Dog Bites

The first thing to do (after tending to the injury) is to call animal control.  This will make a contemporaneous record of the attack.  They will demand the vaccination record for the dog and, if necessary, quarantine the dog.  They will also talk to the owner which often yields valuable information for your case.

Second, take pictures of the wounds.  Don’t use your cell phone (not enough pixels).  You need at least five megapixels for clarity.  Take close-ups of the wounds, and wide angle shots showing the face and wounds together. Take pictures with and without the dressing.

Third, except for animal control and your doctors, speak to no one about the incident.  The insurance adjuster or his investigator is going to call you and ask what happened.   Just tell him he’ll receive a letter from your attorney and pleasantly close the conversation.

Fourth, let’s meet and talk immediately.  Insurance companies have their lawyers on the case right now, attempting to develop evidence of provocation (which is a valid defense) or to deny their insured was the owner.  We’ll rephotograph the wounds, nail down the facts, and dispatch investigators to take witness statements.  There is a lot to do and it should be done immediately.

There is a statute of limitations and its three years. However, there are exceptions.  One exception is children. They have until their 19th birthday to bring suit, and we recently made a substantial recovery on behalf of an 18 year old bitten as a small child.

Varjabedian Attorneys is very experienced in dog bite law and insurance law.  There is no attorney fee until we win.

Sec. 5805. (1) A person shall not bring or maintain an action to recover damages for injuries to persons or property unless, after the claim first accrued to the plaintiff or to someone through whom the plaintiff claims, the action is commenced within the periods of time prescribed by this section.

(2) The period of limitations is 2 years for an action charging assault, battery, or false imprisonment.

(3) The period of limitations is 5 years for an action charging assault or battery brought by a person who has been assaulted or battered by his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a person with whom he or she resides or formerly resided. This limitation applies to causes of action arising on or after February 17, 2000 and to causes of action in which the period of limitations described in subsection (2) has not already expired as of February 17, 2000.

(4) The period of limitations is 5 years for an action charging assault and battery brought by a person who has been assaulted or battered by an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship. This limitation applies to causes of action arising on or after January 1, 2003 and to causes of action in which the period of limitations described in subsection (2) has not already expired as of January 1, 2003.

(5) The period of limitations is 2 years for an action charging malicious prosecution.

(6) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the period of limitations is 2 years for an action charging malpractice.

(7) The period of limitations is 2 years for an action against a sheriff charging misconduct or neglect of office by the sheriff or the sheriff's deputies.

(8) The period of limitations is 2 years after the expiration of the year for which a constable was elected for actions based on the constable's negligence or misconduct as constable.

(9) The period of limitations is 1 year for an action charging libel or slander.

(10) The period of limitations is 3 years after the time of the death or injury for all other actions to recover damages for the death of a person, or for injury to a person or property.

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805

Sec. 5851. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection