Our Michigan dog bite lawyers represent victims of dog bites and attacks. These attacks cause significant injuries and substantial medical expenses. You can sue the owner, possessor, or keeper of the dog in a civil lawsuit for harm caused by the attack.
There are three legal theories in Michigan to prove liability in a lawsuit. In most lawsuits, all three theories are used to prove and win the case.
- Common law, based upon negligence. This means that the dog owner did not act like a reasonably prudent person would under the same or similar circumstances. It includes not having the dog on a leash and not isolating the dog from visitors.
- Common law based on strict liability. This holds the owner or possessor liable for a dog bite if the victim was lawfully on the property and did not provoke the dog.
- Strict liability which imposes civil liability of the owner, keeper, or harbor of the dog.
The term “strict liability” is automatic liability against the owner or keeper of the dog for injuries. The statute provides liability if the victim was lawfully on private property and did not provoke the dog attack. For attacks on public property, provocation is the only defense.
Does Michigan Have Leash Laws for Dogs?
Yes, a dog must be on a leash in public places in Michigan. This includes streets, neighborhoods, and public parks. If a dog leaves an owner’s property to attack on a neighboring property or to chase a jogger or bicyclist, it is a violation of the leash laws.
What Does it Mean to be “Lawfully on the Property?”
Any person who is not a trespasser is usually deemed to be lawfully on the property. This includes guests, friends and family, contractors, repairman, and delivery persons. Others invited onto the premises for a business purpose are covered under the law.
What is Considered Provocation for an Attack?
Defendant dog owners often claim the dog was provoked by the victim. In Michigan, provocation is defined as any “action or activity, whether intentional or unintentional, which would reasonably be expected to cause a dog in similar circumstances to react in a manner similar to that shown by the evidence.” This could include pulling the dog’s tail, stepping on the dog, or teasing that causes an attack.
What if the Dog had not Bitten Anyone in the Past?
It does not matter if the dog had not bitten in the past or if the owner knew of the viciousness of the dog. However, many times the owner will deny any prior attacks. We will obtain veterinary records, police reports, and animal control records to prove prior aggressive behavior.
Contact Our Michigan Dog Bite Lawyers
Our experienced dog bite attorneys in Michigan have extensive knowledge of these dog bite laws and use them to win substantial settlements for our clients. We charge no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.
There are strict time deadlines for filing cases. If you wait too long, your case may be barred forever.
Contact us now and we will begin our investigation immediately.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626