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Understanding Michigan’s Dog Bite Law

By Lipton Law on July 22, 2011 - No comments

Michigan law allows people bitten by other people’s dogs to sue the dog’s owner for damages, including payments to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. In order to win a Michigan dog bite case, the person who was bitten must prove to the court that:

  • He or she was injured by a dog bite;
  • When the bite occurred, the injured person was on public property or was on private property, but was legally allowed to be on that property;
  • The person bitten did not provoke the dog; and
  • The person being sued owns the dog.

Under this law, it does not matter if the dog had bitten anyone before or was known to be aggressive, vicious, or bad-tempered. Even a “first bite” is enough to hold the dog’s owner liable for injuries caused by the dog’s bite, as long as all of the above requirements are established.

Michigan dog bite law offers only two defenses for a dog owner: that the person bitten was trespassing on private property, and/or that the dog was provoked. Even unintentional acts may count as provoking, if the average dog would have tried to bite under similar circumstances.

Dog bites send over 380,000 U.S. residents to the emergency room each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most dog bite victims are young children, but anyone may be bitten by a dog, regardless of age.

If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, the experienced Michigan dog bite attorneys at Lipton Law, P.C. can help. We will examine your case carefully and fight to protect your rights and seek the compensation you need. For a free and confidential consultation, call Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688.