Dog Bite Settlement

There are a number of factors that determine a dog bite settlement. The two biggest factors are liability and damages. Liability is the extent that the dog has clearly attacked you with out any provocation. Next, the extent of damages, the more serious the injuries, the more money you will receive for your injuries. Someone who is bitten on the calf by a dog and heals quickly will receive less of a settlement than a person bitten on the face with a permanent scar or reconstructive surgery. Also, a child will get more for their injuries because of the mental trauma a child experiences in a dog bite attack.

Dog Bite Settlement – Liability

The extent of liability is one of the most important factors in determining the amount of settlement. The greater the liability the higher the settlement. Put another way, less mitigating factors (provocation of the dog before the bite) the higher the settlement. There are multiple legal theories to recover for a dog attack. First, there is the Michigan dog bite statute– specifically MCL 287.351. According to Michigan Dog Bite Statute, if a dog bites a person without provocation, and that person is not trespassing, the dog owner is liable for all damages that accrue from the dog bite. This is called strict liability. You do not have to proved that the owner of the dog was negligent or did anything wrong. This is the case even if the dog had never displayed any vicious propensities prior to the bite. The only defense to the dog bite law is provocation. If the dog bite victim provoked the animal, the dog owner is not liable. However, it is incumbent upon the dog owner to prove provocation and the standard is high.

Second, Michigan dog bite or dog attack cases can also be brought by proving negligence on the part of the dog owner. If the dog owner created a dangerous situation that was foreseeable, and this situation leads to injury, the dog owner can be held liable for causing the injury. This theory is the same as a car accident or other accident where a person was not acting responsibly and someone is injured.

Dog Bite Settlement – Damages or Injury

Dog bite cases involve many different types of claims for damage (injuries). These claims can include:

• Medical expenses
• Lost wages from time off work (including time spent going to doctor’s appointments)
• Pain and suffering from the dog attack
• Permanent scarring left by the dog attack

dog bite settlement
Dog Bite Settlement Amounts – What You Can Expect For Your Dog Bite Compensation

How Dog Bite Settlement Is Determined

The homeowners insurance company typically pays for dog bite settlement for the dog owner. Most dog bite claims are settled with the insurance company at the claims stage. This means the claim is settled between your attorney and the insurance adjuster without having to go forward with a lawsuit. A settlement brochure is prepared by the dog bite attorney. The settlement brochure or package includes a summary of the facts, medical records, medical bills, and photographs of the injury and scarring.

The insurance company for the renter or homeowner evaluate the liability (likelihood of winning) and the extent of damages and negotiate a settlement amount. The more serious the damages the larger the settlement amount. Scarring on the face, severe bites and attacks, and cases involving children will result in higher settlements. A less serious injury will be a smaller dog bite settlement.


Call us immediately for a FREE no obligation dog bite consultation with one of our lawyers. We can answer your dog bite questions.

161 Ottawa NW Suite 404
Grand Rapids MI 49506


We have the information that you need if you or a loved one is faced with a serious dog attack injury.

Dog Bite Claims Generally
Michigan Dog Bite Statute
Dog Leash Laws
Dog Bite Jury Instructions
Dog Bite Compensation

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