What happens when man’s best friend bites?

Michigan holds the owner of a dog strictly liable for dog bites to a person as long as the dog was not provoked. Also, if the incident happened at the dog owner’s property, the victim must not have been a trespasser or have been on the property to do something unlawful or criminal. Liability also can be based upon other legal theories.

What should I do if I am attacked by a dog?

If you have been bit or attacked by a dog, you should immediately be treated by a doctor either at your local emergency room or primary care doctor’s office. Once you have been treated by a physician, contact your local law enforcement and/or Animal Control to document the incident by reporting your injuries and identify both the dog and its owner[s].

Next, have a friend or family member take pictures of the injuries. If its possible, also photograph the location where the attack took place. In Michigan, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs, even if the dog has never bitten or attacked anyone before. If you are attacked, the owner is liable. The big question becomes whether or not the dog owner has insurance coverage. Animal attacks are typically covered by the dog owner’s homeowner insurance policy. If the dog owner owns his or her home, it is likely he or she has homeowners insurance and your injuries should be covered under their policy. The case becomes more difficult when the dog owner is renting the home. There are a number of scenarios including rental insurance or even no insurance on the home. You will need a personal injury attorney¬†that can navigate through the insurance issues and get you the money you deserve.

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