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Flint Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury in or around Flint, Michigan, you need a skilled dog bite attorney to help you seek compensation. Here at Christopher Trainor & Associates, we are dedicated to fighting for your rights. Call us today for a free case review.

Dogs have long been considered "man's best friend" for many obvious reasons. They provide companionship, can be trained to protect and serve, and are adorable. But sometimes, these companions can attack. Whether it be from poor training, provocation, or simple aggression, when a dog attacks, the injuries can be severe and sometimes life-threatening.

These cases require extra care, as they often involve someone's beloved pet. Sometimes, the animal belongs to a friend or family member, and dog bite victims fear seeking compensation even if they are facing thousands in medical expenses or possible disfigurement. An experienced dog bite attorney from Christopher Trainor & Associates can help you navigate these complex claims, so give us a call today if this is something you are dealing with currently.

Michigan Dog Bite Statistics

Every year, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. From these numbers, 800,000 bite victims receive medical attention for their injuries, and at least half of the victims are children.

Michigan has remained in the top ten states for dog bites in recent years, and though fatalities are rare, serious injury is unfortunately quite common following a dog bite. Victims of dog bite injuries deserve compensation for these attacks, and our Flint dog bite lawyer can help make that happen.

What Causes a Dog to Bite?

Dogs may bite for various reasons, and understanding these reasons can help prevent such incidents. Here are some common causes of dog bites:

  • Fear: Dogs may bite if they feel threatened by a person, animal, or situation. Just like humans, dogs also experience fear and anxiety and often cope by biting, thinking they are protecting themselves.
  • Pain or Illness: A dog in pain or suffering from an illness may react defensively and bite. Pain can make dogs more irritable and less tolerant of situations that may not have bothered them before.
  • Territorial Aggression: Dogs are territorial animals, and they may bite to defend their territory or belongings, such as their food, toys, or sleeping area.
  • Maternal Instinct: Mother dogs may bite if they perceive a threat to their puppies or feel that someone is interfering with their maternal duties.
  • Socialization Issues: Dogs that have not been adequately socialized may react fearfully or aggressively in unfamiliar situations or around unfamiliar people or animals. This issue has increased over the past few years due to the number of dogs adopted during Covid-19 lockdown and not receiving proper socialization.
  • Predatory Behavior: Some dogs may exhibit predatory behavior, especially towards small animals or moving objects, triggering them to chase or bite. This can also be an issue with herding or working breeds, who sometimes bite a human trying to "herd" them to another space.
  • Overexcitement: Dogs may become overly excited during play or when greeting people, leading to rough behavior that can escalate to biting unintentionally.
  • Lack of Training or Discipline: Dogs that have not been properly trained or disciplined may resort to biting as a way to communicate or assert dominance.
  • Previous Traumatic Experience: Dogs that have been subjected to abuse, neglect, or traumatic experiences in the past may be more prone to aggressive behavior, including biting, as a result of fear or mistrust.
  • Genetics: Certain breeds may have a genetic predisposition towards aggressive behavior, although individual temperament and upbringing play significant roles.

Regardless of the reason, a dog bite can be a serious matter. Even if you do not believe the dog meant to hurt you, you are still entitled to compensation for any injuries caused. Contact Christopher Trainor & Associates to learn more.

Preventing Dog Attacks

Facing a dog attack is scary. If you find yourself in a situation with an unfamiliar or aggressive dog, there are a few measures you can take to try to de-escalate the situation before an attack happens:

  1. Stay calm. Dogs can sense fear and any screaming, running, or sudden movements may increase the dog's excitement and make the situation worse.
  2. If the owner of the dog is nearby, ask them to retrieve their dog.
  3. Put something between you and the dog. This can break its line of sight and also offer a form of barrier protection.
  4. Try commanding the dog to "sit" or "stay" in a firm voice.
  5. Toss an object away from you (such as a stick or toy or food) to distract the dog so you can get away.
  6. Try to climb on top of something out of the dog's reach if you can.

Sometimes, the best way to avoid an attack is to try to avoid the interaction altogether. Keep your distance from unfamiliar dogs, and never attempt to pet an animal without first confirming with the dog owner.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can vary from minor cuts and bruises to severe wounds requiring emergency help and surgery. In some instances, the injuries can lead to wrongful death. Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Puncture Wounds: Dogs have sharp teeth that can puncture the skin, causing deep wounds. Puncture wounds may lead to tissue damage and are at risk of infection.
  • Cuts and Bruises: While most are relatively minor, some cuts or lacerations require stitches and can lead to scarring. Bruises from the bite can cause pain and swelling as well as discoloration of the skin.
  • Fractures: A dog bite can exert enough force to cause fractures or broken bones, particularly in areas like the hands, arms, or legs.
  • Nerve Damage: Dog bites can injure nerves, most commonly in the hands. This leads to pain, numbness, tingling, or loss of function in the affected area. Such areas may require surgery or physical therapy to fully recover.
  • Infections: Dog bites can introduce bacteria from the dog's mouth or the environment into the wound, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Rabies: While relatively rare, dog bites can transmit rabies, a viral infection that affects the central nervous system and can be fatal if left untreated. If you are not absolutely positive that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, it is imperative to seek immediate medical help.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Severe dog bite injuries may result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of function, particularly if the bite affects sensitive areas like the face or hands. These injuries may require plastic surgery to correct.
  • Psychological Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, dog bite victims may experience psychological trauma, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and fear of dogs or similar situations.

It's essential to seek medical attention promptly after a dog bite to assess and treat any injuries, prevent infections, and receive appropriate follow-up care. In severe cases or cases involving significant injuries, consulting a healthcare professional or a plastic surgeon may be necessary for optimal treatment and wound management. If you wish to receive compensation for your medical care following a dog bite injury, contact Christopher Trainor & Associates for your free case evaluation.

Liability in Dog Bite Injuries

Unlike other personal injury claims such as car or truck accidents, dog bite claims are usually quite straightforward in Flint as well as all of Michigan. Generally speaking, the owner of the dog will be considered liable for any injuries sustained when their dog bites or attacks, but there are some exceptions. Michigan is very strict on its liability rulings, meaning that dog owners can be held solely liable except in extenuating circumstances such as:

  • Provocation: An owner likely will not be held liable if the injured person first provoked the dog to purposefully cause the aggression. Even the most gentle of dogs will become aggressive if they are pushed too far.
  • Trespassing: Dogs are not only used as companions but also as personal protection from intruders. If the victim was attacked while trespassing on the dog owner's private property, the dog owner will not be held liable for the injuries.

Under Michigan law, someone who files a dog bite injury claim will need to prove the following:

  • Their injury was indeed from the dog attack or bite
  • They were not trespassing
  • They were bitten or attacked without first provoking the dog
  • The defendant is the dog's owner

An experienced attorney well-versed in dog bite laws can help you prove your claim.

What is the Provocation Defense?

This is one area in which Flint dog bite claims can be complex, since "provocation" does not always have to be intentional. Insurance companies will do what they can to take the blame from their client and place it onto you, so the "provocation defense" is used frequently to dodge liability for dog bite accidents and if the claim is proven to be true, a judge may rule in favor of the dog owner. This is one reason why it is in your best interest to consult a Flint dog bite lawyer if you have been attacked by a dog and have resulting injuries.

Michigan Dog Bite Laws

Michigan has two basic laws often used in dog bite liability claims. These protect a dog owner in cases where the dog was provoked, or the injured party was trespassing.

However, most Michigan common laws regarding negligence may help your dog bite case. If an owner knows their dog is aggressive and does not properly contain the animal, then the owner can be found negligent in their duty of care to others. Most municipalities also have leash laws, requiring dogs to remain on a leash if on public property. If the dog is not leashed, it may be difficult for the defendant to deny their own negligence.

One Bite Law

Some states honor the "one-bite law," which means that a dog may bite someone only once without being liable for injuries. Once the dog bites, the owner knows the dog may be aggressive and must take proper precautions. However, Michigan does not honor this law. A victim may seek compensation for damages the first time a dog bites. To put it another way, the one-bite law you may have heard about is not valid in Flint.

What to Do Following a Dog Bite

If you've been involved in a dog attack in Flint, it's crucial to take the following steps to ensure your safety and well-being:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the top priorities. If you've been injured in a dog attack, seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Dog bites can cause serious injuries and increase the risk of infection. Be sure to keep records of all medical treatments received.
  2. Identify the Dog and Its Owner: If possible, try to identify the dog that attacked you and obtain information about its owner. This information will be important for reporting the incident and seeking compensation for your injuries. If the dog is unfamiliar or you cannot locate the owner, try to gather contact information from any witnesses to the attack.
  3. Report the Incident: Report the dog attack to the appropriate authorities, such as animal control, the police, or your local health department. Provide as much detail as possible about the incident, including the location, time, and description of the dog and its owner. Reporting the attack can help ensure that the dog is properly quarantined and evaluated for rabies and that appropriate measures are taken to prevent future attacks.
  4. Document Your Injuries: Take photographs of your injuries as soon as possible after the attack. Document any cuts, bruises, swelling, or other visible injuries you've sustained. Keep copies of all medical records, bills, and receipts related to your treatment and recovery.
  5. Contact an Attorney: A dog bite lawyer from Christopher Trainor & Associates can provide guidance on your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries.
  6. Take Steps to Prevent Future Attacks: If you're concerned about the risk of future dog attacks, take precautions to protect yourself and others. Avoid approaching unfamiliar dogs, especially if they appear aggressive or agitated. If you encounter a loose or aggressive dog, try to remain calm and avoid sudden movements. If possible, create a barrier between yourself and the dog using objects like a backpack, umbrella, or bicycle.

By taking these steps after a dog attack, you can protect your health and safety, assert your legal rights, and take appropriate action to prevent future attacks.

Delivery Drivers and Dog Bite Injuries

Unfortunately, that old adage about dogs hating the mailman did not come out of nowhere. The United States Postal Service reported more than 5,400 dog attacks on its carriers in 2021 alone. These numbers don't even take into account other delivery services such as Amazon, DoorDash, and Instacart.

If you are a delivery driver and have suffered a dog bite injury, you have two options:

  1. First, file a claim with your employer's worker's compensation.
  2. Second, file a claim against the dog owner for any injuries not covered by worker's comp.

It is always recommended to first speak to one of the attorneys at Christopher Trainor & Associates before taking any other action, including speaking to any insurance companies, as any statement you make could be used against you in your claim.

Compensation for Dog Bites

Compensation for a canine attack in Flint can come in several forms, depending on the severity of your injuries. Some damages are easy to calculate as they carry a direct dollar value on money spent. Others are more difficult to prove and may require the help of dog bite lawyers to resolve.

  • Medical expenses: Medical bills following a dog bite injury can grow quickly. Compensation for medical expenses may cover any ER, hospital, or doctor's visits, as well as any surgery or physical therapy you may need to fully recover.
  • Lost wages: If you must miss work, and thus paychecks, due to your injuries, you may be compensated for the wages you lost.
  • Pain and Suffering: While more difficult to prove, your attorney can help you receive compensation for any pain or psychological injuries caused by the attack.
  • Disfigurement and Scarring: Many dog bite injuries, especially those to the face, can cause permanent scars or disfigurement. If it is shown that this causes you a great deal of stress or if it lowers your quality of life, you can be compensated.
  • Disability: Some injuries are so serious that it can leave accident victims permanently disabled. This can happen from severe bone fractures, nerve damage, or even mental anguish.
  • Lost earning capacity: If your job is affected by the attack to such a degree that you are no longer able to progress in your career, you may be covered for this lost earning capacity.
  • Burial expenses: If someone you love was killed due to a negligent dog owner, you can be compensated for the funeral and burial costs.

While possible to seek compensation without an attorney, it has been proven that victims receive far more in settlements when a knowledgeable lawyer is on their side. Let us take care of you so you can go back to living a normal life.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in the state of Michigan is three years from the date that the bite occurred, similar to any personal injury claim. This means that if you wait more than three years, you will be unable to pursue compensation for your injuries. The claims process can take a while, especially if your case cannot be settled out of court. Contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bites to make sure this deadline doesn't pass you by.

How Can a Flint Dog Bite Lawyer Help?

An attorney can provide valuable assistance after a Flint dog attack in several ways:

  1. Legal Advice and Guidance: A personal injury attorney experienced in handling dog bite cases can offer legal advice and guidance tailored to your specific situation. They can explain your rights under the law, evaluate the strength of your case, and outline your options for seeking compensation for your injuries.
  2. Investigation: An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the dog attack, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining relevant documentation such as medical records and incident reports. This investigation can help establish liability and strengthen your case for compensation.
  3. Determining Liability: Dog bite cases can involve complex liability issues, including determining the owner's responsibility, assessing the dog's history of aggression, and identifying any third parties who may share liability for the attack. An attorney can analyze the facts of your case and determine who may be held legally responsible for your injuries.
  4. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: In many cases, compensation for dog bite injuries is obtained through the dog owner's homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to seek a fair settlement.
  5. Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court, an attorney can represent you at a civil trial. They can present evidence, call witnesses, and argue your case before a judge and jury to seek the compensation you deserve.
  6. Maximizing Compensation: An experienced attorney knows how to assess the full extent of your damages and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. They can help you document and quantify your losses, including medical expenses, future medical care needs, lost income, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
  7. Legal Protection and Advocacy: Dealing with the aftermath of a dog attack can be overwhelming, especially when you're coping with physical injuries and emotional trauma. An attorney can provide legal protection and advocacy, handling all aspects of your case so you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind.

By enlisting the help of a knowledgeable Flint personal injury attorney, you can navigate the complexities of the legal system, assert your rights, and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses resulting from a dog attack.

Contact our Experienced Dog Bite Attorneys Today!

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries from a dog bite in Flint, Michigan, it is time to take legal action against the negligent pet owner. State law protects you as a victim, and Christopher Trainor & Associates is here to help. With years of experience in personal injury law, we can guide you through the claims process from start to finish, ensuring you receive maximum compensation in your dog bite settlement.

Call us today at 248-886-8650 for your free case evaluation.


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