Dogs have long been known as man's best friend, providing companionship, loyalty, and love. However, a dog's behavior can take a dangerous turn, resulting in dog bites and serious injuries. If you or someone you know is a victim of a dog bite incident, an experienced Lansing dog bite lawyer can explain your rights and legal options.
Dog bites can have devastating consequences, causing physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. Still, with the help of a knowledgeable Lansing dog bite attorney from Michigan Injury Lawyers, you can navigate the overwhelming legal complexities and seek the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have the skills and knowledge to help you during this difficult time.
Why Choose Michigan Injury Lawyers
The difference between an inadequate financial recovery and a fair settlement reflecting the full extent of your dog bite injury and damages is only possible with experienced legal representation.
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we believe the law is about real peoples' needs and rights. When you walk into our office seeking legal help, you aren't just another number to us. You are a crucial part of our practice. We strive to do all we can to obtain the compensation you deserve after suffering a devastating dog bite injury.
Since 2008, Attorney Thomas Stroble and our Michigan Injury Lawyers team have helped clients regain their lives after a severe injury. Our focus is on the clients we are privileged to serve.
Our Lansing dog bite attorneys are committed to serving you.
How Much Is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
After suffering serious dog bite injuries, you may wonder how much your case might recover. The exact value of a dog bite case depends on several factors specific to the incident and the resulting damages.
The value of a dog bite case typically includes economic, such as lost income and medical bills, and non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
Factors that can influence the value of a Lansing dog bite claim include:
The cost of medical treatment related to the dog bite is a significant factor in determining the case's value. You deserve compensation for all your related medical costs, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any future medical expenses that may arise from the injury.
Suppose the dog bite injury causes you to miss work or affects your earning capacity. In that case, you may recover compensation for lost income. This includes the income you have already lost and any potential future earnings the injury may impact.
Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish caused by the dog bite also impact a claim's value. The severity and long-term effects of the injury, as well as the psychological impact it has on your life, are factors in determining how much you should receive for pain and suffering damages.
Scarring and Disfigurement
If the dog bite results in permanent scarring or disfigurement, the extent and visibility of the scars will affect the case's value. Visible scarring or disfigurement often results in higher compensation.
Permanent Impairment or Disabili
Suppose the dog bite causes permanent impairment or disability that affects your ability to perform daily activities, work, or enjoy life. In that case, it can significantly increase the value of your case.
Negligence and Liability
The circumstances surrounding the dog bite incident and the level of negligence on the part of the dog owner or responsible party will play a role in determining the case's value.
For example, suppose your Lansing dog bite attorney can prove that the dog's owner knew about the dog's aggressive tendencies or failed to take reasonable precautions. That can increase the compensation amount as it shows extreme negligence on the part of the dog owner.
Available Insurance Coverage
The available insurance coverage of the dog or property owner can impact the case's potential value. If the dog owner has homeowner's or renter's insurance that covers dog bite injuries, it may provide a reliable source of compensation.
Each dog bite case is unique, and the value will depend on its specific circumstances. Consulting with an experienced Lansing dog bite attorney can provide a more accurate assessment of your case's value.
Your attorney can evaluate the details, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company or pursue legal action to help you obtain fair compensation for your dog bite injuries and related damages.
Where Do Dog Bites Occur in Lansing, Michigan
Dog bites can occur anywhere there are dogs in and around Lansing, Michigan. All it takes is just one dog.
They can happen at residential homes, on sidewalks or streets near houses or retail establishments, and in dog and other community parks, including:
- Soldan Dog Park
- Lansing River Trail
- Hawk Island Park
- Sleepy Hollow State Park
- Northern Trail Dog Park
- Joey's Pet Outfitters Dog Park
What You Need to Know About Michigan Dog Bites
Michigan operates under a "strict liability" standard regarding dog bite cases. According to Michigan Compiled Laws §287.351, the dog's owner is strictly liable for any damages caused by their dog biting another person, regardless of the dog's history or the owner's knowledge of its aggressive behavior.
This means that the owner is responsible for compensating the victim for their injuries and damages, even if this was the first time the dog bit someone or acted aggressively.
Unlike some other states, Michigan does not follow the "one-bite rule." As such, dog owners can't claim ignorance of their dog's aggressive tendencies or lack of previous incidents as a defense. Regardless of whether the dog has bitten someone before, the owner is still liable for the damages caused by the dog.
Public Place vs. Private Property
Michigan's dog bite laws apply to both public places and private property. Suppose you are lawfully present in a public area or on someone else's property with their permission. That makes the owner liable for any injuries caused by their dog. This includes public parks, sidewalks, or when visiting someone's home.
Under Michigan law, you must report the incident to the local authorities or animal control if a dog has bitten you or your child. This helps ensure public safety and allows for appropriate documentation of the incident.
Statute of Limitations
In Michigan, there is a specific time limit within which you must file a dog bite lawsuit. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including dog bites, is generally three years from the date of the incident. Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe may make your claim time-barred.
After sustaining a dog bite, seeking legal advice from an experienced Lansing dog bite lawyer is highly recommended to ensure your rights are protected and to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. By understanding the laws and taking appropriate legal action, you can pursue justice and hold dog owners accountable for their pet's actions.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can give rise to all types of injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Avulsion injuries
- Soft Tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Emotional and psychological trauma
Fighting the Insurance Company
Unfortunately, insurance companies are generally only watching out for their best interests. This means denying, devaluing, and delaying claims whenever possible for any reason they can. They know that they have the upper hand against injured parties. However, the game quickly changes when these parties have legal representation.
When dealing with an insurance company to obtain compensation for dog bite damages, it's important to be proactive and prepared. The best way to accomplish this is with a well-versed Lansing dog bite attorney by your side.
Your lawyer will guide you through the legal process, handle negotiations with the insurance company, and protect your rights. An attorney can provide valuable advice and advocate for maximum compensation on your behalf.
If all attempts to negotiate fail, you may need to file a lawsuit against the dog owner. Your attorney will guide you through this process and represent your interests in court. However, keep in mind that personal injury lawsuits can be time-consuming and costly, so exploring settlement options is usually preferable.
Insurance companies often attempt to decrease their payout, so having an experienced attorney by your side can level the playing field. They will fight for your rights and work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your dog bite injuries, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
If a dog bites you, it protect your legal rights and:
Identify the Dog and Its Owner
Obtain as much information as possible about the dog and its owner. If you're able, make a note of the dog's breed, size, color, and any distinguishing characteristics. Get the owner's name, contact information, and any relevant details about the dog's vaccination history, especially for rabies.
Document the Incident
Take photos of your injuries, including any visible wounds, bruises, or swelling. If there were any witnesses present during the dog bite, try to obtain their contact information as well. Their statements can support your claim later on. Your Lansing dog bite attorney can contact them later to get their testimony.
Report the Incident
Contact local animal control or law enforcement to report the dog bite incident. Provide them with all the details about the incident, including a description of the dog and its owner. You must document the incident and help prevent future attacks. Get a copy of any reports you or law enforcement make.
Keep any documentation related to your injury, such as medical records, bills, and receipts for treatment, medications, or therapy. You can also take pictures of your injuries and anything related, such as ripped or bloody clothing or shoes. This evidence will help prove your injuries and damages to support your claim.
Avoid Making Statements or Accepting Settlements
Always be cautious about providing statements to insurance companies or accepting settlement offers without consulting your attorney first. Insurance companies may try to minimize their liability and offer low settlements
They may also try to get you to settle before you even have a chance to seek legal representation. When you hire a Lansing dog bite attorney, they can guide you regarding your claim's true value, ensure your rights are protected, and work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Consult with a Skilled Lansing Dog Bite Attorney
One of the most crucial steps you need to take after suffering a dog bite injury is to contact a skilled Lansing dog bite lawyer.
They can provide you with legal guidance, evaluate the circumstances of the incident, and advise you on your rights and the potential compensation you may be entitled to. The laws regarding dog bites can vary by jurisdiction, so it's crucial to consult with an attorney familiar with your area's laws.
Michigan Injury Law offers no-obligation case consultations to dog bite victims. Call our personal injury law firm in Lansing at (517) 435-9370 or contact us online to schedule yours today. We are ready to help you.
"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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