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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