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5 Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Accident

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

When a dog bites a person, physical injuries range in severity but may require reconstructive surgery, physical therapy, or plastic surgery. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, the victim may also suffer long-term psychological trauma.

Michigan is one of the top states to report injuries from dog bites. In 2021, Detroit placed 9th on the national ranking the United States Postal Service releases each year, while Michigan ranked 5th for the number of dog bite claims at 892 for 2021. These claims are also steadily rising, with a 9% increase in nationwide claims between 2012 and 2021.

What Are Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws?

According to the Michigan dog bite statute, the dog’s owner shall be liable for all injuries inflicted by the dog. But the law makes three essential points that must all be confirmed to hold the owner accountable:

  • The dog attacked the person, and the attack directly caused all injuries.
  • The injured person did not provoke the dog in any way.
  • The victim was lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s property, or was present on public grounds at the time of the attack.

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Five Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite Attack

If you happen to be one of the hundreds of people in Michigan to experience a dog bite accident, you must follow the necessary next steps. This ensures you are rightfully compensated for physical or emotional suffering and lost income or medical bills.

Attend to the Wound Accordingly

Immediately after the attack, cleaning and dressing the wound with appropriate bandaging is essential, and if required, calling emergency services for additional assistance. Dog bites, even minor ones, can cause infections that can lead to fever, vomiting, headache, and even further complications like heart attack, kidney failure, or gangrene.

Document Evidence

Once you’ve attended to your injuries or sought medical attention, you need to document your injuries and the clothes you wore if they were damaged. If possible, you should take photos of the location, the dog, and other relevant information, such as medical information pertinent to a claim.

File a Written Report of the Incident

After the incident, a written report should be completed to start the documentation. A report can be submitted to your local police department or animal control agency. Following the filing, the agency will review the dog’s vaccination status and any other reported attacks. Interviews will be conducted to obtain all necessary details of the attack.

Follow Medical Advice

Even if you did not seek immediate medical attention, care after the incident is still necessary to ensure the wound is healing correctly, assess any further damage or complications that could arise, and avoid medical problems in the future. You will most likely also need tetanus and rabies shots as a precaution.

You must keep all medical bills related to the attack and keep them with all the other evidence you are collecting. If the offending dog’s owner is found strictly liable for your injuries, you will need these records later to receive proper reimbursement.

Contact a Law Firm

While Michigan state law allows three years after the attack to file a lawsuit, you should seek help from a law firm as soon as possible to receive maximum compensation for any injuries resulting from the attack. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can start building a case.

Before becoming an attorney at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., Eileen E. Kroll worked as a nurse, bringing a wealth of medical knowledge and experience to the practice. She specializes in claims involving medical issues and complications from accidents such as dog bites.

Potential Compensation in a Dog Bite Case

Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. pledges to deliver maximum reparations for the dog bite victim. The dog owner may be liable for any damages incurred by the person bitten, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental stress
  • Permanent disability

Get Started With an Experienced Attorney

If you were the victim of a dog bite accident in Michigan, the skilled dog bite lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. are experts on Michigan’s dog bite law. We can help you navigate your dog bite claim and secure your rightful reimbursement.

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.

Disclaimer: The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel, and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Alan is a writer and engineer who works predominantly in the medical sciences field. As a sports fan, Alan spends his downtime playing or watching basketball, tennis, and soccer.

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