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Dog Bite Liability In Michigan

Dog Bite Liability In Michigan

by Bret Schnitzer

Dog bite cases are covered by Michigan Legislative Statute MCL 287.351. This statute eliminates the “one bite rule” that was generally found in common law. In Michigan you do not need to establish that the dog had bitten before or known to have a vicious propensity in order to recover damages for a dog bite.

It is, however, important to identify the dog and to immediately contact animal control and make a report right away. Most homeowners policies insure dog owners for dog bites or dog attacks and will both defend and pay for injuries sustained from a dog bite or dog attack. Once ownership of the dog has been established there are only two main defenses to a dog bite attack. The insurance company for the dog owner may try to establish that the victim was “trespassing”. In most cases this defense will fail. The Second defense is that the dog bite victim “provoked the dog”.

It is always a good idea to politely reject any requests by the insurance company for a recorded statement. Contact an attorney right away after a dog bite. Our Attorneys have handled hundreds of dog bite case over the past 25 years. Everything from a puncture wound bite on the leg to horrendous dog attacks resulting in facial, body scarring, significant physical injuries and severe emotional harm.

We recently recovered over $300,000.00 for a dog bite child victim who was mauled in an unprovoked attack.In addition, we have over 25 years of outstanding results for our clients for dog bite claims. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234. We are here to help.

MCL 287.351 Person bitten by dog; liability of owner.

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 the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

What Constitutes Provocation?

Brans v Extrom, 266 Mich App 216; 701 NW2d 163 (2005) the plaintiff accidentally stepped on the dog’s tail, causing the dog to bite the plaintiff’s leg. A jury found this to be adequate provocation. The Court of Appeals denied the dog owner a new trial by holding that the plaintiff’s intent was immaterial. The question of provocation is generally a jury question.

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The Seventh Amendment Of The Constitution

The Seventh Amendment Of The United States Constitution

by Bret Schnitzer

The Seventh Amendment States:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

The First Ten Amendments in the United States Constitution are known as the Bill Of Rights. One of the most important of all of the Bill of Rights is the Seventh Amendment.

The Framers of the United States Constitution intended to preserve the trial by jury as a check on potential abuse of power by the government. John Adams explains:

As the Constitution requires that the popular branch of the legislature should have an absolute check, so as to put a peremptory negative upon every act of the government, it requires that the common people, should have as complete a control, as decisive a negative, in every judgment of a court of judicature.

Uncertainty in the law is a serious problem, insofar as the published precedent of courts in a common law system is supposed to constitute “a clear guide for the conduct of individuals, to enable them to plan their affairs with assurance against untoward surprise. But whereas a runaway jury poses a clear and present danger to that reliance interest, a runaway judge can pose an even greater peril.

As Thomas Jefferson explained: that

[w]e all know that permanent judges acquire an esprit de corps; that, being known, they are liable to be tempted by bribery; that they are misled by favor, by relationship, by a spirit of party, by a devotion to the executive or legislative; that it is better to leave a cause to the decision of cross and pile than to that of a judge biased to one side; and that the opinion of twelve honest jurymen gives still a better hope of right than cross and pile does. It is left therefore, to the juries, if they think the permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges; and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty.
Whereas colonial judges routinely instructed jurors that they were the ultimate arbiters of both fact and law,the modern judge asserts almost an plenary control over the evidence, law, and facts, instructing the jury as to what the law is and may overturn decisions in favor of the defense.

Seventh Amendment Attorneys Representing Injury Victims

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Neck Injury And The Need For Surgery From A Car Accident

Neck Injury And The Need For Surgery From A Car Accident

by Bret Schnitzer

Neck injuries are commonplace for auto accident victims. The rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck due to the forces of a car accident can cause many types of neck injuries. Striking your head or body inside the vehicle during impact can also cause many types of neck injuries. This article will address one such neck injury common yet serious and related to a motor vehicle accident. This injury is known as a Cervical Radiculopathy. Cervical or neck and Radiculopathy or radiation down the upper extremity.

What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy is the damage to the nerve function that results if one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area can cause pain and the loss of sensation in various upper extremities, depending on where the damaged roots are located.

What Are The Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy?

Damage can occur as a result of pressure from material from a ruptured disc, bulging disc, degenerative changes in bones, arthritis or other injuries that put pressure on the nerve roots. The spine is comprised of vertebrae which are bony structures which have a disc between each of them. The disc is similar to a donut or shock absorber. The outer portion of the disc is called the annulus fibrosus and is hard and rigid. The interior portion of the disc is called the nucleus pulposus and is jelly like and soft. When the disc is injured due to a traumatic auto accident the jelly material can push out and cause the outer rigid portion of the disc to bulge or herniate. When this occurs the disc material can press on the nerves that run down the spine causing a pressure resulting in a radiating pain down the extremity and causing pain and weakness.

What Are The Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy?

The main symptom of cervical radiculopathy is pain that spreads into the arm, neck, chest and/or shoulders. A person with radiculopathy may experience muscle weakness and/or numbness or tingling in fingers or hands. Other symptoms may include lack of coordination, especially in the hands. The tingling or numbness or weakness that accompanies a radiculopathy is a common but a serious condition.

What Are The Treatments of Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy may be treated with a combination of pain medications such as corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatory steroidal drugs) or non-steroidal pain medication (Motrin or Aleve) and physical therapy. Steroids may be prescribed either orally or injected epidurally (into the space above the dura, which is the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord).

Physical therapy might include gentle cervical traction and mobilization, exercises, and other modalities to reduce pain. If significant compression on the nerve exists to the extent that motor weakness results, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure. Surgery can be a fusion of the vetabrae by removing the disc. Other surgeries include lamenectomy/ Discectomy surgery which can be performed with or without a surgical fusion. Other surgical procedures include medtronic implants or artificial disc replacement surgery.

The Consequences Of A Serious Neck Injury From A Car Accident

More often then not even with surgery or the treatment described above, an injury of this kind is permanent and has permanent consequences. It is therefore important to hire an attorney that understands these injuries and can get you compensation for the long term effect of the damages from a serious auto accident injury to the neck or back.

The Schnitzer Law Offices have handled many neck and back injury cases. We know the medicine, we know the anatomy and we know how to make the insurance company pay the full compensation for your injuries caused by the car accident. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234

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