Legal Liability for Dog Bites in Businesses

Legal Liability for Dog Bites in Businesses

by / Friday, 03 September 2021 / Published in Dog Bites
A collie dog lays on the floor of an office near a group of people around a table.

While dog owners, generally speaking, adore their pets and consider them to be part of the family, some of them are very attached to their dogs and frequently bring them along when they leave the house, such as while running errands or going to the office. 

Many companies have been adopting pet-friendly policies in recent years that allow for employees to bring their dogs into offices or for customers to bring their pets inside while they conduct business. But while many companies allow employees to bring dogs into the workplace to help create a more relaxed and fun workplace atmosphere, it can create more opportunities for someone to get hurt. So if a dog bite occurs in a business, such as if a customer is bitten by another customer’s dog or if a person is bitten by a co-worker’s dog while working in an office, who is responsible?

Are Dog Owners or Business Owners Responsible?

The state of Michigan has a strict liability law when it comes to dog bites, which means that dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dog even if the dog does not have a prior history of aggressive behavior. This applies in the majority of dog bite cases, but there may be exceptions if the dog bite occurred while a person was trespassing or provoking the dog at the time of the attack. This means the dog’s owner would also likely be liable for injuries caused if their dog bites someone in an office or other type of business. 

However, if you are bitten or attacked by a dog while in a place of business, it’s important to contact a dog bite lawyer for help with your case because they will be able to help you understand how the law applies to your particular situation and determine whether or not there are unique factors that impact your case. 

For example, there may be some situations where the owner of a business could have some degree of responsibility for injuries caused by a dog attack. Let’s say that a customer brings a dog into a store and employees observe this dog behaving aggressively. If no steps are taken by the store to protect other customers, such as asking the person with the dog to leave, the business could potentially have some degree of liability if the aggressive dog later bites another customer in the store. Or, if a store manager was attacked while asking the owner of the dog to leave, a lawyer would be able to help with questions about workers compensation benefits. 

Contact a Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Since dog attack cases aren’t always black and white, it’s important to have someone on your side who knows the law and can fight to protect your best interests so that you get all of the compensation you need. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’re highly experienced in handling Michigan dog bite cases, as well as a wide range of other personal injury cases, including workplace injury claims. Contact us today for help with your case.

Image: iStock / SrdjanPav

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