Making dangerous dog owners carry a minimum of $250,000 in liability insurance addresses a compensation problem that many Michigan dog bite victims face, Bloomfield Hills personal injury attorney Thomas L. Stroble says.
Bloomfield Hills, MI (PRWEB) May 11, 2011
An Oakland County personal injury lawyer who represents Michigan dog bite victims has praise for a recently enacted Rochester Hills ordinance that will require dangerous dog owners to carry a minimum level of liability insurance.
Under Ordinance No. 561, which took effect April 1, a person deemed to be the owner of a “dangerous dog” must register the animal. One of the requirements to obtain a registration certificate is proof the owner has at least $250,000 in liability insurance coverage that covers animal bites.
“Even when a dog owner’s liability is established, it may be difficult securing compensation when the owner lacks adequate liability insurance or has no insurance at all,” said Thomas L. Stroble, an experienced Oakland County dog bite attorney and founder of the Bloomfield Hills personal injury law firm, The Michigan Injury Lawyers, P.C.
“That’s a serious problem when a dog bite victim needs that compensation to pay for medical bills and other expenses, including disfigurement and disability,” Stroble said.
“That’s why I applaud the City of Rochester Hills for passing this ordinance. It doesn’t ban dangerous dogs or single out specific breeds, but it does force dangerous dog owners to take responsibility for owning a dangerous animal.”
Dog bites and animal attacks have become a serious problem in Michigan and throughout the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S., with nearly 20 percent of those victims requiring medical treatment for their dog bite injuries. Children face the highest risk of being the victim of a dog attack, the CDC states.
In response to this problem, some cities and counties have passed ordinances that ban certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, presa canarios, Alaskan malamutes and Doberman pinschers.
However, the Rochester Hills ordinance doesn’t prohibit the ownership of a particular breed of dog or deem a dog to be “dangerous” based solely on its breed.
Instead, the ordinance defines a “dangerous dog” as one that has bitten, attacked or inflicted injury on a person or caused serious physical injury to a person’s dog, cat or livestock. The dog is not deemed dangerous if the attack occurred while the victim was committing a crime, trespassing on the dog owner’s property or provoked the attack.
Stroble pointed out that the Rochester Hills ordinance, as well as other local laws, may be used to establish a dog owner’s liability in a personal injury lawsuit.
The attorney also said that dog bite victims may pursue relief through Michigan’s strict liability dog bite statute. Under the law, a dangerous dog owner can be held liable for a bite or attack even if the dog had previously displayed good behavior and wasn’t known by the owner to bite.
Because establishing liability and securing compensation can be complicated issues, Stroble said it’s important to consult with an experienced Michigan dog bite lawyer after being attacked.
“Being attacked by a dog can be a traumatic and painful experience,” Stroble said. “At The Michigan Injury Lawyers, P.C., we thoroughly review each dog attack case and review all legal options that are available to obtain funds that victims need to recover and move on.”
About The Michigan Injury Lawyers, P.C.
The Michigan Injury Lawyers, P.C. is a full-service Bloomfield Hills, MI personal injury law firm that represents dog bite / animal attack victims and their families throughout the state of Michigan, including Macomb County, Oakland County, Warren, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Mount Clemens, Utica, Roseville, Troy, Farmington Hills, Waterford, Southfield, Pontiac, Birmingham, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills. The firm’s personal injury practice areas also include truck accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, birth injuries, slip and fall, medical malpractice and wrongful death. To learn more about The Michigan Injury Lawyers, P.C., call (248) 454-0800 or (888) 454-0801 or use the firm’s online contact form.