Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

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Dog Bite Attorney

Some dog attacks amount to little more than a minor inconvenience. Others have cost people their lives or led to severe injuries and disabilities. Dog attacks are prevalent in Michigan and no one is immune. In 2021, for example, Detroit ranked in the top 10 American cities where postal workers routinely suffered dog attacks.

What Is a Dog Attack?

Some people mistakenly believe it only counts as an attack if the dog bites a person. However, there are countless other ways that dogs can cause injury to others. The owner could become liable even if the dog never makes physical contact.

For example, a dog could chase a small child, causing him to trip, fall and hurt himself. Similarly, a dog might jump up on an elderly worker, causing her to fall and hurt herself so badly she cannot return to work.

Consequently, a dog attack involves any adverse situation with a dog. The details will determine whether the scenario and resulting injuries become eligible for personal injury claims or compensation. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can draw that conclusion.

What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries From Dog Attacks?

Dog attacks can result in some of the most gruesome injuries. Some have been so gruesome that professionals describe them as mauling as opposed to a regular attack. For the most part, injuries depend on the severity of the attack and where the dog bites or scratches the victim. These are some of the most common ones:

  • Puncture wounds: These are deep punctures in the skin that can cause bone fractures and muscle damage. Dogs have sharp teeth, which can cause this.
  • Lacerations: These are deep cuts that often require stitches or surgery to close. Dog bites can cause this. However, falling can also cause deep lacerations.
  • Infections: When a dog’s mouth comes into contact with human skin, there is a risk of infection. This is especially true if the dog is not up-to-date on his vaccinations.
  • Broken bones: If the person falls during the attack, breaking bones becomes highly likely. This is especially the case for seniors and small children.
  • Disfigurement: Some victims will have scars or poorly healed tissue for the rest of their lives. This can often include long-term or even permanent disabilities, such as partial blindness or adversely affected mobility.
  • Emotional trauma: Many victims of dog attacks suffer from anxiety, fear and post-traumatic stress disorder. These psychological injuries can feel just as debilitating as physical ones.

What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?

Every situation is different. No universal solutions or steps can account for all the variables of a potential dog attack. However, these are some of the ideal recommendations professionals tend to make.

  1. Seek medical attention – Even if you do not believe you suffered any injuries, get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Injuries from dog attacks do not always present themselves immediately. Consequently, you might not realize the full extent of your injuries until days or weeks later.
  2. Gather evidence – Take pictures of your injuries and save any torn clothing. It would help if you also tried to get the contact information of witnesses who saw the attack. These will all be valuable evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
  3. Speak to an attorney – An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options. He can also help you build a strong case to get the compensation you deserve.
  4. File a police report – This is not always necessary. Sometimes, people decide to handle dog bite cases through civil court proceedings instead. However, if the attack was especially severe or if you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim, then filing a police report could be helpful.

How Do You File a Police Report?

The first step is determining whether you need to file one at all. It might be in your best interest to file a police report if the attack was particularly violent or if the dog’s owner has a history of violence. The dog could also have a history of aggression, which needs to be documented.

In other cases, people choose to file police reports because they plan on pursuing a personal injury claim. The report can provide valuable evidence for your case.

To file a police report, go to your local police station and fill out the necessary paperwork. You will also need to provide them with as much information about the attack as possible, including the incident’s date, time and location. In some cases, you might call the police to the scene.

Why Do You Need a Dog Bite Attorney?

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog attack, speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial. A good lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options. He might also help you build a solid case to get the compensation you deserve.

Additionally, a good lawyer will be understanding and compassionate towards you and your situation. Here are some additional reasons you should work with an attorney.

Our attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies.

After a dog attack, you will likely need to deal with the dog owner’s insurance company. Insurance companies are not always easy to deal with. They might try to lowball you or deny your claim altogether. An experienced lawyer knows how to negotiate on your behalf.

Our attorneys have experience with dog bite cases.

Dog bite cases can be complex. Multiple parties might be involved, including the dog’s owner, the landlord and the insurance company. An experienced lawyer will know how to navigate these complex cases so that you can get the best possible outcome.

Our attorneys are not afraid to fight it out in court.

If the insurance company is unwilling to give you the compensation you deserve, our attorneys are not afraid to take them to court. We have a track record of success in court and will fight for you every step of the way.

Our attorney can take care of everything for you.

After a dog attack, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with the legal process. An experienced lawyer aims to take care of all the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus on recovery.

What Are Some Potential Defenses You Can Expect?

People are very protective of their dogs, especially when there is a chance they could lose them. Dogs with a history of aggression or biting could face euthanization by the end of the proceedings. Insurance companies are also looking to reduce their liabilities by any means possible. Consequently, expect a strong fight.

Assumption of Risk

An assumption of risk argument would suggest that you knew the risks associated with being near a dog and still proceeded. They could use this to argue that any damages sustained were partially or fully your fault.

The defense could use a comparative negligence argument in other ways as well. Note that the percentage of responsibility would determine how much the court could reduce your compensation.

Provocation

A provocation argument suggests that you provoked the dog into attacking you. This is often hard to prove as it requires showing what exactly you did and how a reasonable dog in the same position would have reacted.

Trespassing

If you were not authorized to be on the property where the attack occurred, a trespassing argument could be used against you. This would significantly reduce your chances of recovering any damages as the court would say you put yourself at risk.

How Do You Find a Good Dog Bite Lawyer?

When looking for a lawyer, find someone experienced in handling dog bite cases in your state. Ask for recommendations from friends or family members. You can also search online for lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases.

Note that not all personal injury attorneys have firsthand experience with dog bites. While any personal injury attorney could technically handle the case, you risk not getting the best possible settlement when you don’t work with a dog bite lawyer.

You can also find a reputable law firm by checking online. A simple Google search will pull up several business listings you can browse. Look for companies with high customer satisfaction ratings, but look beyond the aggregate scores to see what people loved and hated.

Finally, narrow down your options and give a few law offices a call. Pay close attention to the level of service you receive and how willing the attorneys are to answer your questions.

Why Should I Choose the Mike Morse Law Firm?

Our experienced attorneys have won millions of dollars for our personal injury clients and look forward to earning a settlement for you. We also do not charge you a penny until and unless we win your case, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Our team gives you one of the most excellent chances of getting the compensation you deserve, so you have the resources you need to move forward. In 2018 alone, we recovered more than $160 million in compensation for our clients.

Would you like to improve your chances of securing the compensation you deserve? Contact us for a free case review.

Dog Bite Questions

What is the Michigan Dog Bite Statute?

 

A law that makes Michigan dog owners responsible for any physical injury their dog causes to the Michigan dog bite victim. MCL 287.351 states: Sec. 1. (1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. (2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner’s property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner’s property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

What are the most dangerous dogs?

 

There are many misconceptions about which dog breeds are the most dangerous. It’s important to keep mind that all dogs have the potential to bite. A dog’s breed is only one of many factors that affect temperament and behavior. The best dogs are those that receive proper socialization, humane training, exercise, and attention; that are given adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care; that are sterilized; and that are safely confined.

If you are considering adopting or purchasing a dog, consult an animal professional for help selecting a pet suitable for your situation. Then, make sure each family member “tests out” the pet in a safe environment to ensure your choice is a good one.

Michigan dog bite lawyers

Why do dogs attack?


A dog will attack for any number of reasons.  For instance, dogs generally prefer to be dominant and territorial. Any actions that may threaten the dog’s territory may cause the dog to attack. Another reason for an attack may be out of fear or self-defense. Many dogs (specifically the German Sheppard) are very protective of their owners and may misconstrue harmless human behavior as threatening to its owner. Finally, if a dog is sick or in pain, it’s likely to become very defensive and, in turn, aggressive.

What if I was on someone else’s property?

 

You have a case. Under the Michigan Dog Bite Statute, as long as you were there legally, the dog owner can still be held liable.

What if the dog has never attacked anyone?

 

It does not matter. As long as you were legally on the property and did not provoke the dog, you have a Michigan dog bite case.

What if I was playing with/touching the dog before it attacked me?

 

It depends. If you did not provoke the animal, it is possible that you have a dog bite case. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm to discuss the matter with one of our dog bite attorneys. Our specialists can better assess your situation.

Who should I report the attack to?

 

Your local police and animal control agency.

Should I take photographs?

 

Yes. Take photographs of the Michigan dog bite injuries and the scene of the incident if possible.

Who will pay for my Michigan dog bite or dog attack injuries?

 

If the owner has homeowners or renters insurance, the insurance company will likely be required to pay.

What is the time limit for bringing my Michigan dog bite claim?

 

Generally, you have three years from the day you were attacked.

Who should I talk to about my Michigan dog bite claim?

 

Contact Mike Morse Law Firm Our highly regarded Michigan dog bite attorneys will assist you with this decision and answer any Michigan dog bite questions you may have.

Our Michigan Dog Bite Clients Have Great Things To Say

 

We pride ourselves on the great number of people we have helped over the past 20 years and the kind things they have said about how we have helped them through this difficult time. Click here to read our clients’ own words.

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Client Success stories

“This firm’s professionalism far exceeds the normal verbal and written communications expected from a law office. They could not have done a better job with the matters concerning my case and I would highly recommend them.”

– Melvin Johnson Highland Park, Michigan

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Our clients Say it the best

★★★★★
Sharon Johnson

“My husband and I were out riding our bikes when a loose dog ran up and bit my husband. Fortunately, the dog bite lawyers at the Mike Morse Law Firm were very helpful in taking care of the paperwork and getting us a settlement that covered all of our medical expenses and damages for pain and suffering.”

★★★★★
Michelle B.

“I was attacked by a pit bull when I was out walking in my own neighborhood. My leg was badly injured and I needed stitches and still have a scar. Mike Morse and his team settled my case for $225,000.00. I’m so glad I called Mike!”

★★★★★
Chad Hambrick

“My son was mowing a neighbor’s lawn, when a dog ran out of nowhere and bit him on the arm. He ended up with a large scar and several stitches. The lawyers and staff at the Mike Morse Law Firm were very helpful in helping us build a case and collect. They made the process easy and the whole family is grateful. Thank you again.”

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MICHIGAN DOG BITE LAWYER