Michigan Dog Bite Laws

In Michigan, the law holds the person who owns, keeps, or harbors the dog responsible for a dog bite or attack, regardless of prior knowledge (called, “strict liability” laws) of the viciousness of the animal. The liability law that is used in Michigan is called the dog-bite statute.  This means that the owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.

First, if the dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property or is lawfully on private property, the owner is responsible (liable) for any of the damages suffered by the person bitten. This section does not take into account the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge.

The second section includes people who are lawfully on the private property of the owner because there is a duty of this person imposed on him or her by the laws of the state of Michigan or by postal regulations of the United States. These people would include family members, guests, contractors, utility company workers, newspaper carriers, postal carriers, and others who were invited onto the property for a business or social purpose.

Also, the negligence law is used to hold the owner responsible for the attack. This means that the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless in controlling the dog. This can include not putting a leash on the dog, the lack of a proper sign in warning citizens of a vicious dog, and simply not paying attention to the actions of the dog.

Many times, the owner is automatically liable for failing to properly have the dog restrained or on a leash under city ordinances and rules. This might include in a public park or just somewhere in the same neighborhood. Dog owners are also responsible for attacks in these places.

It is very important for you to have a skilled and experienced Michigan dog bite lawyer represent you.  While many lawyers may be interested in handling your case, there are very few attorneys who specialize in dog bite claims.  Without this specialized knowledge, an inexperienced lawyer may miss some important steps that could jeopardize you receiving a settlement or result in you getting a much smaller settlement than you deserve.  Call our experienced Michigan lawyers to discuss your case and find out how we can help you win the maximum possible settlement.

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