Even if they are fully domesticated and properly trained, dogs of all breeds and sizes are still wild animals at heart. That can sometimes lead to them being overly aggressive in inappropriate situations. Regardless of how responsible or irresponsible a particular dog owner is, though, you likely have grounds to file suit against them if their pet injures you through a bite or any other kind of unprompted attack.
When you are dealing with injuries stemming from a domesticated dog attack, you should make speaking with an Ann Arbor dog bite lawyer a top priority. State law is fairly kind to dog bite victims in terms of the compensation they can seek. Guidance from a knowledgeable attorney is still key to getting the best possible result and avoiding common legal and procedural pitfalls along the way.
According to Michigan Compiled Laws § 287.351, dog owners generally hold “strict liability” for injuries their pet causes to another person by biting them. This means the owner is usually liable for damages regardless of whether they were specifically reckless or careless in controlling their pet or whether they had any prior knowledge that their dog was prone to aggressive behavior. The only exceptions to this strict liability are if the bitten person was trespassing at the time they were attacked or if the bitten person did something to provoke the dog into attacking them.
That said, it is also possible to file suit over dog-related injuries based on traditional negligence. For instance, the Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances requires dogs to be leashed at all times while in public and prohibits owners from leaving their dogs tied up alone outside any business they enter. Someone who gets bitten by a dog that was improperly off-leash or left alone by its owner in a public place may have grounds to file suit over the dog owner’s unlawful conduct. An Ann Arbor dog bite attorney could go into further detail about possible grounds for litigation during a private initial meeting.
A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand over injuries caused by someone else’s dog can account for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, which can be tracked directly back to the attack in question. These may include expected future losses that have not yet fully manifested at the time of filing. Specific damages which often play a role in cases like this include:
Identifying and estimating the value of future damages well before they actually occur is important because of M.C.L. § 600.5805, which gives most prospective personal injury plaintiffs three years maximum after getting hurt to begin a claim. Working with a skilled lawyer can make a huge difference when it comes to building a strong case after a dog bite incident in Ann Arbor.
Dogs of all breeds can cause serious injuries through bites. The psychological scars it can leave behind may last even longer and hurt even more than the physical ones. Fortunately, you can recover for every negative impact your bite injury produced if you make effective use of your rights under Michigan state law.
Support from a seasoned Ann Arbor dog bite lawyer is essential to pursuing compensation after being involved in a dog attack. Call today to learn more during our free consultation.
For a report filed with local Animal Control, you should request the Animal Control report at the following location:
Ann Arbor Police Department
100 N. Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104