Michigan law protects victims of dog bites by imposing absolute liability on the dog’s owner. The law has two main goals. First, to prevent dog bites from occurring in the first place, and second to provide compensation for victims of dog bites. A dog owner is liable if his or her dog bites someone in a public place. The owner will also be liable if the dog bites someone on private property, as long as the victim is not trespassing. Michigan law does not require that the victim demonstrate that the dog had any previous vicious tendencies or had ever bitten a person in the past. Overall, Michigan law heavily favors dog bite victims. The only real defense for dog owners is to show that the victim provoked the dog into biting. In those cases, the owner is not liable for the victim’s injuries.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies and renter’s insurance policies provide coverage for dog bite claims. If you own a dog, you should consider reviewing your insurance policies or contact your insurance agent to ensure that you would be covered in the event that your dog bites someone.
If you have been bit by a dog or are concerned about a recent encounter your dog has had with someone, please do not hesitate to contact White Law PLLC with any questions regarding Michigan’s dog bite laws.