Dog Bite

Protecting You When a Dog Isn't Your Best Friend

Dog Bite Attorneys in Michigan

As the saying goes, dogs are a man’s best friend. However, not all dogs may act kindly towards humans, and it is the owner who must maintain control of their pet.

 If you or someone close to you has sustained a dog bite injury, know that Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys is here to help. Call today to schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys, or keep reading to learn more about Michigan’s laws surrounding dog bites.

Understanding Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws

Michigan law recognizes three potential causes of action arising out of a dog bite incident: statutory, common-law strict liability, and common-law negligence.


A claim under Michigan’s dog bite statute, MCL 287.35, arises where an individual is bitten by a dog while in a public place or lawfully on private property and the bite was without provocation. In this situation, “the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person who was bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

Common-Law Strict Liability

In a common-law strict liability claim arises where an individual is bitten by a dog while in a public place or lawfully on private property, and the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities.

Common-Law Negligence

A common-law negligence action arises where the plaintiff was in a public place or lawfully on private property; the owner, keeper, or possessor (temporary caretaker) had prior knowledge of the animal’s dangerous propensities, had the animal long enough to be chargeable with notice of its dangerous propensities; or was negligent under the circumstances, i.e., breached a duty to plaintiff; and the animal bit or attacked the plaintiff, causing damages.

The statute of limitations on all of these claims is three years from the date of the bite. If the person who was bitten was underage at the time of the attack, this deadline is extended to their 19th birthday.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

There are several types of injuries that can happen after a dog bite, including:

  • Puncture Wounds
  • Eye & Facial Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Lacerations
  • Infections
  • Scratches
  • Disfigurement
  • Scars
  • Nerve Damage
  • Rabies
  • Head & Neck Injuries
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Emotional Distress

Some dog bite injuries can even lead to death. No matter how minor the injury is, you should always take it seriously.

What to Do After Sustaining a Dog Bite Injury

Taking action right away after a dog bite is of the utmost importance. If you are bitten by a dog, here are the steps that we recommend that you take:

  1. Seek medical attention right away. Make sure you are safe, and your wounds are taken care of properly.
  2. Document everything. Keep all documentation, receipts, invoices, etc. for any medical care and report filing with the police, animal control, insurance, or anyone else.
  3. File a report with the police, and ensure Animal Control is aware of the situation.
  4. Contact an attorney specializing in dog bite cases.

How Our Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help

Consulting with an experienced dog bite lawyer will first of all help you understand if you have a case.

Additionally, we know that many people want to know how much their case is worth. This will be determined by a wide array of factors, and one simple answer can’t be found online, so we can assist with this calculation too.

Finally, our dog bite attorneys can help you file claims without missing important deadlines and even provide you with legal representation in court, should you have a case.

Our Service Area

Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys has two office locations in Southfield and Boyne City, MI. We proudly serve clients throughout the Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, and Wayne county areas, including the following cities:

  • Ann Arbor
  • Auburn Hills
  • Birmingham
  • Boyne City
  • Detroit
  • Flint
  • Grand Rapids
  • Lansing
  • Ludington
  • Pontiac
  • Rochester Hills
  • Royal Oak
  • Southfield
  • Warren

Request a Free Consultation With a Dog Bite Attorney Today

When it comes to dog bites, there’s never an excuse for negligence. If you or a loved one has recently sustained a dog bite due to a negligent owner, contact Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys today. You can fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite attorneys.

Q: What are my civil rights?

Generally speaking, your civil rights are those enumerated under the US Constitution and legislative acts. Civil rights are typically those considered to be related to an individual’s political and social freedom and equality.  These rights range from your right to free speech to your right to an attorney.

Q: What rights do I have if I’ve been arrested?

The most important rights to consider if you’ve been arrested or picked up by police are the right to an attorney, the right to avoid self-incrimination, and the right not to be unlawfully detained. You can always refuse to answer questions and request an attorney. If you have not been formally placed under arrest, you have the right to leave police custody. If you’ve been placed under arrest, the police have a certain amount of time they can hold you without formally filing charges. Even after you have been formally charged, you have the right to request a non-punitive bail, which can be granted or denied at the judge’s discretion.

Q: What is the statute of limitations for a civil rights claim?

Depending on the claims alleged, civil rights violations have varying statutes of limitations under state law. Federal courts typically apply the laws of the forum state in assessing the applicable statute of limitations. If you believe your rights have been violated, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.

Q: What are common types of civil rights claims?

Technically, a civil rights claim can be any act that in some way has infringed upon an individual’s autonomy.  The most common types of civil rights claims involve abuse by government actors, such as police brutality or misconduct, or agencies, wrongful termination, and employment discrimination.

Q: I believe my rights have been violated by the government or one of its officers. Do I have a claim?

Government actors and officers are protected by governmental and qualified immunity that bars claims. However, if it can be proven that the government or its officer acted with gross indifference or acted in a way that serves as an exception to their governmental immunity, you can pursue a claim.

Q: What is a 1983 complaint?

The most common type of civil rights claim is a federal 1983 claim. 1983 claims are those raised under 42 USC 1983, which governs the actions of governmental agents, like police officers. 1983 claims are often asserted when an individual has been assaulted by a police officer, a government funded institution commits a tort, or an individual suffers an injury or death while incarcerated.

Q: Can I file a civil rights claim on behalf of a family member or friend?

You can only file a civil rights claim on behalf of someone other than yourself if one of the following exceptions applies: wrongful death cases, an incapacitated plaintiff, a minor plaintiff, or a class action case.

Q: What is the difference between a civil and a criminal violation of civil rights?

A criminal civil rights violation involves the use or threat of force. A civil violation of civil rights involves no violence, only discriminatory behavior. Criminal violations carry incarceration penalties, while civil violations carry monetary penalties.

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