You have been bitten by a dog and now you are wondering if you can sue the dog’s owner. In most cases, you can successfully recover damages if you are bitten by a dog. In most dog bite cases, your hands need to be clean. If the dog’s owner argues that you incited or provoked the dog, that can be used against you in court. If you have been bitten by a dog in Flint or the surrounding area, the personal injury lawyers at Nickola Law can litigate your case. We will ensure that you have the evidence you need and build your case to be strong enough to go to trial. In this article, we will discuss the elements of a successful dog bite lawsuit.
Michigan is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. That means an individual who is bitten by a dog does not need to prove that the owner was negligent. The owner is simply responsible for the conduct of the dog. An injured party needs only to show three elements. Those are:
This last point is critical. A valid defense to a dog bite claim is that the party who was bitten provoked the dog or otherwise incited it to become aggressive. If that is the case, you may not be able to recover damages for any injuries you sustained (MCLA 287.351).
In some states, the individual who is bitten by the dog must show that the owner knew that the dog was potentially dangerous or had bitten someone before. That is not the case in Michigan. In Michigan, if a dog owner knew that a dog was dangerous or that it posed a serious threat to the public and did nothing to prevent future attacks, the plaintiff may be able to sue for punitive damages on top of compensatory damages.
If you have been bitten in a public place or on the owner’s property after you have been invited in, you can recover damages related to your injuries. This includes medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. In these cases, suits are either filed directly against the owner of the dog or filed against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. In either case, you should expect resistance. The owner of the dog or their insurance policy representative will do everything in their power to blame you for the attack. Nickola Law will ensure that does not happen. Give us a call or talk to us online and we can begin preparing your case immediately.
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