A sudden dog bite can be a traumatic experience, leaving physical injuries and emotional scars that linger long after the incident. If you’ve been bitten by someone else’s dog in Michigan, it’s crucial to know what steps to take to build a claim. It’s just as important, however, to know what missteps to avoid.

Read on for common mistakes to avoid, so your claim ends up being as strong as possible.

1. Putting off Getting Medical Care

After a dog bite, the first and most important step is to visit a doctor. Even seemingly minor lacerations can lead to infections, scarring, and complications.

By promptly addressing your injuries, you not only prioritize your health but also create a crucial medical record that will serve as evidence in your personal injury claim.

2. Failing to Identify the Dog Owner

Identifying the dog owner is vital for your claim. Gather the owner’s contact information, including their name, address, and phone number.

If there were any witnesses to the incident, try to obtain their contact details as well, as their statements may be valuable in corroborating your account of the attack.

3. Failing to Report the Incident

Report the dog bite incident to the local animal control or police department. In Michigan, animal control agencies keep records of dog bite incidents, which can help establish a history of aggressive behavior if the dog has a prior record.

4. Not Recording the Scene or Documenting Your Wounds

Take photographs of your injuries, as well as the location where the incident occurred. These visual records can provide powerful evidence to support your claim. Document the progression of your injuries, as some complications may develop over time.

5. Making Statements to the Dog Owner or Insurer

After an attack, it’s essential to refrain from saying anything on record to the dog owner or their insurer. Anything you say could be used against you. Politely decline any requests for statements or apologies, and let your attorney handle communication with the involved parties.

6. Misunderstanding Michigan’s Dog Bite Laws

Michigan follows a strict liability rule when it comes to dog bites. This means pet owners are generally responsible for injuries caused by their animals, regardless of the dog’s prior behavior or the owner’s knowledge of its aggressive tendencies. Knowing these laws can help you and your attorney build a strong case.

Experiencing a dog bite can be a physically and emotionally trying ordeal. However, by taking the right steps and avoiding common mistakes, you can build a strong personal injury claim in Michigan. Seeking immediate medical attention, identifying the dog owner, documenting injuries and the scene, and consulting with a personal injury attorney are essential actions to take on your path to justice and fair compensation.

Call 231-946-0700 to Speak with a Dog Bite Attorney in Michigan

At Smith & Johnson, we understand the challenges you face after a dog bite, and we are here to provide compassionate and expert legal guidance to help you on your journey to recovery. Contact Tim Smith (tsmith@smith-johnson.com) to schedule a free initial consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Michigan.