Angry dog lunging into the air


Getting bit by a dog can be a traumatic and distressing event, often leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional scars, and a myriad of questions about their rights and legal options. If you’ve been bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be wondering when it’s appropriate to seek legal guidance and whether hiring an attorney is necessary.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to hire a lawyer after a dog bite incident:

1. Severity of Injuries

The first consideration when determining whether to hire an attorney after a dog bite is the severity of your injuries. Even seemingly minor bites can lead to complications such as infections, nerve damage, and scarring.

If you’ve sustained significant injuries that require medical treatment, surgery, or ongoing care, it may be in your best interest to consult a personal injury attorney.

2. Extent of Liability

In Michigan, dog owners can be held liable for injuries caused by their pets under the state’s dog bite law, which imposes strict liability on owners for damages resulting from bites that occur in a public place or lawfully on private property. However, proving liability in a dog bite case can sometimes be challenging, especially if there are disputes about the circumstances of the incident or the dog’s history of aggression.

An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence, assess liability, and navigate the legal process.

3. Insurance Coverage

If you’re considering pursuing compensation for your injuries after a dog bite, it’s essential to determine whether the dog owner has insurance coverage that may apply to your claim. Homeowners’ insurance policies typically provide coverage for dog bite liability, but coverage limits and exclusions may vary.

An attorney can review the relevant insurance policies and advise you on the best course of action for seeking compensation.

4. Statute of Limitations

In Michigan, there is a limited timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, within which you must file a personal injury lawsuit after a dog bite. The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Michigan is generally three years from the date of the injury.

Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. Consulting an attorney early in the process can ensure that your claim is filed within the applicable statute of limitations.

5. Legal Representation

Dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries and navigate the legal process simultaneously. Hiring an attorney to represent your interests can alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty associated with pursuing a claim.

A lawyer can handle communications with the dog owner’s insurance company, negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf, and, if necessary, advocate for you in court.

Discuss Your Case with a Dog Bite Attorney in Michigan

If you’ve been bitten by someone else’s dog in Michigan, Smith & Johnson is here to help. Our compassionate team of personal injury attorneys has the knowledge, experience, and dedication to help you seek accountability and closure after a traumatic dog bite incident. Contact Tim Smith ( or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Michigan.