A dog bite or animal attack is a frightening experience that can inflict injuries ranging from superficial wounds to severe disfigurement. Additional health complications, such as infections, may endanger a victim’s life. Understanding the laws surrounding dog bites and animal attacks in Michigan is crucial to protecting your rights and seeking the compensation you deserve.
Keep reading to learn more about the state’s dog bite laws, who is liable for a dog attack, and what compensation you could pursue in a dog bite lawsuit.
Michigan Dog Bite Laws
Under state law, a dog owner is liable for injuries their pet causes someone without provocation while that person is on public property or lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s property. The dog does not need to have a history of such behavior for its owner to be liable.
A person is considered lawfully on the dog owner’s private property if they are performing a lawful duty or working for the United States Postal Service. A licensee or invitee is also considered lawfully on the dog owner’s property unless they are there to commit a crime.
Michigan dog leash laws require dog owners to place collars on any dog that is at least six months old and keep it restrained with a leash.
Michigan Dog Bite Lawsuits
If you need to file a dog bite lawsuit in Michigan to seek compensation for your injuries, the statute of limitations gives you three years from the date of the injury date to file suit. You could lose your right to pursue compensation in civil court if you miss the deadline, so consult with an attorney immediately if you or a loved one was attacked.
Who is Legally Responsible When a Dog Bites?
Typically, dog bite laws in Michigan hold the owner liable for a dog bite injury if the victim does not provoke the dog. However, other parties might be liable for a dog bite injury under specific circumstances. If you are unsure who is legally responsible for your injuries, contact an experienced dog bite lawyer.
Possible Defenses in Dog Bite Cases
A dog’s owner has limited defenses against liability for injuries their dog inflicts on a victim. The two most common defenses are:
- Provocation – If the victim provoked the dog and that caused the attack, the dog owner might not be responsible for the victim’s injuries.
- Trespasser – Dog owners aren’t liable when their dog bites someone on their property without permission.
What Damages Can You Recover After an Animal Attack?
Whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, the money you could recover after an animal attack might compensate you for losses like:
- Emergency room visits, prescription drugs, and other medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional distress
Contact a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer Today
A dog attack can be traumatic, and the resulting injuries often require costly medical care. Christensen Law has advocated for injured clients in Michigan for over 30 years. We can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact our Michigan personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.