Imagine your child toddles into the neighbors’ unfenced yard and tries to hug their Dachshund, but minutes later runs home upset with a deep bite wound. Or what if you are a mail carrier walking your route when a resident’s Border Collie leaps from the porch as you approach, snapping at your ankles? You are not alone. The U.S. Postal Service reported in a recent year that 5,803 mail carriers were attacked and bitten by dogs nationwide. Injuries like these are even more upsetting when they could have been prevented.
Dog owners who do not follow local laws are negligent—and negligent owners should compensate those they injure. When a dog attacks you, a Saginaw dog bite lawyer can determine whether you have a claim against the owner and help you pursue compensation.
According to Michigan Compiled Laws § 287.321, dangerous dogs are those that bite without being provoked or act aggressively multiple times. Saginaw Michigan Code § 94.025 added breed-specific legislation (BSL) that classifies certain dogs known for aggressive behavior as dangerous. Currently, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Bull Mastiffs, and Presa Canarios are on the list. Saginaw residents must register dangerous dog breeds and keep them contained in kennels and crates or leashed when away from their property. They must also post a warning sign obtained at registration that a dangerous dog lives on the property. If a dog bites, it must be reported to the city.
For more help understanding local dog bite laws and how they apply to a specific scenario, speak with a dog bite attorney in Saginaw as soon as possible.
Failing to observe Saginaw’s particular dangerous dog rules could lead to fines for the owner and even euthanasia for the dog, depending on the circumstances. However, when any dog, dangerous or not, bites a person in Michigan, the owner is usually strictly liable. This means even if the dog is securely crated and has never been aggressive, and the owner was not negligent, they will still have to pay for any damage the dog inflicts. For instance, if a child reaches into an elderly and typically docile dog’s crate to pet it and is bitten because the dog felt threatened, the owner will have to pay for medical bills and any emotional harm the child suffers.
Still, there are exceptions to the strict liability rule. For instance, if a person is trespassing, purposely provokes the dog such as by throwing rocks at it, or the dog is defending its owner, strict liability does not apply. In some “common sense” situations, it may not apply either. For example, most adults know not to interfere with a mother nursing her pups and if they do, strict liability might be disputed. Talk to a Saginaw dog bite attorney after an attack with injuries to better understand your rights and options.
Children between five and nine years old are the group most likely to be bitten by dogs. They are also likely to suffer the most serious injuries, especially from large dogs like Rottweilers who exert a bite force of 328 pounds per square inch. Some common dog bite injuries include:
Any of these injuries will require expensive medical and rehabilitative care. Many cases include reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Although a dog’s owner may attempt to blame an injured person, a Saginaw dog bite attorney will use evidence, witness testimony, and local laws to get a client the best outcome in their given circumstances.
While most dog bites are minor and heal on their own with a simple soap and water cleanup, thousands of people each year end up in the hospital with serious injuries. Some dog attacks have even led to death.
Dog bites are physically and emotionally devastating, and according to Michigan law, the person who owns the dog that bit you is obligated to reimburse you. However, it is not as easy as just asking for a check. Contact a Saginaw dog bite lawyer now to learn how to recover the money you are entitled to.
For a report filed with local Animal Control, you should request the Animal Control report at the following location:
Saginaw Police Department
612 Federal Avenue
Saginaw, MI 48607