Dog bites are common, serious injuries with lasting consequences. Dog bites can require antibiotics, vaccines, sutures, surgery, skin grafting, or even hospitalization.
In addition to their physical injuries, dog bites often leave victims with emotional scars some even suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or fear of dogs. Injured parties deserve compensation for their medical bills and other damages.
If a dog bit or otherwise injured you or someone you love, you can benefit from speaking to our well-versed Flint dog bite lawyers to discover more about your legal options. At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we have assisted clients just like you to get their lives back since 2008.
Why Choose Michigan Injury Lawyers
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and aggressiveness to deliver the fair compensation you deserve after a dog bite. When you hire our firm, you aren't just another face or case number; you are a real person with real injuries and damages who deserves the best legal representation possible.
Our dedicated and knowledgeable legal staff has decades of combined litigation experience in personal injury law. Our proven track record gained recognition from Super Lawyers and membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (a prominent group of top trial attorneys who have secured million-dollar settlements and verdicts for their clients). Less than 1 percent of all attorneys nationwide become members of this forum.
However, our most significant source of validation comes from the referrals we receive from our satisfied clients and their many positive testimonials.
Dog Bite Compensation
Compensation for dog bites should fit the extent of injuries and damages. For example, suppose you suffered a minor dog bite that broke the skin and left some bruising but healed without serious complications or lasting scars. In that case, you will receive compensation commensurate with your experience.
However, if you underwent a finger amputation, skin grafts, and spent several days in the hospital, your compensation should increase because your economic damages, such as lost income and medical expenses, will, too.
It also reflects the intense pain and suffering you endured compared to someone with a lesser injury.
The amount of compensation you receive for a dog bite can also depend on:
- Who bears responsibility for the dog bite
- Where the dog bite occurred
- The actions you took after receiving the bite
- The applicable insurance policies and their limits
- The skills of your Flint dog bite attorney
- Where Do Dog Bites Occur in Flint?
Dog bites can occur anywhere at private residences, on sidewalks in front of houses or retail establishments, and in dog and other community parks, including:
- Davidson Area Dog Park
- Flushing County Dog Park
- Grand Blanc Dog Park
- Birch Run Premium Outlets Dog Park
- Birch Run Community Park
- Southern Links Trailway
- Seven Lakes State Park
- Holly Recreation Area
- What You Need to Know About Flint Dog Bites
Unlike some states, Michigan dog bite laws assign strict liability to dog owners. A dog owner is liable for the actions of their animal, even if they didn't previously know their dog might be vicious or had never bitten anyone in the past. It doesn't matter if it was an attack involving several bites or a single bite.
In addition, Michigan's dog bite laws only apply to bites, but other accidents or injuries caused by dogs can fall under general personal injury laws.
For example, what if your neighbor's dog escapes their backyard, runs up to you, jumps on you, and knocks you down while you unload groceries from your vehicle in your driveway and you end up with a broken nose and facial lacerations? The dog's owner bears liability for your dog bite injuries, even though their dog didn't bite you.
No matter how a dog injures you, always consult an experienced attorney who can explain the law and fight for your rights.
Dog bites or other incidents involving dogs can cause:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Amputations or other disfigurement
Dog Bite Statute of Limitations
Michigan law provides dog bite victims three years from their injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This law is known as the statute of limitations. If you file a claim after this date, the court will throw out your case at the opposing party's request due to the expired deadline. You can meet this crucial deadline by hiring a skilled Flint dog bite lawyer immediately after suffering a dog bite injury.
Fighting the Insurance Company
If a dog injured you, chances are your injuries have coverage under an insurance policy, such as a homeowners insurance policy. However, it's not as simple as submitting your claim and getting paid.
Unfortunately, most insurance companies fight to deny or even devalue dog bite claims so that they can keep more of their profits. You can prevent this from happening to you by hiring an experienced Flint dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining your injury.
Your attorney can:
- File your claim
- Speak to the insurance adjuster so you don't have to
- Limit what medical records they receive
- Prevent you from failing for insurance company tactics
- Ensure you receive the highest settlement possible
- Litigate your claim if a fair settlement isn't possible
Remember that the insurance company might try to delay the processing of your claim, ask for documents you have already sent them, or keep asking for additional documents. They often do this hoping you will just give up on your claim and they won't have to pay it.
The insurance company might also:
- Blame you for the dog bite or attack possibly saying you provoked it or trespassed
- Argue that your injuries were from something else other than their claimant's dog
- Purport that your injuries aren't as bad as you say they are
With a knowledgeable Flint dog bite attorney on your side, you will have someone to stand up for your rights and ensure the insurance company acts in good faith.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
Americans love their pets. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2021, approximately 63.8 million, or nearly 50 percent of households, have at least one pet, with dogs being the most common pet.
Many pet owners, especially dog owners, do not think about their financial liability if their pet hurts someone else. In most situations, Michigan dog owners bear liability if their dog injures another party.
Here are some vital steps you should take if you or your child suffers a dog bite.
Identify the Dog and Its Owner
If possible, you should determine who the dog is and who their owner or custodian is as soon as possible. Get the person's name and address and proof of rabies vaccination.
If the owner cannot prove their animal’s vaccination status, health officials might force you to endure several rabies shots, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Although your Flint dog bite lawyer can help you recover these costs, if you can prove they had their vaccines your doctor may not recommend vaccinating you.
Don't Talk to the Dog's Owner or Insurance Companies
Once you identify the dog and its owner, avoid engaging with them. You don't need to debate the situation or what caused it. You should also avoid speaking with or giving any recorded statements to insurance companies without consulting a seasoned Flint dog bite attorney.
Insurance companies are notorious for taking what injured individuals say and twisting it to suit their own purposes – paying victims less than what their claim is worth.
Obtain Witness Information
If there are witnesses to the bite or attack, do your best to get their information. You don't need to get a statement from them right now. Their contact info will allow your Flint dog bite attorney to contact them when the time is right.
What they have to say may help your personal injury claim. Your local law enforcement agency or animal control agency may also want to get in touch with them, so having their contact information is valuable.
Continue Medical Treatments as Prescribed
Continue getting medical check-ups and treatment as prescribed by your doctor. The risk of infection and scarring is high with dog bites; as such, seek a doctor's care while you recover.
Watch your wounds for signs and symptoms of complications, especially infections. Follow through with any further treatments or care your healthcare team recommends. Not only is this good for your health, but it will also help maximize your compensation for your injuries.
File a Dog Bite Report
Be sure to file a dog bite report with your local law enforcement or animal control office. Filing a report creates a legal record of your bite, which your Flint dog bite attorney will use to help support your claim.
This paper trail also ensures the appropriate action if the same dog bites multiple victims. Once you file the report, obtain a copy for your records.
Take Pictures of Your Injuries
In any personal injury case, pictures of your injuries serve as valuable evidence in your case. Even if you need to briefly unwrap a medical dressing or confer about doing so with your healthcare provider, take pictures as soon as possible to capture the extent of your injuries. Ensure you include all your wounds, including bruises and even torn and bloody clothing resulting from the attack.
Keep an Injury Journal
As soon as you can, start a journal.
This journal should describe the dog bite attack in your own words and include information such as:
- Your physical pain
- Your anxieties or fears arising from the attack
- Any modifications you have had to make to your daily life, such as not participating in sports or hobbies
You and your Flint dog bite attorney can rely on this journal to accurately reveal and communicate the full extent of your damages to the defendant's insurance company.
Schedule a Consultation with a Skilled Flint Dog Bite Lawyer at Michigan Injury Lawyers
Finally, schedule a consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States annually, and over 800,000 of them receive medical attention for dog bites.
This means that a dog bites one out of every 72 people, which is a startling statistic. If you recently became a statistic, we are here to help. We can't undo the damages you incurred or turn back time, but we will do everything possible to make it right.
"Michigan Injury Lawyers fought for my best interest, helped me understand throughout the process and was very patient with my many questions. I have nothing but good things to say about this firm! I feel as though my case was handled professionally and with the utmost care. If you needed to let them know about something urgent, they responded quickly and updated me within the day or the following morning. Nothing but good things to say!" -Shaun N. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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