Often we are contacted by potential clients wanting to pursue a claim against a dog owner for injuries sustained in a dog attack. Most of these potential clients have horrific scarring from the dog's teeth, some have broken bones caused by the dog's crushing jaws, but they all suffer severe pain, emotional injuries and incur medical expenses. As personal injury attorneys, it is frustrating when we discover that the dog owner has no insurance to cover the injuries inflicted by their dog - especially when the dog was known to have attacked before.
Royal Oak's new dangerous dog ordinance went into effect last Thursday seeking to protect people from dog attacks and makes dog owners more responsible for the actions of their dogs when they do attack. To read the ordinance in its entirety, we suggest you go to the City of Royal Oak website, ci.royal-oak.mi.us and search Ordinance No. 2013-07.
Royal Oak's ordinance requires that the determination of whether a dog is "dangerous" or "potentially dangerous" be made based upon the actions of the dog, not just assumed based upon its particular breed. A dog owner has the right to request a hearing on the dog's classification. If a dog is determined to be "dangerous" or "potentially dangerous" there are a number of requirements that the owner must satisfy in order to keep the dog and protect the public from attack, including keeping it in specific fenced enclosures and attending obedience school among others. In addition, the owner of a dog determined to be "dangerous" - meaning it has already bit or attacked a person or caused serious injury to another dog or domesticated animal - must carry a $1,000,000 insurance policy to compensate for any injuries the dog may inflict in the future. Dogs that have attacked in the past are likely to repeat their behavior and this requirement helps to compensate innocent victims of vicious attacks.
If you or anyone you know have been attacked and/or bitten by a dog, call the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman to discuss your options.