Me and my son were at my neighbor’s house a couple weeks ago. My neighbor has some sort of mixed breed small dog. My son was petting the dog when the dog reached up and bit him on his cheek. My son was bleeding pretty badly and I immediately took him to the emergency room where they gave him three stitches. I asked my neighbor to cover the medical bills but my neighbor told me she is not responsible because her dog had never bitten anyone before. Is this true?
No.Your neighbor is probably liable. Even if your neighbor’s dog had never bitten anyone before and your neighbor had no reason to believe that her dog would bite someone, she is still liable. Under the Michigan dog bite statute, MCL 287.351, the owner of a dog is liable for any injuries caused by a dog bite if the dog bites a person without provocation while the person is on public property or lawfully on private property. Thus, the dog bite statute provides virtually strict liability if a dog bites someone. The only defense is provocation, and it does
not appear that your son provoked your neighbor’s dog. You should contact me immediately as I can help you navigate your way through this complex area of law. I offer a free initial consultation. And remember, we do not get paid unless you win!