Your dog just bit someone–what do you do now?
First step: keep calm and ascertain the facts. Was there a provocation that caused this bite? Was the victim lawfully at the location where the bite occurred? Does your dog have a record of aggressive behavior in the past? Was there damage sustained? Realize that in some cases it doesn’t have to be a bite. There could be damages from chasing, scratching, or even jumping on someone.
Second step: speak calmly with the person your dog bit (or scratched) and try to find an amicable resolution. Most likely, even if they do not want to pursue legal action, the police will be called and a report made. If they want to pursue legal action, you need to give me a call.
There are three potential legal causes of action in the state of Michigan concerning dog bites. One of the causes of action was created by the legislature and it does not require that you have any knowledge of the potential danger that your dog could cause. All it requires is: 1) a person was bitten; 2) you own the dog; 3) the dog was not provoked; and 4) the person that was bitten was somewhere they were legally allowed to be.
Did you know you can get sued if you are watching a friend’s dog and it bites someone? If you are watching someone’s dog for them and it bites someone, you can be sued in a common-law negligence action. Your responsibility in the law is you act reasonably to prevent the foreseeable harm of someone being bitten if you know that dog has attacked before or if you have been watching the dog long enough to know is dangerous.
This is where it can get gray–what would be considered acting reasonably to prevent foreseeable harm? This is where I come in. I can give you a legal understanding of the situation and make sure that you know your rights and that you are given fair and just legal representation.
In the alternative, if you have been bitten by a dog, I can see that you get financially compensated for your injuries.
Want to learn more? Reach out to me for a consultation.