What to do if my dog bite another person while unleashed in a public park?

I was clearly at fault. What could be the consequences?

Asked on October 16, 2013 under Personal Injury, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Some states give a dog a "free" bite--that is, if there was no prior evidence that the dog was dangerous, there will generally be no liability for the first bite. However, your state does not: that is, the very first dog bite can result in liabilty. If the dog is unleased in a public area, so that 1) everyone else there, including the person bitten, if lawfully in the area; and 2) it is quite possibly negligent, or careless, to have a dog running around unleashed when there are lots of other people around and many things that could excite or provoke a dog, then there is a high likelihood that you would be liable for the medical costs, lost wages (if any) and pain and suffering (for serious injuries) of anyone bitten by your dog.

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