person walking a dog


In a peaceful Michigan neighborhood, a day out for a walk can take an unexpected turn when a seemingly friendly dog suddenly attacks. If a dog bite results in severe injuries that require reconstructive surgery, it’s crucial to understand your legal options. This blog post aims to shed light on the steps you can take to seek justice and compensation in the wake of such a traumatic incident.


Legal Responsibility in Michigan

In Michigan, dog bite cases are primarily governed by the “strict liability” rule. This means that dog owners are held strictly liable for any injuries their dogs cause, regardless of the dog’s past behavior or the owner’s knowledge of their pet’s aggressiveness. This liability extends to both public and private property, including the owner’s property.

Your Legal Options

If you were seriously hurt by someone else’s dog and you need reconstructive surgery, filing a personal injury claim against the dog owner is probably your best option. In doing so, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for their dog’s actions.

A personal injury claim, in the context of a dog bite case, is a legal action taken by the victim (plaintiff) against the dog owner (defendant). This claim asserts that the dog owner’s negligence or failure to control their pet led to the injuries sustained by the victim. While Michigan follows the “strict liability” rule for dog bites, proving negligence on the owner’s part can still be essential in certain situations, such as when the dog owner argues that the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing.

How an Attorney Can Help You Assert Your Rights

Before proceeding with a claim, it’s highly advisable to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will become your advocate throughout the legal process, ensuring that your rights are protected and you’re able to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

Here’s how a skilled attorney can assist you:

  1. Analyzing the Situation: Your attorney will evaluate the details of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the dog bite. They will help you understand the strength of your claim and the potential compensation you may be entitled to.
  2. Gathering Evidence: Your legal team will work diligently to gather crucial evidence to support your case. This may include medical records, photographs of your injuries, witness statements, and any available surveillance footage.
  3. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: In many cases, personal injury claims are settled through negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company. Your lawyer can handle this stage of the proceedings on your behalf in pursuit of a fair settlement that covers all associated damages.
  4. Preparing for Litigation if Necessary: If negotiations fail to result in a satisfactory settlement, your attorney will guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit against the dog owner. They will represent your interests in court, presenting evidence and arguments to support your case.

Speak with a Michigan Dog Bite Personal Injury Attorney

If you want to file a dog bite claim in Michigan, turn to Smith & Johnson for strategic legal guidance. Our compassionate team knows all too well the physical, emotional, and financial hurdles you’re facing, and we want to help you overcome every last one of them. Contact Tim Smith ( or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a dog bite personal injury lawyer in Michigan.