When you experience a dog bite attack in Lansing, Michigan, you may suffer from a common injury like a bite wound or a broken bone, but you may also experience emotional distress. Medical expenses from required treatments and surgeries can quickly add up. You might have missed work because of the altercation, increasing the financial burden and emotional trauma on you and your family.
A personal injury attorney at the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. can help navigate the legal process of confirming liability in a dog bite attack and any negligent actions by the owner. They can work with you to determine your legal options and help you receive financial compensation for your injury and lost wages.
Michigan’s dog bite statute holds the dog’s owner responsible for damages caused by the dog. The pet owner is legally liable regardless of whether the dog exhibited violent behavior and even if they were unaware of the dog’s history.
You may hold a dog owner fully responsible for your physical injuries and other damages if you can establish:
If you can prove all these legal requirements against the dog and its owner, you can hold the owner liable for an animal bite injury. You can receive compensation for a dog bite by filing an insurance claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. Our knowledgeable dog bite lawyers can help you through the personal injury claims process with the dog owner’s insurer.
In Michigan, you may file a dog bite personal injury lawsuit within the three-year statute of limitations after the incident. Children under the age of 18 are exempt from the three-year statute of limitations. If the dog bite injury victim is a minor in an unprovoked dog attack, they have until their 19th birthday to file their claim.
Personal injury claims are unique, and the compensation awarded depends on the circumstances of your case. Factors that play into your settlement include:
A knowledgeable dog bite attorney can calculate the damages by overseeing the evidence from your dog attack. You may get financial compensation for any medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages you suffer because of the attack.
The dog owner’s lawyer may use these legal defenses to avoid holding the owner liable for damages.
Trespassing: The dog owner is not liable if you are illegally or unknowingly trespassing on private property. Trespassing involves a certain amount of risk, so the dog’s owner cannot be held responsible for the dog’s reasonable efforts to protect the property.
Provocation: The owner’s lawyer must prove that your actions agitated, excited, or irritated the dog for a provocation defense. As a result, the dog reacted proportionately to the degree of provocation. A provocation defense does not include if a dog bites you while petting it.
Another provocation defense is when you unintentionally provoke the dog. The dog owner might claim provocation if you step on a dog by accident, causing the dog to bite you.
Working closely with an experienced dog bite lawyer can help hold the dog owner accountable for the dog’s behavior towards you. They can review the evidence to assert that you were legally on the property and did nothing to provoke the dog.
The personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. can collaborate with you to gather evidence for a substantial compensation claim against the dog owner in a Lansing dog bite case. We can use these types of evidence for your case:
If you suffered facial injuries such as muscle damage or nerve damage, you might have needed surgery to repair them. The attack may have left an embarrassing scar that a plastic surgeon or other medical provider had to stitch up. You may also require emergency medical attention from an urgent care clinic if you notice a severe infection developing around your bite wounds.
You may seek psychological counseling to help deal with the accompanying mental anguish of a dog attack. Our senior partner and nurse attorney, Eileen Kroll, can examine your medical records to see how much your medical care has already cost you and help estimate future expenditures.
She can also discuss the emotional trauma and psychological injuries you suffered after the attack. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make a difference in your recovery and help alleviate your emotional distress.
Your lawyer may determine the degree of your injuries and the physical damages using photos of puncture wounds from the dog attack. These images can show the permanent scars resulting from the injuries, including where they are located and the healing stage of the wounds. Photos can also indicate signs of infection requiring medical care.
Your lawyer can uncover information about what happened before, during, and after the dog bite attack with video evidence. Personal injury lawyers can ask a witness for a video of the attack they recorded on their phone or visit a local business to ask for footage from their surveillance camera.
The police report records the time of day and location of the dog bite. It also contains witness accounts and information on the dog owner. If you plan to take legal action with a dog bite lawsuit, a police report can help you prove your case. A report from animal control can also show a dog’s history of previous aggression and dog bite attacks.
An experienced personal injury attorney can interview any witness to the dog bite incident, including video interviews. Witnesses may provide first-hand accounts that can help you prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
Records from the dog’s veterinarian may be required to confirm that the dog was healthy before the attack. They may also reveal whether the dog had previously shown aggressive behavior. If the matter goes to court, a Michigan dog bite lawyer will use the facts to develop a strong strategy for your case.
A dog bite attorney from the personal injury law firm of Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C. can make it easier for you to prove liability when a dog has bitten you. Our lawyers can help you get maximum compensation for any expenses in your injury claim in the event of dog bite injuries.
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 office today at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
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