Kregelka Law Firm, PLLC 
Attorneys, Counselors and Strategic Planners 
Serving mid-Michigan since 2002

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Dog Bites

   Do you need the help of a Michigan dog bite injury attorney? The attorneys at Capitol Law PLC we hav
 Do you need the help of a Michigan dog bite injury attorney? The attorneys at The Kregelka Law Firm have handled many dog bite injury cases over the years, and we have the expertise needed to win your case. If you or someone close to you has suffered a dog bite injury due to someone else's negligence, call us today at 517-256-9537 for a free consultation and case evaluation

     You pay absolutely no attorney fees unless we win. Although The Kregelka Law Firm has offices in East Lansing, we can help you no matter where you are in Michigan. We routinely make home and hospital visits. We truly go the extra mile for our clients and we believe our experience, past results and personal attention make us different than most other Michigan personal injury attorneys. Find out how we can help you by calling us today. Our number is 517-256-9537.

Michigan Dog Bite Injury Information

       Dog bite laws vary from state to state, but Michigan is one of the states with statutory strict liability, which means that we have stringent laws making owners liable for injuries caused by a dog bite and which are intended to protect others from being needlessly victimized as a result of irresponsible dog owners.

      According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Humane Society of the United States , dog bites requiring medical attention number 500,000 to 800,000 annually. Approximately fifteen of these people will die as a result of these attacks.

      The legal rights of a dog bite victim depend on where and how the attack happens. But dog bite law in Michigan is very strict, and depending upon the circumstances, a victim can recover compensation from: 

  * a dog owner whose dog bites someone without provocation; 

    * a person other than the owner whose negligence caused the attack; 

    * a person other than the owner who violated a leash law or a law prohibiting dogs running at large; and 

    * a person other than the owner who kept a dog with knowledge that the dog had a history of biting. 

      Michigan law recognizes three potential causes of action arising out of a dog bite incident: statutory, common-law strict liability, and common-law negligence. The actions can be pleaded alternatively (at the same time).

   The dog bite statute creates almost strict liability for owners. Under the statute, the only facts necessary to sustain the plaintiff’s case are that the dog bit the plaintiff, that the biting was without provocation, that the defendant owned the dog, and that the plaintiff was lawfully at the location where the incident occurred. Provocation is a fact question for the jury, and actual ownership is required.

    The common-law strict liability action is based on the theory that whoever knowingly keeps an animal accustomed to attacking and injuring persons is prima facie liable to any person attacked and injured. Generally, this action requires proof that the owner or keeper of the animal knew of its vicious nature as a prerequisite to liability.

    Because the statutory action applies only to an owner, common-law strict liability should be pleaded if the animal was under the control of a keeper, not the actual owner, when the alleged incident occurred. The burden of loss under common-law strict liability is allocated on an equitable basis to the party who has introduced the potential danger into the community and either knows of the animal’s abnormal propensity or has had the animal long enough to be chargeable with notice of its dangerous habits. Thus, the defendant need not be the actual owner.

    And finally, a common-law negligence claim is available without regard to whether the owner, keeper, or possessor had knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities if that person was negligent in failing to prevent foreseeable harm and that negligence resulted in an injury. If the defendant knew of dangerous propensities, that knowledge goes to the degree of care required.

    If the dog was in the custody of a temporary caretaker (possessor), as opposed to an owner or keeper, proof of the possessor’s negligent handling of the animal under the circumstances is required. Under the "temporary caretaker" scenario, the only viable theory is common-law negligence.

    Dog bite statistics show that once a dog has bitten, the dog is more likely to bite again. Statistics on dog bites also show that 60% of all dog bite victims are children and that the dog bites they suffer usually occur close to home. While dog bite fatalities are rare, statistics show that 15 to 20 people are killed in vicious fatal dog attacks every year.

    Call Attorney Garry Kregelka today at 517-256-9537 for your free case evaluation.