Dog Bites

Dogs are a man’s best friend, but sometimes they can also be our worst enemy. If a dog owner has not secured his dog and it has bitten someone, that owner is responsible for the injuries.

Dog bites account for a staggering amount of injuries each year in the United States. Close to a million dog bite attacks happen every year in the United States resulting in serious injuries and even death. In fact, you have probably heard of certain communities attempting to legislate the danger away by banning certain types of breeds from living in their neighborhoods. Regardless of the breed, any dog can cause significant harm and the costs of the dog bite attacks in medical bills alone is staggering. Equally, if not more staggering can be the emotional distress inflicted upon a dog bit victim. A good dog bite attorney knows this and will do everything possible to get the maximum recovery to compensate you for the harms suffered as a result of a dog attack.

What to do After a Dog Bite Attack

After you have made sure the dog bite victim is safe or at least receiving proper medical attention, it is important to do the following:

  • Determine the name of the dog
  • Find out who the dog’s owner is (name, address, phone number, etc.)
  • Identify all witnesses to the attack and make sure you obtain their contact information
  • Photograph where the attack happened
  • Get immediate medical attention from a qualified doctor
  • Photograph the injuries if possible.
  • If possible, have DNA testing and mouth casting performed before the dog is destroyed if there is any question as to the identity of the dog that bit you.”

In Michigan, there is dog bite statute, MCL 287.351(1). Under that statute, if a dog bites you, the owner is almost always found to be responsible and liable for your damages. There are really only two exceptions to finding the owner responsible and they are 1) trespassing and 2) provocation. So, if you are trespassing on the owner’s property or causing the animal to become agitated (intentionally or unintentionally) you proceed at your own risk and the dog owner will not be found responsible. Liability can also be established under common law if it can be demonstrated that the dog owner knows or has reason to know of the animal’s vicious nature but did nothing to prevent the attack from occurring.

If you or someone you know was attacked or bitten by a dog, contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss your case in detail and give you our best advice on how to proceed.

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