Getting Help From A Michigan Dog Bite Attorney

Michigan Attorney Akiva Goldman

If a person receives injury to his/her body or damage to his/her property as a consequence of violent or cruel activities of a dog can secure recovery in two ways. Damages of the suffered injuries can be recovered from either the person who is owner the dog or the person who takes care of the dog, but in no way from the both. You can sue a person who lives near to you, and he/she is the owner of the dog that causes injury to you. However, a complex situation turns up if the dog does not stays around the custody of the owner; instead, another person keeps it for the time being. If someone apart from the owner of the dog has assumed control of overseeing, command, and supervision of the dog, such person can be considered responsible for the injuries the dog makes happen as long as the dog is under the care of the keeper.

In such a case, the keeper will be held responsible even if he/she has not taken permission of the owner. The person that suffered injury has the option to sue either the person who is the owner or the person who is keeping the dog.

Dog Bite Injuries

Under the commonwealth legal practices, the first bite is always considered free for the owner of the dog. Therefore, in a suit for recovering damages for negligence under the common law practices, the injured party will have to prove that the owner of the dog had comprehension about the dog’s violent tendencies, and with that prior comprehension, the owner of the dog was neglectful or inattentive in controlling the dog. Undoubtedly, it would be very much difficult to prove that the owner of the dog had prior knowledge about the violent tendencies of the dog, especially if there is no previous record that the dog has attacked or bitten anybody which could have warned the owner.

Hence, in a suit for recovery of damages for negligence, an owner can avail the absence of comprehension of the dog’s tendencies as an excuse for the allegation of negligence on the ground that the dog owner did not know the dog’s violent tendencies. In a suit for damages for negligence, the victim will have to prove that the owner of the dog did not take logical precautions or did not act in a “standard of care”. Tort law attributes the duty to act in a given circumstance with the same amount of care as a reasonable person would exercise in the same or a similar circumstance. Thus, the dog owner’s endeavors to supervise and keep in check of his/her dog would be assessed with what a rational dog owner, not having any ideas of his dog’s violent tendencies, could have carried out. Likewise, if the dog owner aware of the dog’s violent tendencies, the dog owner’s efforts would be compared with what justifiable care could have been employed, with the comprehension that the dog was savage.

To exempt the injured person from the strenuous burden of exhibiting the owner’s comprehension of a dog’s violent tendencies, the Michigan State Legislature enacted a statute on dog bite which imposes liability strictly on either the person who is dog’s owner or the person who is keeping the dog for the injuries and damages of properties caused by the dog. The Dog Bite Statute stated that if a person gets injury to his/her body or to his/her property, he/she shall be eligible for recovery of damages from the owner, keeper, or possessor of the dog. As per this strict liability statute, the owner of the dog is made absolutely responsible for any sufferings or damages a dog generates; here it is immaterial whether the dog owner was aware of violent tendencies of the dog or not. Under the statute, the focus of attention is strictly on the dog’s action. Because the statute causes to become the owner’s comprehension an unacceptable issue, it puts an end to the scope of any excuse for the dog owner on the ground that he/she exercised rational care to check the dog. Hence, the standard of care or precautions does not spare the owner to slip away from liability in a strict liability case.

The sole element needed in a suit to recover damages for injuries under the Michigan Dog Bite Statute is that the disputed dog committed vicious or malicious act. A dog’s malicious or vicious acts include some activities apart from the existence of the dog on the spot. For example, if anyone becomes scared merely by seeing a dog, and as a result, gets injured by running or otherwise, it may not be considered as malicious or vicious act by the dog. However, a dog needs not to bite a person in real for its activities to be categorized as cruel or violent. Example of a cruel act may be a dog chasing at a person, or the property of the person, which endangers that person to get injury in any way, even though the dog does not bite that person. If you reside in Michigan or such an occurrence has happened in Michigan, and you are wondering whether you are competent to file a recovery of damage suit, you should consult a dog bite attorney in Michigan, who can explain the particular legal provision that fit in your situation.

Though the statute for Dog Bite removes the excuse or defense of rational precautions or standard of care by the dog owner; a dog owner has the opportunity to avail the defense on the ground of Comparative Causation, which tries to determine who is more responsible for the injury. A dog owner might insist that the person who got injured was liable entirely or to a certain extent for the received injuries in view of the fact of injured person’s modes of reaction to the dog’s action. If a dog owner can prove that the wounded person willingly or irrationally put himself/herself to a predictable risk for getting injury, the person, who suffered injury, may be awarded decreased damages for such injury. The cutback is usually commensurate with the intensity of the party’s fault in having injury in the occurrence. An injured person will not be awarded any compensation if his/her fault is found more than 50%. To evaluate comparative fault, a court will take account of the surrounding circumstances of the incident. You can consult a Michigan dog bite attorney for assessing comparative faults in a particular situation.

If your neighbor’s dog attacks your dog and damages your property, it may be considered that the dog’s act is vicious. It also became visible that you did not have any scope to adopt other alternative measures to counter the attack. In such a situation, the court will most likely observe that you acted rationally by interfering to resist a proximate attack on your dog and property. In such a situation, if you reside in Michigan or the attack happens in Michigan, it will be rational for you to consult a Michigan dog bite lawyer.

So if you are planning for a recovery of damage suit for a dog biting, you need to consult a dog bite lawyers in Michigan are working to make the law accessible to the community. Our Michigan dog bite lawyers will work out your setbacks and talk about the law lucidly to make you able to take perfect decisions on a legal matter. PLEASE NOTE THAT UNLESS YOU GET COMPENSATION FOR YOUR INJURY OR DAMAGES OF YOUR PROPERTY, A MICHIGAN DOG BITE ATTORNEY WILL NEVER CHARGE YOU A FEE.

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