Dog Bites Off  Woman’s Finger in Sterling Heights, MI

Sterling Heights, Michigan personal injury attorney discusses case in which a dog bit off a woman’s finger. Police have ticketed the dog owner, but the case is still under investigation.

Police have reported that a 54-year old woman, whose identity was unknown, had a finger bitten off, and the tips of several others severed, by multiple dog bites on Tuesday night. Reports have indicated that the injuries were sustained while the victim was trying to protect her own dog from a much larger one. The owner of the larger dog was also issued multiple tickets, including: harboring a dangerous animal, failing to restrain a dangerous animal, and having an unlicensed dog. Also, the dog was not up to date with its rabies vaccinations, the owner has had the dog euthanized for testing. It is not known whether the victim has yet retained a Michigan dog bite attorney.

Michigan Dog Bite Law

Michigan dog bite law is relatively standard. Michigan has a ‘strict liability’ dog bite statute. This means that dog bite victims can bring actions against the owners for violation of the statute in addition to negligence actions. This means that owners can be held liable for any injuries caused by their animals, no matter what precautions they took. This also means that it is much easier for victims to bring claims against dog owners. Proper restraint and training are essential to prevent injuries and lawsuits.

This incident also calls attention to another aspect of dog bite cases: the potential for criminal charges. The owner in this case was ticketed with multiple offenses. This in turn imposes penalties by the state in addition to any potential liability incurred as a result of a lawsuit brought by a private actor. Seeking to protect the public, the government has enacted regulations for failing to take proper care of dogs.

This unfortunate incident here serves to call attention to another, often ignored aspect of dog bite cases: the potential for criminal liability. As noted, the owner of the vicious dog was ticketed with multiple offenses. This means that, in addition to a potential lawsuit brought by the victim, the dog owner was also subject to citation from the government. Seeking to protect the public safety, the government sanctions dog owners for failing to take proper care of their animals.

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