- It was not provoked.
- The victim did not trespass the dog owner’s property (if the biting happened in the said property).
- The victim did not have any intention to harm or perform criminal acts.
Dog owners in Michigan can raise only two defenses: the plaintiff provoked the dog, or the plaintiff trespassed the property.
The most common ground is the negligence of the dog owner. Violation of the Dog Leash Law can also be cited against the owner. Dog owners cannot allow their dogs to roam freely in public if not leashed properly.
Dog bite lawyers often hire an animal behavior expert to establish a stronger case. Animal behavior experts can also help get to the bottom of the truth on the incident.
What to Look in an Animal Behavior Expert
Here are some things that you should look for in an Animal Behavior Expert.
- The animal behavior expert must possess an advanced degree related to the study of animal behavior.
Choose an animal behavior expert with academic training in animal behavior. Universities across the state offer master’s and doctorate degrees in animal behavior. The expert witness must have a deep understanding of the fundamental principle in animal behavior, which governs how all animals behave. It allows the expert to understand why and how a dog reacts in certain situations.
An animal behaviorist is different from a veterinarian, and their background and qualifications also differ.
- The animal behavior expert must have authored papers which are published and peer-reviewed in animal behavior journals.
A well-qualified expert would have authored studies on animal behavior, published in peer-reviewed veterinary or animal behavior journals. It will indicate that he is indeed an expert in the field, and he is active in animal behavior research.
- The animal behavior expert must be certified by a legit professional organization that deals with the study of animal behavior.
The animal behavior expert must possess certifications from recognized professional organizations. Some animal behaviorists are using many generic certifications in the U.S. The recognized professional organizations that provide meaningful certifications on animal behavior are the following:
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
- Animal Behavior Society
- American Veterinary Medical Association
The Benefits of Hiring an Animal Behavior Expert
Hiring an animal behaviorist is very helpful, especially in states such as Michigan, where there is strict liability for dog bites. It will also be very beneficial if the victim has serious injuries from the bite.
- An animal behavior expert knows which behavior discovery to collect and to look out for. It can help support or disprove a liability clam.
- An animal behavior expert can help the dog bite lawyer formulate questions for deposition of key witnesses.
- An animal behavior expert can examine the dog for certain tendencies and behavioral patterns.
- An animal behavior expert can help analyze the scene of the accident.
How to File for a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Dog bite cases are straightforward personal injury cases. The victim can file for a personal injury claim against the owner, given that:
- The victim did not provoke the dog.
- The victim was in public property.
- The victim was not a trespasser.
- The injuries sustained resulted from the dog’s bite.
The dog bite victim can receive compensation for the following:
- Medical Bills
- Future Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Nerve Damage
- Permanent Injury or Scarring
- Permanent Disability
- Non-Bite Injuries
A dog bite can be very traumatic for the victim. Thus, the victim should gather enough evidence such as photographs of the injuries, photographs of the scene, medical bills, and incident reports. These pieces of evidence can make the liability claim stronger.
Did a Dog Bite You or a Loved One? Call The Clark Law Office now.
If a dog bit you or a loved one, you must seek a Michigan dog bite lawyer. A dog bite lawyer will have more experience in dog bite litigation and will give you better legal assistance.
We at The Clark Law Office have helped win hundreds of personal injury cases. We help our clients get the justice that they seek and the compensation for their loss and injury. If you have any questions, call us at (517) 347-6900. Our personal injury lawyers will be happy to assist you. Call us today for a free legal consultation.