Physical pain is only the starting point when an animal
attacks. Deformity, a fear of rabies or other disease, and
even a long-term fear of the type of animal that caused the
injuries can ensue. A pet owner may be liable for such
injuries when his or her animal bites or otherwise attacks
another, meaning that he or she must compensate the injured
party for the resulting damages.
Although animal-attack claims most commonly involve dog bites,
many other types of domesticated animals, such as ferrets,
cats, and even birds, can also bite humans, causing injury and
potential liability for their masters. Even non-domesticated
animals, such as large cats ordinarily found in the wild, can
attack children and adults. Talab Nunley, P.C., has
experienced lawyers in dog bite and the personal injuries
associated with this field of law. Our firm will provide the
best sources for accurate advice and information in animal
Persons injured by biting or attacking animals should seek the
counsel of skilled personal injury lawyers in order to
understand the complexities of their case and obtain guidance
through the legal system toward the most favorable outcome.
If you or someone you know has suffered personal injuries as a
result of an animal attack, an experienced and knowledgeable
personal injury lawyer from Talab Nunley, P.C., can advise you
on whether you may have a claim against the pet owner and can
help you receive the maximum damages recoverable under the
Michigan Dog Bites Overview
The most recent studies of dog bite injuries in the United
States revealed that approximately 4.7 million people are
bitten by dogs annually. Of these, approximately 800,000
people require medical attention. Each year 1.8% of the U.S.
population is bitten by a dog and 0.3% of the U.S. population
seeks medical care as a result of an attack. Tragically,
almost half of all dog bite victims are children.
A dog bite can be a traumatic event resulting in serious
injury. Multiple deaths are reported each year as a result of
the most vicious attacks. Often a bite will result in
permanent scarring, nerve damage and a significant risk of
infection. Many times there is psychological harm that lasts
well beyond the physical injury.
Michigan Dog Bite Law Basics
Michigan Dog Bite Law - A Strict Liability Law
Michigan's Dog Bite Statute is considered a Strict Liability
Statute. In Michigan, the dog owner is responsible for any
damage caused by an attack from their dog. Michigan's Dog Bite
Statute (MCL 287.351) states in relevant part:
"If a dog bites a person, without
provocation while the person is on public property, or
lawfully on private property, including the property of the
owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any
damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the
former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such
Elements of a Michigan Dog Bite Claim
The two key elements to prove in a Michigan dog bite claim
1. That the Defendant was the owner of the dog in question,
2. That a bite occurred.
Ownership can usually be established by licensing and
vaccination records, as well as by the testimony of witnesses.
The physical evidence of the dog’s bite allows for the second
element to be established.
Many people believe that "every dog is allowed one bite". This
is simply not true under Michigan dog bite law. The Michigan
dog bite laws are clear that prior behavior of a dog will not
exonerate the owner from responsibility.
One of the frequently asserted defenses by the insurance
companies and allowed under the statute concerns issues of
provocation. It is common for an insurance company to assert
that the victim, usually a child in some manner "provoked" the
dog and is actually responsible for a resulting bite. However,
this assertion is almost always incorrect from a factually
basis. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, then it
is strongly recommended that you contact our office
Michigan Statute of Limitations
The Michigan Dog Bite Statute allows action to be taken
against a dog owner for a period of up to three years from the
date of the incident. It is advisable to seek immediate legal
consultation if you or a loved one has been the victim of a
dog bite in Michigan.
Value of a Michigan Dog Bite Case
Determining the value of a dog bite claim as with all personal
injuries is a complicated matter; however, because in most
instances children are involved the valuation process is that
much more difficult. Before an attorney can engage in serious
negotiations regarding settlement, the degree of permanent
damage needs to be ascertained first.
There often is a need to wait to determine the extent of any
What to do if I'm bitten by a dog?
What to do if I'm Bitten by a Dog?
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, do not to panic.
Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm
If you are in immediate medical distress, call an ambulance
or go to the emergency room immediately.
Report the bite to your local animal care and control
Contact our office to determine your legal rights as a dog
Why You Need a Lawyer
Professional Evaluation of Your Claim
Handling a dog bite claim is a intricate process, even in
light of Michigan's statute providing for strict liability in
these matters. It will take an attorney considerable time and
resources to completely gather all of the documentation, make
a determination, and file the appropriate claim on you or your
Once an experienced attorney from our firm has gathered the
necessary data, and determined the extent of the injury, he or
she will know both the best way to proceed and the range of
value the claim possesses.
Protect Your Child
Children are often asked to provide statements to insurance
companies; we strongly recommend that before any statement is
given you consult an attorney. Often an innocent statement can
be mischaracterized and turned into the insurance company’s
Put a Strong Advocate in Your Corner
Making any legal claim is a substantial undertaking. It is
always the case that insurance companies will forcefully fight
against paying damages to an injured victim. Our firm is there
to represent your interests in these proceedings, to counsel
you as you undergo a long and sometimes draining process. We
will do everything possible to ensure the best possible result
for your family, and our office never charge an attorney fee
if we are not successful in obtaining a recovery on your
Most of our current clients were referred to our office by
satisfied clients who we assisted in the past. Other attorneys
have referred friends and family members to our office,
confident that their claim would be handled by an
extraordinary team of professionals. If our office makes a
claim on an injured individual's behalf, the insurance
companies know that they are faced with a matter to be taken
However, the most important component of our firm is our
commitment to you, our clients. Obtaining the largest
settlement possible on your behalf is our goal. We understand
the serious nature of the injuries sustained by our clients.
We are 100% committed to helping our clients through the
difficult times that they face. Every client is important to
our office, and with every case we want to fight to achieve
the best possible result.
Free Consultation -- Do I have a case?
Any information that you provide is confidential. Our office
will only use this information to determine the viability of a
claim on your behalf.
There is no charge or obligation, and any consultation is
free. A member of our legal group will review this information
and respond immediately.
You can always contact us directly at 1-248-366-5000. Our
phones answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.