How to Prove Personal Injury from a Dog Bite

How to Prove Personal Injury from a Dog Bite Grand Rapids, MI

If you or a loved one were recently bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dog bite attorneys can help you receive damages for medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, and other injury-related expenses. 

In Michigan, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the day you were bitten. For this reason, it’s important to file your personal injury claim before the deadline. Otherwise, the courts will refuse to hear your case, no matter how deserving.

Continue reading to learn how to prove personal injury from a dog bite.

Our dog bite attorneys can help you prove that:

  • Personal injury was caused by dog
  • The dog bite was unprovoked
  • You were on public property at the time of the bite or on private property with permission

1. Personal Injury Was Caused by Dog

Michigan is a “strict liability” state where it concerns dog bite law. This means dog owners aren’t able to claim ignorance of their dog’s aggression to avoid paying damages. Regardless of whether the dog showed signs of being dangerous or likely to bite, the owner will be held accountable.

After being bitten by a dog, it’s important that you seek medical treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing wounds immediately with soap and water to reduce your risk of infection, especially if you suspect rabies. 

Your doctor will be able to treat the dog bite injury and determine whether treatment for rabies is necessary. The extent of your injury will also be documented by your doctor, which our dog bite attorneys can later use as evidence.

2. The Dog Bite Was Unprovoked

You must be able to prove that the dog bite was unprovoked. This stipulation prevents people from being able to antagonize a dog only to later seek compensation for being bitten. Most dogs only snap or bite when they feel threatened. However, there are cases where an aggressive dog can cause serious personal injury.

If your dog bite was unprovoked, our personal injury attorney will be able to help you provide the necessary evidence to build your case. For example, we can contact witnesses who saw you being bit while in your backyard minding your own business.

3. Location of Dog Attack

Where you were at the time of the dog bite will have a significant impact on your case. You will need to be able to prove that you were on public property at the time of the bite or on private property with permission. 

For example, you would be able to file a claim if you were jogging on the sidewalk when you were bitten. Likewise, you’d be able to seek compensation for a dog bite if you had been invited to a friend’s or neighbor’s house. However, you would not be eligible for compensation if you were trespassing on private property.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

The first thing to do after a dog bite is to get yourself to safety. Once you’re away from the dog, take pictures of your injuries as soon as you can. You should seek medical attention after a dog attack, but there are a few things you should do at the scene before you do. 

First, call 911. If you plan to press charges, an investigator should come to survey the scene. Animal control should be called as well, as they are well-equipped to handle even the most aggressive dogs.

Take as many photos of the scene as possible, including any evidence that the dog was able to attack you due to negligence on the part of the owner. If possible, try to find out the name and address of the owner, although the responding officer will be able to do this if you can’t. 

After seeking medical attention, be sure to keep any torn or bloody clothing to be used as potential evidence. If there were witnesses, you should ask them for a statement on what they saw. A personal injury attorney will be able to use all of this evidence to build your case.

Need an Attorney?

Our personal injury attorneys will fight aggressively for your rights so you can get the compensation you deserve. To schedule your consultation with our Grand Rapids dog bite attorneys, call Beurkens Law at (616) 459-5344.

This blog post has been updated.

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