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Strict Liability and Negligence in Michigan Dog Bite Cases


Negligence is one of the most used grounds in dog bite cases in Michigan. It can be based on different factors that affect the dog owner’s right over the dog. 

Generally, negligence in Michigan dog bite cases can be based on anyone’s unreasonable actions or the unreasonable failure to take an action. 

What is negligence based on? This article aims to provide information on some of the things that negligence can be based on. 

What is negligence based on?

Negligence in dog bite cases is often based on many factors. Let us look at some factors:

Violation of a leash law or animal control law

There are already a lot of laws that refer to how pet owners should take care of their pets. In the cases of Zeni v Anderson, 397 Mich 117, 128-129 (1976); Gould v Atwell, 205 Mich App 154, 158 (1994), this is demonstrated.

  • One example is Section 10-27 of the Grosse Pointe Code of Ordinances which requires dogs to be kept on a leash when off the owner’s property. [n]o owner of any dog may permit such dog to stray beyond his premises unless the dog is on a leash but no longer than 10 feet in length which leash is properly held by a person capable of restraining the actions of such dog, or unless such dog is in an enclosed vehicle or container.”)
  • 287.351 Person bitten by dog; liability of the owner is also another example of the owner’s responsibility in case of a dog bite. It provides the following:

Sec. 1. (1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner’s property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner’s property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for an unlawful or criminal act.

  • Section 10-28 of the Grosse Pointe Code of Ordinances provides that “[e]very owner of a dog shall be liable for damages for any injuries to person or property caused by such dog, to be determined and collected in appropriate civil proceedings, and nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impose any liability upon the city, its agents or employees, for damages caused by such dog.” It is a strict liability law that covers `any injuries’ ‘ to both people and animals (as well as other property).

Now that you know about some of the laws where your liability may be based on, we will continue this discussion in the coming parts of this series.

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The consultation is free for the first time because we understand that you need to at least have that guidance coming from a reputable law firm and lawyer to assess your case. If you have a personal injury case and you need a lawyer to handle it you can always contact our law firm and we can talk about your situation and the best way that we can handle it, especially in terms of the expenses.

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If you require a lawyer who can assist you with ensuring that you protect your rights, it is important to know that you also have a team that can help you out with your specific needs. 

Our law firm is dedicated to making sure that those who are innocent will be protected by the law and that the full extent of justice will be used. 


The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

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If you need a lawyer to help you during your proceedings, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.

The post <strong>Strict Liability and Negligence in Michigan Dog Bite Cases</strong> appeared first on Haque Legal.

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