Dog Bite Liability and Foster Dogs
Fostering a dog can be an extremely rewarding experience. If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog, fostering one can help you figure out if owning one is right for you. You can also help free up space in a shelter or help a dog adjust to living in a regular home before it moves onto a forever home.
But regardless of which breed of dog is being fostered is or how what size a foster dog is, it’s important to remember that all dogs have the potential to bite. Generally speaking, figuring out liability for a dog bite is fairly simple. Michigan and many other states have a strict liability dog bite law which holds owners responsible for injuries caused if their dog bites someone, even if the dog doesn’t have a history of biting or otherwise being aggressive. Even in states that have what is often referred to as a “one bite” law, the owner of a dog sometimes can still be held liable for dog bite injuries even if it’s the first time a dog has bitten someone. But what happens if you’re bitten by a dog that doesn’t have a permanent owner, but is being cared for as a foster dog?
If you were bitten by a foster dog, it’s important to contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. When a dog is being cared for by someone who isn’t necessarily an owner, liability can be more complicated and a lawyer will be able to help you figure out the exact laws that apply to your situation.
When a dog isn’t in the care of an owner, they’re often in the care of what is considered a “keeper” or “harborer.” Many courts consider a person to be a dog’s keeper if they have custody of a dog and actively care for a dog. Some states may have more specific requirements that need to be met for a person to be considered an animal’s keeper. Even if a state doesn’t have a dog bite law that specifically includes keepers or harborers as being liable for dog bites, it’s possible that there’s a local ordinance that does.
At Goodwin & Sceiszka, we have attorneys who are very experienced in handling Michigan dog bite cases. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, we’re here to help answer your questions. Contact us today to get started.