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Who is liable for a dog bite injury in Michigan?


Dog Bite Injuries in Michigan, or any State, is a personal injuries no one wants to suffer. Dogs are much-loved creatures and no person wants to see dogs suffer. 

With that, if you are a dog owner in Michigan, it can be a good idea for you to know your rights and the rights of your dogs in case of dog bites. Let us get started. 

The Owner is Liable

The owner of the dog is strictly liable for all of the injuries caused by his or her dog. The law in Michigan is clear on this matter, to wit:

287.351 Person bit by the dog; liability of the owner.

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.

Let us break down this provision by answering some questions:

If the dog is on public property, like a park, is the owner liable?

Yes, the law is clear that if a dog bites a person without provocation, the owner of the dog is liable. This is why you need to put a leash on your dog in public spaces or make sure that you can trust them not to bite in case you do not want to put them on a leash. 

If the dog is on my private property, like my house, is the owner liable?

Personal injury law says that as long as an injury is sustained in a private space, the landlord or the owner of the property is liable for any of the injuries sustained by the individual. 

However, this is where the concept of provocation comes in. In some of the cases that we have handled, there are a lot of instances where the owner of the dog can get off liability if the dog bites another person when the following instances are present:

  • There is a provocation on the part of the person who got bitten;
  • The dog acted in self-defense, as evidenced by CCTV and other documentary evidence; and 
  • The person bittern was not a guest of the homeowner.

When a dog bites a person who is lawfully entitled to be on the property, despite not being a guest of the homeowner, the owner is still liable for a dog bite injury that may occur. 

Haque Legal Has Your Back

Here at Haque Legal, we always have your back. Make sure that on your first free consultation we tell you everything that you need to know about your case as well as the cost and the expenses that would be associated with the filing of your case. 

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.

Let Haque Legal Help You With Your Case

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.

Let us help you out

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 Who is liable for a dog bite injury in Michigan? appeared first on Haque Legal.

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