Dogs can make fantastic family pets but it’s up to the owners to ensure their dog is kept under control at all times. Sadly, a significant number of people in the U.S. sustain serious injuries caused by dog bites every year. While claiming compensation may not alleviate the physical and psychological harm caused, it can help to overcome the financial and practical difficulties that arise following this type of incident.
Fortunately, many people are able to claim compensation following a dog bite. If you’ve been hurt in Michigan, you should be eligible to make a claim if:
1. Your Injuries Were Caused by a Dog Bite
You’ll need to be able to prove that your injuries were caused the dog bite if you want to obtain compensation for them. If the incident was captured on CCTV or mobile phone footage, for example, this could be valuable evidence.
However, a doctor, consultant or surgeon can also examine your injuries to determine how they were caused. This means you could still claim compensation, even if the attack wasn’t captured on film.
2. You Didn’t Provoke the Dog
Before you’re awarded compensation, you will need to confirm that you didn’t provoke the dog or put it into a fearful situation, thus inciting an attack. Again, video footage can be a useful way to prove that you were the victim of an unprovoked attack. Remember – many commercial and residential buildings are fitted with CCTV, so obtaining footage might be easier than you think.
In addition to this, witness statements can also help to prove that you didn’t provoke the animal, prior to being bitten. If someone was with you at the time of the incident or strangers happened to see the attack take place, their testimonies could help you to secure compensation.
3. You Were in a Public Place or Had Permission to be on Private Property
If you trespass on private property and are subsequently bitten by a dog, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. However, if the attack was in a public place, such as in a park or on the sidewalk, you should be able to proceed with legal action. Alternatively, if you were on private property with the permission of the owner and the incident occurred here, you should still be able to obtain financial compensation for your injuries.
Taking Legal Action After a Dog Bite in Michigan
Although most dog owners are responsible, there are times when even the most vigilant owners are surprised by their dog’s behavior. If a dog is frightened, for example, they may react aggressively. Of course, this doesn’t mitigate the harm you’ve experienced and shouldn’t dissuade you from taking action.
By making a claim and obtaining compensation, you can ensure that you don’t suffer the financial consequences of an incident that wasn’t your fault. Additionally, taking legal action may encourage other dog owners to take a more proactive approach to ensuring their pets are safe around other people.