A Dearborn Heights dog bite lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was the victim of a dog attack. Our award-winning dog bite attorneys win top settlements from insurance companies in these cases. The lawyer you choose for your case is the difference between winning a great settlement and getting a small payout.

About The City Of Dearborn Heights

The City of Dearborn Heights is in Wayne County, Michigan. Geographically, the city sits adjacent to the city of Dearborn, 12 miles west of the Detroit city-center. First incorporated as a city in 1960, Dearborn Heights is home to 63,292 residents today. The city is primarily residential, and contains the Ecorse River, as well as a tributary of the Rouge River.

Our Award-Winning Dearborn Heights Dog Bite Lawyers

Founded in 1969, our team of lawyers at The Buckfire Law Firm has earned the legal profession’s highest accolades over the last 60 years, including:

  • U.S. News Best Lawyers
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyers

The lawyer you choose for your Lansing Dog Bite case is the difference between a great settlement and no settlement. Make the smart choice and contact our award-winning lawyers today to get started on your case.

What are the Dog Bite Laws in Dearborn Heights?

The City of Dearborn Heights has ordinances that define a “dangerous or vicious animal” as “any animal that is exposed to rabies, any animal that has been previously found to be a dangerous or vicious animal, or any animal which is capable of inflicting death or serious injury on a person or domesticated animal and which possesses one or more or the following characteristics:”

(a.) Has attacked or bitten a person engaged in lawful activities;

(b.) Has left the property of its owner and killed or seriously injured another animal;

(c.) Has chased, confronted, or approached a person on the street, sidewalk, or public property in a menacing fashion such as would put a reasonably prudent person in fear of attack;

(d.) Has exhibited a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack, cause injury, or threaten the safety of persons or other domesticated animals;

(e.) Has acted in a manner that causes or should cause its owner to know that it is potentially vicious and/or dangerous.

In addition, the Dearborn Heights Code of Ordinances specifically denotes the responsibility of owners to prevent animal attacks:

(a.) The owner of a dangerous or vicious animal shall not permit or allow the animal to attack a person engaged in lawful activities; to leave the property of its owner and attack or seriously injure another animal; or to chase, confront, or approach a person engaged in lawful activities on a street, sidewalk, or public property in a menacing fashion such as would put a reasonably prudent person in fear of attack.

(b.) The owner of an animal shall not permit or allow the animal to attack a person engaged in lawful activities; to leave the property of its owner and attack or seriously injure another animal; or to chase, confront, or approach a person engaged in lawful activities on a street, sidewalk, or public property in a menacing fashion such as would put a reasonably prudent person in fear of attack. A violation of this paragraph (2) of this subsection (c) shall be a lesser included offense of paragraph (1) of this subsection (c). A person violating this paragraph (2) of subsection (c) shall be responsible for a class B municipal civil infraction.

These laws can be used to hold a dog owner accountable for a dog bite attack.

Does Dearborn Heights have a Pit Bull ban?

No, Dearborn Heights does not outright ban the ownership of pit bulls. However, they are under special restrictions by city law, and require a licensing procedure.

When Can You Sue for a Dog Attack in Dearborn Heights?

In general, you can sue for a dog attack in Dearborn Heights if you were attacked or bitten within the township limits. Under Michigan law, there is strict liability against the owner or keeper of the attacking dog who bites or injures an innocent person.

Strict liability means that negligence automatically attaches just from the fact that the dog bit someone. So, if a person is bitten by a dog on the street, at a park, and on private property can sue and demand money compensation for injuries.

What are the Legal Defenses in a Dog Bite Case?

There are a few legal defenses in dog bite lawsuits in Michigan. First, a person who is a trespasser, or unlawfully on another person’s property, may not be able to sue for a dog bite. Social guests and business invitees can pursue claims.

Second, there is a provocation defense to a dog bite. This means that someone that provokes the dog into biting them is barred from a claim. This defense is usually a disputed issue in these cases because many defendants argue that attempting to friendly hug or play with a dog is provocation. Our Dearborn Heights dog bite lawyers have successfully challenged this defense and won big settlements for our clients.

Dearborn Heights dog bite lawyers discussing case

Common Injuries from a Dog Bite in Dearborn Heights

Our dog bite attorneys see a wide range of injuries caused in canine attacks. The most common injuries suffered in a Dearborn Heights dog bite attack include:

  • Bite punctures and lacerations.
  • Scars on the face, arms, and legs
  • Nerve damage, especially to arms and hands.
  • Broken bones and bone fractures, especially from falls.
  • Psychological injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Victims of a dog bite or dog attack can be left with permanent scars and disfigurement. Often, dog bite victims will require emergency medical care for sutures, plastic surgery, and rabies shots. Many times, a plastic surgeon will not even attempt to repair the scar for several years after the attack, leaving the victim with a disfiguring and conspicuous scar for everyone to see.

What Should I Do if I was Bitten by a Dog?

If you were bitten by a dog in Dearborn Heights, the first thing to do is get medical attention from your doctor, an urgent care clinic, or at a local emergency room. You may need stitches, a tetanus shot, or even a referral to a plastic surgeon.

You should also take photographs of the injuries immediately after the attack. This serves as strong evidence in your case to support your claims for damages.

Finally, report the attack to both the police and animal control departments.

Do I need to Report a Dog Attack?

It is best to report a dog attack to the police and to the local animal control division in the city where it occurred. This documents the injury occurred for the purposes of your claim and alerts local authorities that of a potentially vicious dog.

In the City of Dearborn Heights, you can call the below departments to file your complaint.

Dearborn Heights Police & Animal Control
25637 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn Heights, MI 48125
(313) 791-3497 (Report Ordinance Violations)
(313) 277-6770 (Animal Emergencies)

Our Dearborn Heights dog bite lawyers will get the reports to support your claim.

What Happens after I Hire a Lawyer for my Case?

If you choose us for your dog bite case, we will send a letter to the dog owner requesting the incident be referred to their insurance company. Most times, this is either homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance. If the attack occurred at a business, we would send a letter to the liability insurance company for the business.

Most often, we will receive a letter from an insurance adjuster asking for more information about the case. This is the start of the claims process and the beginning of the settlement negotiation process for your case.

Next, we will order your medical records and get the police department and animal control reports. We may also track down eyewitnesses to the attack so we can take witness statements. We will also request you frequently take photos of your wounds so we can follow the healing process.

How much can I Sue for in a Dearborn Heights Dog Bite Case?

There is no formula or “dog bite calculator” to determine your settlement amount. Under Michigan law, you are entitled to the following damages from a dog attack:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Psychological damage, including PTSD and mental anguish.
  • Scars and disfigurements
  • Medical bill payments and reimbursements
  • Lost wages for time off work

Our attorneys will work up your case to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement to compensate you for the harm you suffered from the dog attack.

Examples of Dog Bite Settlements

$400,000 for a woman who suffered nerve damage from a dog attack.

$300,000 for a teenage girl bitten in the face by a pit bull.

$250,000 for a toddler bitten on the face by a family member’s dog.

$100,000 for a postal worker bitten on the legs and buttocks.

Suing Family Members, Friends, and Neighbors

Many canine attacks come from dogs owned by family members, friends, and neighbors. Victims are often reluctant to file claims against these people for fear it will affect or destroy a close relationship. It is important to know that your claim will be made against the insurance company and will not demand payment from the dog owner. As a result, relationships are rarely affected by these claims.

In addition, the insurance premiums rarely go up even after the insurance company pays the dog bite settlement. And there is no requirement that the dog be put down or given away by the family so this should not be a concern to you.

Our No Fee Promise for Dog Bite Cases

We do not charge any money to start your Dearborn Heights dog bite case. We pay all the costs and only earn a fee if we win you a settlement. Our fee is a percentage of the settlement amount, so we work hard to maximize your settlement.

Contact a Dearborn Heights Dog Bite Lawyer

Call an award-winning Dearborn Heights dog bite lawyer now to start your claim. Our attorneys are ready and eager to help you win a great settlement. There are time deadlines for filing cases, so call us today to make sure you do not miss the unforgiving deadline.

Contact us for your Free Case Review.

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