Dog Bite Attorneys in Michigan

Dog Bite Attorneys in Michigan

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend. However, many people each year suffer physical injury and emotional trauma when dogs attack, especially young children. Aside from physical injuries, young dog bite attack victims can develop psychological injuries and are sometimes unable to return to normal life.

If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite attack in Detroit, a personal injury attorney from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. law firm can help you take legal action against the dog owner. We will help you review your legal options and obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your losses and emotional distress following a dog bite injury.

What are the Dog Bite Statistics?

In 2022, Michigan ranks as one of the top states for dog bites, according to the United States Postal Service (USPS). Detroit experienced 34 dog bite incidents and ranks 9th on the list of the top cities for do. This ranking is consistent with the 2020 dog attack numbers, which list Detroit in 10th place on the list with 35 attacks.

The Insurance Information Institute reported 17,989 dog bite claims in 2021, up from 17,597 in 2020 nationwide. In addition, the dog bite settlements and cost of medical treatment for dog attacks have increased 39% nationwide from 2012 to 2021. In 2020, the average dog bite claim costs $49,025.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Although most dog bites don’t result in serious injuries, some do. Common dog bite injuries victims suffer include:

Broken Bones

A dog bite can cause broken bones, particularly in the face, neck, and legs. The force of a bite can cause bone fractures in other parts of the body, including the arms and ribs. These types of injuries may require surgery, and those who suffer from them often endure long-term pain or disability.

Scarring and Permanent Disfigurement

Permanent scars can result from bite wounds to the face in a dog bite attack. These include the loss of an eye, skin tears, and fractures in the facial bones. Severe injuries require reconstructive surgery and plastic surgery after dog bites to repair muscle damage and reduce the visibility of an embarrassing scar.

Nerve Damage

An attack by a dog can cause nerve damage, causing neurapraxia. Symptoms of neurapraxia include numbness and burning sensations. It may be necessary to undergo physical therapy to treat neurapraxia.

Infections

Puncture wounds from dog bites can result in infections such as tetanus, rabies, and sepsis. Even if a wound appears minor, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to prevent a possible infection from worsening.

Besides physical injuries, a dog bite victim can sustain psychological damages. These damages involve mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a fear of dogs that interferes with daily life.

Understanding Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws

Michigan’s dog bite laws hold the dog owner strictly liable for any damage caused by their dog, regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggressive behavior. According to Michigan dog bite statute 287.351, three key elements are essential in proving dog bite liability on the part of the negligent owner:

  • The person’s injuries resulted from the animal attack
  • The victim did nothing to provoke the dog
  • The injured person had lawful entry into a public property or private property at the time of the attack

How Long Do I Have to Pursue a Claim Following a Dog Bite?

The statute of limitations for filing a dog bite claim is three years from the date of the attack to file a dog bite. Delaying your claim can result in your claim being denied. In the case of a dog bite victim who is a child, the victim can pursue a claim by their 19th birthday.

If a dog has bitten you,  seek legal help as soon as possible. To fully understand what may be owed to you in the aftermath of a dog bite, your best course of action is to speak with a dog bite attorney in Michigan at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C.

Have You Been Bitten by the Dog of a Neighbor or Relative?

If you were bitten by a dog that belongs to someone you know, such as a neighbor or friend, then it may be possible for you to file a claim against that person’s homeowners’ insurance policy. Before filing a claim with your friend or neighbor’s homeowners’ insurance company, consider contacting a dog bite attorney for help with your legal rights and options.

An attorney can also work with the insurance company on your behalf to help you receive compensation for your injuries and related expenses. By filing with the dog owner’s insurance company, you may be able to maintain a civil relationship with your neighbor or friend while still receiving fair compensation following the dog bite attack.

What is the Provocation Defense?

It is standard procedure for the insurance company to use defense tactics to avoid paying out a large settlement. The dog owner and insurance company may use the provocation defense to argue the dog bite victim provoked the dog, indicating the victim of the dog bite is responsible for the bite.

To use the provocation defense, the insurance company must prove that the viciousness of the attack is proportional to the provoking done to the dog. For instance, hitting a dog with a stick until it attacks may represent proportional provocation. However, if a child gently pets a dog and it attacks the child, it would be considered an unproportional act and cannot use this defense tactic.

An experienced dog bite lawyer from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates can put together a legal defense strategy to refute the provocation defense. We can find out who is liable for the damages and use evidence from the attack, such as medical records, pictures and videos, and eyewitness testimonies to prove the dog attacked without provocation.

Can I Claim Compensation for a Dog Bite?

If you have suffered losses and the specific circumstances of your case warrant compensation, you may ‌receive compensation for your dog bite attack injury. The dog bite attorneys at our law firm in Michigan can pursue the following damages on your behalf in a dog bite settlement with the insurance company:

  • Medical expenses: This type of compensation includes medical bills like surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and follow-up visits. These may include future costs of medical treatment.
  • Loss of income for time taken off for your recovery: If your injuries make you unable to perform the same line of work as before, you can claim compensation for diminished earning capacity.
  • Non-economic damages: You may also receive compensation for psychological injuries including pain and suffering, mental trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.

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Contact an Experienced Michigan Dog Bite Attorney Today

If a dog has bitten you and you believe that you have a legal case, seek legal help to gain compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, or trauma. The Michigan dog bite attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. understand the variances of dog bite law in Michigan. We will fight for your right to hold negligent dog owners accountable and win a fair settlement in a dog bite lawsuit so you can begin to rebuild your life.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

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FAQs:

What Should I Do Following a Michigan Dog Bite?

If you’re bitten by a dog in Michigan without provocation, you should clean your wound and apply a sterile bandage. If you suffered serious injuries from the attack, such as broken bones, call emergency services for assistance.

Notify your local animal control agency or the police department to file a written report. Then, visit your doctor for an examination of your wound. Remember to keep all hospital bills related to the medical care of your injuries.

To make an insurance claim for compensation, seek the help of a Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. dog bite injury lawyer in Michigan who has experience in dealing with dog bite cases.

What Happens After You Report a Dog Bite?

The animal control or the police officer investigates the dog’s vaccination status and history of attacks on humans. They also interview you and the dog’s owner to find out what happened in the attack. The officer can recommend appropriate medical care for your injuries.

I am a Fed-Ex, Amazon, UPS, or USPS Driver and I Suffered a Dog Bite Attack. What Are My Options for Compensation?

If you are a delivery driver who sustained injuries from a dog bite incident, file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if you were on the job. This type of claim covers your financial losses, including lost wages and medical expenses.

Since you were legally on private property under postal regulations and Michigan dog bite laws, your experienced dog bite attorney can help you explore your legal options, including a claim for non-economic damages such as emotional trauma.

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.

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Levels of responsibility

Actual damages can be awarded for medical bills, lost income, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, mental stress, permanent disability and similar hardships.

Punitive damages, above and beyond those actually incurred by the victim, are intended to punish the guilty party for reckless or inappropriate behavior. Punitive damages also can function as a deterrent for others.

Cochran, Kroll & Associates will seek payments for expenses resulting from the dog bite, and ensure justice by pursuing punitive damages.

Cochran, Kroll & Associates devotes its practice to representing individuals who are the victims of dog bites, burn or workplace injuries, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, or accidents. Essentially, if a person has been involved in any tragedy involving negligence and requiring compensation, Cochran, Kroll & Associates will provide whatever legal services are required.

Above all else, seek justice

Victims should not hesitate from filing a lawsuit for fear of filing a frivolous lawsuit. That is propaganda created by the insurance industry. Let your attorney, not an insurance agent, determine what’s frivolous and when justice should be pursued.

In America, a jury makes a decision on damages after hearing all of the evidence. The jury award is designed to compensate the injury victim. A fundamental right of all Americans is a trial by jury, allowing our fellow citizens to hear our case and to make a decision. Do not give up any of your rights as a citizen!

Statutes of limitation limit the length of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within that time period you may forever be denied the justice due you. If you have been bitten by a dog and believe that you have a case, it is critical that you seek legal help quickly.

If you believe you are a victim, let Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.

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