Dog Laws In Michigan

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In Michigan, a dog owner is liable for damages caused by a dog bite:

(1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the owner’s property, the dog’s owner shall be liable for any damages irrespective of whether the dog owner had knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog if: 1) the person is performing a duty imposed the law [or postal regulations of the United States] or if the person is an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless for purposes of an unlawful or criminal act.

In Michigan, landlords have a duty of care to keep their premises safe and free of hazards. A person who is injured by a dog owned by a renter may be able to recover from the landlord. The injured person must prove that the landlord knew or should have known that a dangerous dog was kept on the rental property and failed to take reasonable steps to remedy the risk of harm in a timely manner.

Damages that can be recovered depend upon the nature and extent of injury, medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, periods of total and/or partial disability, physical pain and mental suffering, disfiguring scarring, permanency of injury, and loss of consortium.


In Michigan, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of injury. This means you must file a lawsuit against the owner/keeper of the dog within that time, or you will be forever time barred from pursuing a case.


Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 287.351

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The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed through the use of this website.  Laws relating to dog injuries can, and do, change.  To learn your legal rights, contact The Snow Law Firm, or contact a licensed and experienced attorney in your state.


In most states, when a minor is bitten or injured by a dog, the statute of limitation period does not begin to run until the minor reaches the age of 18.  Thus, for example, if an 11-year-old child is bitten or injured by a dog in a state that has a 3 year statute of limitation period within which to file a lawsuit, they will have three years from the date they turn 18 years of age, and would thus have to file a lawsuit before they turn 21 years of age.  In most instances, however, it is recommended that a parent or guardian bring a claim for a dog bite or injury claim on behalf of a minor child before waiting for the injured child to turn 18.


Some states limit the type of damages that a person bitten or injured by a dog can recover.  In most states, however, a person who is bitten or injured by a dog can recover damages that include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, physical pain and mental suffering, scarring, permanency of injury, periods of total and/or partial disability and loss of spousal consortium.