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Is There A One Bite Rule in Michigan?


When it comes to dogs, we all have a tendency to have a soft heart. We all love dogs as they show the great example of what we want – loyal, friendly, and always there to support. 

However, in some cases, people would have to accept that the main defense mechanism of dogs is in their bites. With that, dog owners would often want to know if there is a one bite rule in the State where they live so they know the rules. 

In the State of Michigan, is there a one bite rule? What is the one bite rule?

What is the One-Bite Rule?

The One-Bite Rule is the rule which relinquishes the owner from liability for the first bite of the dog. Basically, it is the first offender rule when it comes to dog bites. Of course, for our loving companions, we do not want to have to face the liability in case our dog makes a mistake for the first time. 

Does the One-Bite Rule Apply in Michigan?

The one-bite rule does not apply in Michigan. 

There are two theories of liability that must be noted in the State of Michigan. One theory is statutory and the other one is based on Michigan’s common law. 

The Statutory basis provides that the Michigan Dog Bite Statute (MCL § 287.351), the owner of the dog can be liable for the first bite as long as the victim (1) was lawfully on the property and (2) the victim did not provoke the dog. 

On the other hand, the other basis, which is Michigan’s common law states that the victim only has to prove that the owner of the dog knew or should have known that the dog has the propensity to bite others. 

This can be clearly seen in one viral case where the owner of the pitbull was brutally affected and went viral in their subdivision because he owns a pitbull, which people believe to have the propensity to bite. His neighbors wanted him to remove his pet on his property when the pet did not even show a hint of being violent.

Of course, what other people think does not matter. We have not seen a case where the idea or opinion of the rest of the community would have an effect on the others as long as it is the owner who would take full responsibility on the matter. 

With this, we have other articles that are related to dog bites in Michigan. Read on the other parts of our blog to find out.

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Disclaimer

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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