It is being reported that Saginaw is considering a new dangerous dog proposal. Under the proposal, the number of dogs that any home could have would be limited to three and owners would pay a one-time fee in the amount of $50.00 for each breed that is identified as a "dangerous dog." Officials have not defined what would be considered a dangerous dog under the proposal.
As we have indicated in previous blogs, city ordinances addressing dangerous animals should attempt to prevent attacks and address the needs of the victims who often incur costly medical expenses in the treatment of their injuries. While the limit on the number of dogs kept in a particular home may help to limit a pack mentality and hopefully dog attacks, I fail to see how a one-time fee of $50.00 would help compensate victims for the injuries incurred through dog attacks. There is no mention that the fee would go toward the purchase of insurance to compensate potential victims nor is indicated that the money would go into a fund to compensate dog bite victims. Most likely the money would be an administrative fee that would do nothing more than increase revenue for the city.
Michigan is a strict liability state in regards to dog bites, meaning a dog is not allowed "one free bite" as in some other states. No matter whether the dog has shown aggressive behavior in the past or if it has already bitten someone before, the dog owner may be held liable for the victim's injuries. At Freedman & Freedman, we represent dog bite victims throughout Detroit, Troy, Southfield, Rochester Hills and the surrounding areas in Michigan. We are happy to offer a free initial consultation with an experienced Michigan dog bite lawyer, giving you the opportunity to learn more about what you can do to maximize your potential for financial damages.
Contact a Detroit dog bite lawyer at Freedman & Freedman today to talk about your claim and how you can bring the dog owner to justice.