Who Is the Most Experienced Dog Bite Attorney in Michigan?
If you’ve been involved in an altercation with a dog, you want the best legal advice. Dog attacks are terrifying, and the aftermath can be confusing and emotionally fraught, especially if you know the dog owner.
If you’ve decided to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, choose a law firm that understands the statute of limitations involving dog attacks.
Your Michigan dog bite lawyer should also understand the critical steps to proving liability and what steps to take to secure financial compensation from the dog owner or the dog owner’s insurance company.
Dog Bite Injury Statistics
This type of injury is not altogether uncommon. Every year, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by canines. Between 1993 and 2008, there was an 86% increase in dog bite occurrences. Each day, according to DogBite.org, 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for dog bites.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog badly enough to seek medical attention, you want the best Michigan dog bite attorney on your side who understands dog bite laws and personal injury claims.
What To Do To Prevent a Dog Bite
There are some actions you can take to prevent getting bitten. However, if a dog is aggressive, the best course of action is to put as much space between you and the animal as possible.
Other tips to avoid animal attacks are to be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially if there is a strange dog present. Children can be taught to always ask a dog owner before approaching a dog.
There are some instances in which a dog attack can’t be avoided, no matter what the dog bite victim does or doesn’t do. In these instances, you should take the appropriate steps to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
What To Do After a Dog Bite
If you have been in an altercation with a dog, get away from the animal and make sure that it’s under control. Press a clean cloth to the wound, rinse it with warm water and soap, and put a sterile bandage on it.
Although extenuating circumstances may disallow it, you should try and get the dog owner’s name and contact information, as well as any information regarding the dog’s last rabies vaccination. If there are any eyewitnesses, get their information too, as their testimony will prove invaluable to your claim.
Report the attack to police or Animal Control, and take pictures of the wounds as soon after that attack as you can as they will most likely be used in your dog bite claim. The officers will also conduct a preliminary investigation and will ascertain the dog’s rabies status.
Under Michigan Law, there is strict liability in dog bite cases. This means the dog’s owner is liable for all damages and harm inflicted by their animal. In some cases, this may mean that a landlord is responsible for the attack as well.
Dog bite attacks can be complicated as, much of the time, the victim knows the dog owner. Some victims are reluctant to report the attack or file a claim. However, once medical bills and sick days catch up to you, you may reconsider.
Most of the time, the dog owner does not pay anything out of pocket in the aftermath of a dog bite; usually, it is the dog owner’s insurance company that will pay the settlement.
Personal injury lawyers who are well-versed in dog bite claims also retain the utmost confidentiality as they understand how fraught these situations can be.
Statute of Limitations
Under Michigan law, dog bite victims have three years from the attack date to file a claim against the dog owner. Nevertheless, it is helpful to start these proceedings as soon as possible to mitigate future expenses that the accident accrued.
Minors have until they are 19 years old to file a claim in the event of a dog attack, no matter when they were bitten.
The Final Word
Dog attacks are terrifying and emotionally fraught for everyone involved. If a dog has bitten you or a loved one in Michigan, there are certain aspects of these types of personal injury claims that you should know.
Liability and the statute of limitations are two areas to acquaint yourself with, but you also need to understand the specific steps to take in the aftermath of a dog bite.