Reporting A Michigan Dog Bite

Dog bites can result in serious injury to yourself or someone you care about. They are also the source of legitimate claims made against dog owners. Our office is often asked about what to do in the event of a dog bite. Let’s take a moment to discuss what is necessary to make a successful claim.

Dog Bite Claims

Plaintiffs injured by a dog usually sue on a variety of theories. A statutory claim may be made, as well as claims based in the common law. While all claims are similar, they are slight subtleties that differentiate them from one another. Therefore, where a statutory claim may be successful, a common law claim may not be. It should be noted that there is no double recovery. So, if one is successful under multiple theories that cover the same injury, they will only be able to collect once.

A statutory claim for a dog bite injury can be made if the following elements are proved:

• Injury the result of a dog bite;
• Plaintiff was in a public place, or lawfully on the premises, when injured;
• Plaintiff did not provoke the dog; and
• The defendant is the owner of the dog.

There is also a strict liability claim that may be based upon the common law; those elements are a little different from the statutory action:

• Plaintiff was injured or attacked by a dog;
• Plaintiff was in a public place, or lawfully on the premises, when injured;
• The defendant is the owner or keeper of the dog; and
• The defendant knew, or should have known, of the dog’s dangerous propensities.

Finally, there is a common law, negligence claim that may be made:

• Plaintiff was in a public place, or lawfully on the premises, when injured;
• Owner, keeper or possessor had prior knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities, had notice of the dog’s dangerous propensities, or was negligent under the circumstances;
• Plaintiff was attacked by the dog; and
• Damages.

Reporting a Dog Bite

If you or someone you know is attacked by a dog, the first thing you should do is contact the police. If necessary, you may have to call 911. Also, it is important to contact the department of public health in whatever county you live in. Reports of animal bites will be created, and they are likely to prove helpful if a lawsuit is filed later on. It is also important to find out from the dog’s owner whether the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is a very serious disease, and although contracting it is extremely rare, it will cause death in the event that it is passed on. It is also important to document the situation. Take pictures of the injuries sustained, and save receipts from hospital or doctors’ visits. Contact a dog bite attorney in Michigan for legal guidance.

Michigan Dog Bite Injuries

Injuries which are the result of dog bites are not to be taken lightly. They can potentially cause serious problems. If you or someone you know has been bitten, you shouldn’t talk to opposing counsel of the dog owner alone. As with any personal injury case, it is important that you refrain from admitting anything without the assistance of a lawyer. Our office is experienced in handling dog bites, as well as other personal injuries. Contact us today at 586-268-2400 or visit us at Michigan Dog Bite Attorneys.

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