Michigan is known for its beautiful lakes, the longest shoreline in America, and friendly people. But unfortunately, it’s known for one more thing: dog bites. Though it’s 2019, Michigan’s dog problem persists. The Great Lakes State is one of the top ten regions with the most claims.

For victims of dog bites and dog-related incidents, help is available. Continue reading to learn more about Michigan’s dog bite laws and how you can receive the recovery you’re entitled to.

Michigan’s Dog Bite Problem

In 2011, there are over $7 million in insurance claims due to dog bites in Michigan. In 2018, 460 dog bite incidents were reported to Detroit Animal Control. 

This past August, Michigan’s dog problem gained national attention after a 9-year old girl was mauled to death by three pit bulls in southwest Detroit. The girl was riding her bike when the dogs broke down their flimsy fencing and viciously attacked her in a back alley.

The dogs’ owner was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and possessing dangerous animals. 

Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws

Due to its prevalent number of dog bite injuries, Michigan is a “strict liability” dog bite state. If a dog attacks a person, the owner is held liable. Even if the dog has never attacked anyone before, the owner is held accountable.

The strict liability statute claims a defendant is liable if the dog bit the plaintiff in two scenarios:

  • The plaintiff was legally allowed to be in the area at the time of the attack
  • The plaintiff did not provoke the attack

To file a dog bite claim in Michigan, the plaintiff must prove personal injury caused by a dog that was not provoked. The plaintiff must have been on public property or in a private area with permission.

For other dog-related injuries, Michigan authorities may turn to a negligence ruling. This can be applied if a dog knocks you over or acts aggressively towards you, but does not bite a person.

What You Need to Know About Dog Bite Injuries

According to the Canine Journal, there are over 4.7 million dog bites throughout the United States every year, with over 800,000 requiring medical attention. Half of all attacks happen from dogs who are familiar to the victims.

Dogs can act aggressively for many reasons, such as out of fear or possession. Dogs will often growl, stand rigidly, lick their lips, tuck their tail, and avert their gaze before they bite. If you notice a dog acting this way, get as far away as possible.

In Michigan, owners are responsible if their dog bites another person. This applies to dogs who have never attacked anyone in the past. An injured victim can file a lawsuit and collect damages after the first offense.

Michigan’s Top Dog Bite Lawyer at Your Service

A dog bite is nothing to take lightly. They can lead to serious medical complications and intense fear following the traumatic incident. While Michigan is a high-ranking state for dog-related injuries, victims are entitled to recovery.

If you or someone you know has recently been bitten by a dog in Michigan, it’s time to get the justice you deserve. Our team has offices throughout the state to ensure the best possible service for Michigan residents. Learn more about our team and how we can help you recover from your dog bite injury.