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Dog bite law

Dog Bite Cases Handled Throughout the United States

Our office aggressively handles dog bite cases throughout the United States. If distance is ever a concern, with current technology we can easily obtain the necessary information through phone, postal mail, email or by fax.

We are licensed to practice in Michigan and Ohio. We also work with a network of attorneys around the country. Depending on the particular circumstances of any given case, we can work with these attorneys where necessary, if the case requires on-site litigation support.

  Dog Bite...what to know

Should I report the attack?
Yes. As soon as possible, report the incident to the local animal control and/or police department or any other proper legal authority.

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Does it matter if whose property I was on?
No. As long as you are on either public property or legally on private property, the dog owner could be held responsible.

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What if the dog has no history of viciousness?
It does not matter whether the dog has former vicious incidents. If you were bitten, and you were the first person ever bitten by the dog, you can still proceed with a claim.

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Can I bring a claim if I was petting the dog before it attacked?
Generally, yes. As long as you did not provoke the dog, then you would possibly be entitled to damages.

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Should I seek medical attention after being attacked by a dog?
If you or someone that you know was injured, you should immediately seek proper medical attention. Often injuries can be minimized by seeking the proper medical attention. It is important that you give a thorough history regarding the accident to your doctor.

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Free case anaylsisShould I take photographs of my injuries?
Yes. Even if you initially do not wish to pursue a claim, at least you will have documentation in the event that you later elect to proceed with a claim.

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Is there any type of insurance that would be responsible for my injuries?
Generally, yes. If the dog's owner has a homeowners insurance policy or renters policy, those types of insurance would normally protect against the loss.

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How long do I have to pursue a claim for injuries sustained in a dog bite?
In Michigan, for adults, there is a three year statute of limitations. This means that you have 3 years from being bitten to resolve the claim or file a lawsuit. Minors have until one year after their 18th birthday to either resolve the claim or file a lawsuit.

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How much are my injuries worth?
Every case is different. There are several factors that go into establishing the value of the claim. As such, you should call our office as shortly after the attack as possible to make sure that the claim is properly handled from the beginning.

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Should I make a statement to the homeowner's insurance company if they call?
Free case anaylsisAlthough every case is different, you should likely not make a statement to any insurance representative without at least making a call to an attorney first. This would likely be the first contact that you have with the insurance company and it must be handled properly.

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The law in Michigan--
M.C.L. §287.351 Person bitten by dog; liability  of owner.

287.351 Person bitten by dog; liability of owner.

Sec. 1. (1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner's property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner's property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

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The law in Ohio--
§ 955.28. Dog may be killed for certain acts; owner liable for damages.

(A) Subject to divisions (A)(2) and (3) of section 955.261 [955.26.1] of the Revised Code, a dog that is chasing or approaching in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, that attempts to bite or otherwise endanger, or that kills or injures a person or a dog that chases, injures, or kills livestock, poultry, other domestic animal, or other animal, that is the property of another person, except a cat or another dog, can be killed at the time of that chasing, approaching, attempt, killing, or injury. If, in attempting to kill such a dog, a person wounds it, he is not liable to prosecution under the penal laws which punish cruelty to animals.

(B) The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog, unless the injury, death, or loss was caused to the person or property of an individual who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer, or was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner's, keeper's, or harborer's property.

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"I highly recommend Ron as an outstanding attorney. He did a great job!"
 Mike T., Lansing, MI
slip and fall accidents

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7035 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 600
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Phone: 248-737-8000 Fax: 248-737-8003

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Disclaimer: Use of this web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Ronald S. Weiss, Esq. or Gerald L. Weiss, Esq. If you send an e-mail and they do not already represent you, your e-mail will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential.

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