“Man’s best friend” or not, even the most domesticated dog still has sharp teeth that can cause serious harm if they are used to aggressively bite another person or animal for any reason. Deep puncture wounds and lacerations that may end up seriously infected are common outcomes from an attack, while larger dog breeds can tear muscles and ligaments and potentially shatter bone.
When you suffered any kind of harm requiring professional medical care because you were bitten by someone else’s dog, you should reach out to a Grand Rapids dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to demand comprehensive compensation from the dog’s owner for all your bite-related losses. A skilled attorney will be vital to getting the best result possible from your case.
Unlike some other states, where dog owners are only “strictly liable” for dog bite injuries if they knew their dog had bitten someone or otherwise acted aggressively in the past, Michigan holds dog owners strictly liable for dog bite injuries regardless of the dog’s history of viciousness. It also does not matter whether the owner knew their pet had the potential to cause harm. As per Michigan Compiled Laws § 287.351, the only exceptions to this strict liability are if the bitten person provoked the dog into attacking them or they were trespassing on the dog owner’s land when the bite incident occurred.
Flint Code of Ordinances Title IX, Chapter 155, § 9.202 also expressly requires dog owners to prevent their pets from displaying “nuisance, aggressive, or dangerous behavior.” With this in mind, it may be possible to file a lawsuit based on traditional negligence theory against a dog owner whose pet causes harm through some means other than biting. For instance, the dog may have charged at someone and caused them to fall. A Grand Rapids dog bite attorney could discuss the filing options in more detail during a private initial meeting.
Regardless of the legal strategy underpinning it, a successful civil claim over a dog attack in Grand Rapids could seek financial payouts for both economic and non-economic consequences of the incident, including:
It is important to act quickly after sustaining this type of injury, though, since M.C.L. § 600.5805 sets a filing deadline of three years from the date of the initial injury for the impacted person to formally file suit. Failing to retain a skilled dog bite lawyer in Grand Rapids, and build a strong claim before this deadline passes, will almost always lead to the case being thrown out of court without the injured party receiving any compensation.
Getting bitten by a dog is almost always a traumatic experience, and suffering serious injuries in this attack can often be life-altering. Fortunately, you have assistance available from dedicated legal professionals who know exactly how to handle situations like yours.
You should consult with a knowledgeable Grand Rapids dog bite lawyer and take the first step down the road to comprehensive civil recovery. Call today for a free consultation.
For a report filed with local Animal Control, you should request the Animal Control report at the following location:Grand Rapids Police Department 1 Monroe Ctr. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-456-3400