What You Should Know before Filing a Dog Bite Claim

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We see dogs as loyal companions, but man’s best friend is responsible for hundreds of deaths and countless more injuries in the US every year. Not only can this experience be incredibly traumatic for the victims, but it’s not uncommon for them to suffer permanent injuries as a result of these violent attacks.

Unfortunately, while such attacks are commonplace, few people are ready for that moment when a hound turns hostile. As such, if you were recently bitten by someone else’s dog, it’s only normal to feel uncertain about what comes next. In this article, we take a closer look at the state’s dog bite laws and explain what types of damage you may be able to seek when you file a claim:

What Are Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws?

In the state, owners are held strictly liable for any harm caused by their pets. Simply put, even if a dog hadn’t shown any signs of being violent, the owner is still responsible for compensating anyone that their pet attacks.

However, there are some scenarios where the owner may be let off the hook. For instance, if the owner can prove that you provoked the attack, they may not have to be required to compensate you for your injuries. As the term “provocation” doesn’t have a strict legal definition, the courts must make their own judgments on a case-by-case basis to decide whether or not you provoked the dog. Additionally, the owner may also be able to shift the blame if they can show that you were trespassing on private property when you were bitten.

What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?

Dogs might be loving companions, but these popular pets can cause serious damage when they turn violent. Their sharp incisors can tear through tissue, leave skin scarred, and sever vital arteries. As such, it’s not unusual for victims to suffer life-threatening wounds that might never fully heal.

Let’s look at a few types of damages that might be available to you in your case:

  • Lost Income: If your condition stopped you from working, you might be able to recover compensation for any wages you lost. Additionally, if your wounds are likely to prevent you from returning to work in the future—or have made it impossible for you to ever work again—you may also be able to seek damages for future lost income.
  • Medical Expenses: From the ambulance trip to hospital stays to prescription medication, many of the costs associated with your healthcare might be recoverable.
  • Pain and Suffering: Due to the nature of an animal attack, these incidents can be incredibly traumatic for the victims. Often, the psychological scars left behind in the wake of a bite can be far more detrimental to your quality of life than the wounds you sustained. In the state, victims have a right to pursue compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment in life—as long as you can prove these intangible effects stem directly from the attack. You may need to make use of a wide range of evidence to prove such losses, including psychiatric reports, expert witness deposition, and personal injury journal entries.
  • Replacement Services: If you had to hire someone to oversee certain tasks you are unable to do yourself because of your injuries, the cost of such services could be factored into the potential recovery.

Speak to a Dog Bite Attorney in Detroit Today

If you were injured in an animal attack, the legal team at Seva Law Firm may be able to assist with your case. Our Michigan personal injury attorneys have decades of collective experience representing dog bite victims, and will know what steps to take to help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Dial (248) 385-5704 or head over to our contact form HERE to request a free case review.