Dog bites can crush bones, rip skin, and even cause fatal injuries. Minor bites easily become infected, and the trauma of a sudden attack can affect you for a long time. You may be hesitant to confront the dog’s owner if it is a neighbor or friend, but keep in mind homeowners may be able to compensate you for your necessary medical treatment through their homeowners’ insurance policy.
With few exceptions, pet owners are liable for the damage their dogs create. When someone else’s dog attacks you or your child, a Livonia dog bite lawyer can help you pursue monetary damages.
Michigan law has zero tolerance for dogs that bite. Owners are strictly liable for any injuries caused by their pet, even if it never acted aggressively in the past. Some municipalities, such as Detroit and Saginaw, name specific dog breeds considered dangerous and impose several additional restrictions on owners of these breeds. Even if a dog is docile, if it belongs to a named breed, the owner must comply with how the dog is restrained.
Livonia ordinances align with much of Michigan law, although dogs are not accused of being dangerous because of their breed. Owners are not permitted to own or harbor any animal that habitually trespasses, destroys property, or injures a person, according to Livonia Ordinance Number 6.01.360. Additionally, the city has a right to euthanize canines with more than one infraction under Ord. No. 6.01.370. For more clarification on which laws may apply to a particular scenario, reach out to a dog bite attorney in Livonia.
Michigan’s Code categorizes owners as strictly liable when their dogs bite, which means the injured person does not have to prove the owner was negligent to receive compensation. According to Ord. No. 6.01.380, the mere fact a dog bite occurred is proof the owner was negligent unless the owner can rebut it.
Under both Michigan and Livonia law, an owner can rebut a civil claim by proving the person the dog bit was taunting, harassing, or provoking the dog, which can include kicking it, screaming at it, or scaring it until it attacks because of the perceived danger.
Additionally, although property owners owe no duty to adult trespassers, they cannot purposely harm them by, for instance, siccing a dog on them. A child trespasser would be compensated for injuries under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine. An experienced Livonia dog bite attorney will assess all facts before negotiating with insurance companies or putting together lawsuits asking for compensation.
Children make up the group most likely to be injured by dog bites. They do not realize the danger dogs pose, and often approach dogs to pet, hug, or play with them. Michigan imposes laws that make owners liable if their dogs are not controlled, but these laws do not stop the 4.5 million dog bites occurring in the U.S. each year, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Common dog bite injuries include:
Recovering from these injuries can be expensive and frustrating, but help is available in the form of a personal injury claim. Reach out to a Livonia dog attack attorney for more guidance.
Dog bites are the trifecta of loss: injuries affect you physically, emotionally, and financially. You may be disfigured for life or face a long recovery, and you may miss work and wages if the injuries are severe enough. A dog attack can also leave you with significant trauma and PTSD. You should be compensated for all the ways your injuries impact your life.
It is not your job to control someone else’s dog. If one is running loose and acts aggressively toward you or you are attacked while visiting someone’s property, you are entitled to compensation. A Livonia dog bite lawyer is available to talk about your encounter. Contact our team now for the help you deserve.
For a report filed with local Animal Control, you should request the Animal Control report at the following location:
Livonia Animal Control
12973 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI 48150