurement, PTSD, or fear associated with dog attacks. Nightmares, anxiety, and other distress may support additional claims.
  • Any pre-existing health issues that were exacerbated by trauma that complicates recovery.
  • Documented proof like veterinary, hospital, and therapy records help support projected values.

You can learn more about the results we’ve secured for our clients. Like the rest of our success stories, your claim’s value will be based on the unique circumstances of your claim.

The Financial Value of a Dog Bite Case

There is no average dog bite settlement amount and no universal “right amount” to settle a dog bite claim for, as the worth of every case is unique based on individual factors.

When you’re deciding whether or not to accept a settlement offer, you will need to compare the offer to your total overall damages, both current and future. You will also need to consider the full impact of your injuries. Consider how dramatically your daily life has changed due to physical or emotional trauma from the injury.

If negligence is easily provable due to previous bites, leash law violations by the owner, or other misconduct, you may have leverage to negotiate higher. With weaker facts, a lower demand may become reasonable. Higher economic damages may also warrant bigger payouts.

While the insurer has incentive to save costs and will rarely offer a policy’s upper limits without mounting pressure through counsel, a Michigan dog bite attorney will build a strong case to prove your damages.

How Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws Can Affect Your Claim

Your attorney will help you understand Michigan’s dog bite laws and how they can affect your claim.

Michigan’s Leash Law

Under Michigan Statute MCL 287.262, pet owners cannot let their dogs wander in public places without being held on a secure leash. This law applies any time a dog is off its owner’s own property. So in areas like parks, sidewalks, and trails, dogs must be tightly leashed and controlled.

If a loose, unleashed dog bites or attacks someone in public, the owner has violated the state’s leash law. This helps prove the owner was negligent and is therefore legally liable for the victim’s injuries and other damages.

When our law firm builds dog bite injury cases, we examine if leash laws were ignored by the owner. Ignoring public safety statutes can support our claim that the owner was irresponsible, and it can help refute claims if the owner tries to say you provoked the animal or otherwise caused your own injuries.

The Michigan Dog Bite Statute

According to the Michigan Dog Bite Statute (MCL § 287.351), if a dog bites you while you are lawfully on public property, such as on the street or in a park, or on private property, like a friend or family member’s home, the dog’s owner is responsible for your damages.

This strict liability standard mandates that owners bear responsibility due to their role in housing, caring for, and controlling the aggressive pet day-to-day. Even if an owner argues that the bite was out of character, they failed to predict aggression, or that standard containment methods were used, Michigan law disregards these defenses in injury claim proceedings.

The Time Limit to File a Dog Bite Claim in Michigan

After a dog bite in Michigan, strict statutes of limitations govern the deadline to take legal action after a dog bite injury. This includes both filing an insurance claim against the pet owner’s home or rental policy seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages as well as lawsuits against the owner.

Specifically, dog bite victims have just three years from the date they suffered bite injuries  to formally sue the owner in civil court should settlement negotiations fail. The ticking clock combined with complex legal procedures make prompt consultation following any bite incident essential. Don’t jeopardize your right to compensation by waiting too long to learn about your rights. Our lawyers will help you figure out how long you have left to take action, and if any statute of limitation exceptions exist in your case.

Get a Free Consultation With a Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Getting bitten by an aggressive dog can lead to serious injuries, emotional trauma, and more problems down the road. Don’t go through the recovery alone – our Michigan dog bite attorneys are here to help.

Reach out now for a free, no-obligation consultation with the legal team at David Christensen Law to learn how we can support you. The call is completely confidential – and it’s the first step to getting your life back on track after a traumatic dog attack. Let our law firm stand up for your rights. Call us at 248-900-9000 to get started.