Dog Bite Injuries
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When is the Right Time to Sue Over Dog Bite Injuries?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a canine, you may be due financial compensation for your injuries. Dog-biting incidents are relatively common and can result in major or minor injuries, but they can also be complicated, with tension rising between the victim and the dog’s owner.

To fully understand what you may be due to you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, consult a lawyer who fully understands the nature of dog bite cases. Before pursuing a dog bite lawsuit, you need to learn some statistics, strict liability, dog bite laws, and provocation issues.

Dog Bite Statistics

There are some terrifying statistics available about how often dog bites occur and the severity of the attack. Luckily, most dogs are friendly and wouldn’t dream of attacking a human. However, some dogs have aggressive tendencies and can cause injuries.

In the United States, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually. Out of these bites, 1 out of 5 gets infected. Since 1993, there’s been an 86% increase in hospital stays related to dog attacks. Rural areas seem to be more affected than urban areas, with 4 times as many emergency room visits and 3 times more hospital stays due to dog bites.

Dog attacks are a terrifying ordeal. You may know the owner as a friend or family member and not want to seek compensation, but once the bills and the number of days off work you’ve missed start to pile up, it may be time to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer.

If you or a loved one has been attacked and bitten by a dog, you need to know if the owner is liable to file a personal injury claim. Once you are well enough or have recovered enough from the dog attack, seek a personal injury lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to get what you’re due.

Who is Liable?

You could sue for compensation if the attacks occurred on public lands or your private property. If you were legally on the dog owner’s property, like at a party or gathering, and you were bitten, you might also be due compensation.

Under Michigan law, the dog owner is liable for any damage or harm the animal inflicts on another person. To prove liability, you have first to verify that the person owns the dog and that the dog bit another person.

Licensing, vaccination records, and vet documents help prove that a person is the owner of an animal. It usually is not hard to determine that a dog bite occurred, as there is often a wound or scar at the site of the dog bite. Eyewitnesses also make up a central component of your injury claim.

Liability is especially crucial for the insurance company claims and other critical aspects of your case. The law offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. understands Michigan’s laws and statutes about animal control, who is liable, and other factors. These key facts help your lawyer file a dog bite personal injury suit on your behalf.

Factors for Dog Bite Compensation

Some of the factors that play into how much you might get for a dog bite include the age of the victim, the severity and location of the wounds, the long term effects, and any medical bills or lost wages due to the attack.

The amount of insurance coverage the dog owner has will also affect how much you get in your dog bite claim. To settle this type of claim, the owner of the dog, the owner’s insurance company, the victim, and the victim’s personal injury lawyers meet to discuss settlement.

Usually, the settlement is provided by the owner, the owner’s insurance company, or a combination of the two.

Issues of Provocation

Dog bite cases can become complicated quickly. Emotions may run high, especially if the victim and dog owner knew one another. In rare cases, the insurance company may try to pin the blame on the victim by stating they provoked the dog into an attack, which would imply that the accident was the victim’s fault.

Experienced personal injury lawyers understand the discrepancy necessitated by these cases. When you hire a law firm well-versed in these types of cases, you enter into an attorney-client relationship that guarantees discretion. The attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. know the ins and outs of these delicate cases and act professionally and tactfully.

Statutes of Limitation

Under Michigan law, a dog bite victim has three years to begin filing a suit against the dog owner and the owner’s insurance company. Dog bites are considered personal injuries, and so your attorney would file a personal injury claim if you were to seek damages and compensation after a dog attack.

Children have up until the age of 19 to file a suit, no matter what age they were when they were bitten. However, it is in the client’s best interests if the claim is filed as soon as possible. The faster your personal injury attorney presents the complaint, the sooner you can be reimbursed for the pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.

Filing a suit against the dog owner

The Last Word

If you or a loved one has been involved in a dog attack in Michigan, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. understand the delicate nature and timing of these cases. Call us at 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation.

Experienced personal injury lawyers like those at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates understand the delicacy of these cases, the factors that determine liability, and the statute of limitations.

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.

Mary MacInnes grew up in the Northeast and attended school and graduate school there. Professionally, she's been a professor, novelist, and writes for law blogs. In her free time, she likes to travel and read biographies of various Justices of the Peace.



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