In most cases the dog belongs to a friend or relative. In these instances, victims are often hesitant to take action. You should never feel guilty about asserting your legal rights. You may have to live the rest of your life with permanent disfiguring scars and/or serious emotional injuries. Typically, homeowners or renters insurance policies provide coverage for these unfortunate events. The dog owner has purchased this protection to shield him or her from personal loss. That is one of the reasons people buy insurance..
You Have Done Nothing Wrong
What You Should Do
Make sure you have received proper medical treatment at a hospital emergency room, urgent care center or your doctor’s office.
Give an accurate account of how you were injured and whose dog was involved, if known.
Promptly report the bite to animal control or local law enforcement so an official record is created to document the event.
Provide as much information as possible to identify the dog and its owner, if known (to aid the authorities to determine if the animal has been properly licensed and vaccinated).
Provide details of how and where the incident happened.
Take several photographs of your injuries as soon as possible, or if you can’t, Attorney Mark Sucher will be happy to take photos for you.
Don’t apologize for taking legal action, you have been hurt and Michigan law protects you.
Michigan law holds a dog owner responsible for any damage caused by an attack, whether the animal has ever bitten anyone before or not. This is called “strict liability”. The victim is not required to prove that the dog owner knew the dog was dangerous, and failed to take proper precautions. In cases where the attack was provoked by the victim, or where the victim was trespassing on the owner’s property, the dog owner may not be liable, but every case is unique, so it is best to discuss your specific facts with a dog bite expert.