A Southfield 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 Southfield

The City of Southfield is in Oakland County, Michigan. Initially founded in 1830, Southfield is home to 76,618 residents today. The city lies northwest of Detroit, and is known for its many parks, as well as Lawrence Technological University, a private university with 3,154 students.

Our Award-Winning Southfield 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 Southfield?

The City of Southfield has ordinances that define a dangerous animal as:

(a.) A dog or another animal that bites or attacks a person, or a dog or another animal that bites or attacks and causes serious injury or death to another animal while such animal is on the property or under the control of its owner.

In addition, the city ordinances include restrictions on the  ownership of dangerous dogs. Per the ordinance, “It shall be unlawful to harbor or keep any of the following:”

(a) A fierce or vicious dog.

(b) An animal that has rabies or an animal that has been bitten by an animal known to have been afflicted with rabies.

(c) A dangerous animal.

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

Does Southfield have a Pit Bull ban?

There is no ban on pit bulls, or any other dog breed in Southfield. The ordinance on vicious dogs is behavior-based only so you can own a well-behaved pit bull.

When Can You Sue for a Dog Attack in Southfield?

In general, you can sue for a dog attack in Southfield 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 Southfield dog bite lawyers have successfully challenged this defense and won big settlements for our clients.

Southfield dog bite lawyers discussing case

Common Injuries from a Dog Bite in Southfield

Our dog bite attorneys see a wide range of injuries caused in canine attacks. The most common injuries suffered in a Southfield 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 Southfield, 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 Southfield, you can call the below departments to file your complaint.

Southfield Animal Warden Office
 (248) 796-5425

Southfield Police Department
26000 Evergreen Rd.
Southfield, MI 48076
(248) 796-5500 (Non-Emergency Dispatch)

Our Southfield 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 Southfield 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 Southfield 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 Southfield Dog Bite Lawyer

Call an award-winning Southfield 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.

City of Southfield Resources

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