DOG BITE INJURIES

Personal Injuries Caused by Dog Bites

Dog bite injuries are some of the worst injuries that can occur. Recent studies have shown that approximately 1,000 Americans are attacked by dogs per day. Most attacks occur to young children. Additionally, most injuries to children occur to the facial area.

Medical treatment should be immediately sought. Injuries vary from puncture wounds, lacerations, nerve damage, disability, deformity, infections, rabies, fractures, and even death. Serious scarring usually occurs from the ragged ripping and tearing of skin. Emotional trauma and post traumatic stress are also results of a dog attack.

Breeds of dogs that have a history of viciousness are: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies, Doberman Pinschers and Chows. This is not to say that these dogs will or will not attack, just that they have been noted to attack the most. Every breed of dog has the potential to attack if treated harshly or if they are trained to attack. Owners are therefore normally held responsible for the actions of their dogs.

Victims of dog attacks have rights. Depending on the circumstances of the attack, the dog may be impounded, put to sleep and/or the owner may be held criminally liable for damages. This means that you have the right to sue the owner in court for financial damages for your injuries, past and future medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma.

The January 2009 Dog Bite Law, listed at MCLA 750.66a states that "A person [18 years of age or older] who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both."

The Dog Law of 1919, section 287.321 defines a "dangerous animal" as a dog or other animal that bites a person, or a dog that bites or attacks and causes serious injury or death to another dog while the other dog is on the property or under the control of its owner. It does not include:

1. An animal that bites or attacks a person who is knowingly trespassing on the property of the animal's owner.

2. An animal that bites or attacks a person who provokes or torments the animal.

3. An animal that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in a lawful activity or is the subject of an assault.

The Dog Law of 1919, section 287.351 also states that:

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 ownerís 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 ownerís 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.


Protect your rights if bitten by a dog, call Elhart & Horvath, P.C., at 1-800-968-4534 or (231) 946-2420, for your free consultation.


Download HIPAA Medical Form.doc Download Personal Injury Questionnaire.doc Download Dog Bite Q&A.doc Download TREATMENT OF INJURIES FROM DOG BITES.doc Download WHAT TO DO IF BITTEN BY A DOG.doc