Dogs are a common sight in Michigan, on public and private property alike. While most dogs are good-natured, some of these animals can be aggressive. In some cases, dogs have been known to attack strangers without provocation.

When you sustain an injury due to a dog bite, a skilled attorney might be able to help. In many cases, an injured person has the right to seek compensation against the dog owner. Let a Warren dog bite lawyer advise you on your legal options.

What Is Strict Liability?

The state dog bite statute that applies in Warren sets a “strict liability” standard, meaning an injured person can recover financial compensation from the owner of the dog without the need to prove the owner was negligent.

In other states, a dog owner is only liable if they knew or reasonably should have known that their animal is aggressive. However, that is not the case in Michigan. According to the statute, a dog owner is liable for a bite regardless of the animal’s previous history.

Potential Defenses an Owner Can Raise

There are several defenses a defendant in a dog bite case can raise. These defenses may prevent the injured person from recovering any compensation. Furthermore, the statute only applies to situations where a dog attacks unprovoked. If the plaintiff provokes the dog prior to being bitten, they are not entitled to damages.

The location where the attack occurred is also important. The strict liability standard only allows a bite victim to pursue compensation if they are bitten on public property.

Additionally, this strict liability standard is limited to dog bites, not other types of behavior. For example, an injured person cannot rely on this standard when they are hurt after being knocked to the ground by an excitable dog. However, in those instances, it is still possible to pursue a case using the negligence standard. For more guidance on what laws apply to a specific scenario, speak with a Warren dog bite attorney now.

The Statute of Limitations Applies to Dog Bite Cases

There is a limit on how long a dog bite injury victim has to pursue a lawsuit. In general, a Michigan plaintiff has three years to bring their action to comply with the statute of limitations. This three-year window usually begins to count down on the day the dog bite happens.

Failing to comply with this deadline is a costly error. In most cases, the court will be required to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. Not only does a dismissal with prejudice end the case, but it also bars any future efforts to seek justice. Fortunately, working with a dog bite attorney in Warren ensures compliance with this important deadline.

Talk to a Warren Attorney About a Dog Bite Claim Today

From understanding how liability works to navigating the statute of limitations, the process of holding an owner accountable for a dog attack can be complex. Thankfully, you never have to pursue legal action on your own. Reach out today for a consultation with a Warren dog bite lawyer.

For a report filed with local Animal Control, you should request the Animal Control report at the following location:

Warren Police Department

29900 S. Civic Center Blvd

Warren, MI 48093


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