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Got a new puppy for Christmas? Learn about dog bite laws in Michigan

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Personal Injury

Since time immemorial, humans and canines have made great companions. However, if the puppy you got for Christmas bites someone, you can find yourself in legal trouble regardless of how cute and loveable they are. Michigan dog bite laws empower victims of dog bites to seek compensation for their injuries.

Since dogs cannot be held accountable for exhibiting their natural behavior, the liability for harm caused by a bite falls on pet parents. And since the liability of dog owners for dog bites varies depending on jurisdiction, learning about dog bite law in your state can help you make sense of such scenarios.

Michigan dog bite laws

Michigan follows a strict liability rule when it comes to dog bites. Essentially, dog owners are held responsible for any bite-related injuries or damages caused by their pets, regardless of the animal’s previous behavior. Dog owners in the state must be vigilant and take proactive measures to prevent their pets from posing a threat to others.

Ensuring that your dog is adequately restrained, whether on a leash or within a secure enclosure, is fundamental. This can help prevent unexpected incidents and can ensure the safety of your pet and those around you. Supervision is also crucial, especially when your dog is around unfamiliar individuals, children or other animals. Being attentive to your dog’s behavior can help you intervene if necessary, avoiding potential issues.

Consequences of violating dog bite laws

The state’s strict liability approach means that consequences for violating dog bite laws can be severe. Dog owners may be held financially liable for damages resulting from a dog bite incident unless the bite victim provoked the dog. In extreme cases, serious dog bite incidents can lead to legal action, including fines and potential restrictions on dog ownership.

Reporting dog bites

If your dog bites someone, taking immediate action is essential. For starters, you should try to ensure that the person bitten receives prompt medical treatment. Remember, even minor bites can lead to infections, so addressing the issue at an early stage is crucial. Additionally, in compliance with state law, you’ll want to report the dog bite incident to local authorities. This helps create a record of the incident and can ensure that proper measures are taken to prevent future incidents.

Owning a puppy comes with the responsibility of understanding and adhering to the state’s dog bite laws. By proactively preventing incidents and being aware of your responsibilities, you can cultivate a happy and healthy relationship with your canine companion.