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What Are the Legal Responsibilities of Landlords in Dog Bite Liability Cases?

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Unfortunately, dog bite attacks are a harsh reality that occurs far too frequently. When someone experiences a dog attack and sustains injuries, they may have the right to seek damages from the responsible party. In certain instances, this may even involve holding the landlord accountable for the dog bite incident.

Understanding the legal obligations of landlords in cases involving dog bite liability is crucial. Equally important is taking the necessary steps to ensure that those who have been injured receive the justice and compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering. Our law firm can help you understand your rights under Michigan injury law. Contact us today at 248-671-6794 for a free consultation.

What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?

While many dogs are friendly and not hostile, a dog bite can cause serious damage. These are some of the most common types of dog bite injuries.

Skin and Tissue Damage

Dog bites can cause a range of injuries, from minor punctures to serious lacerations that affect nerves, blood vessels, and even bones. The aftermath may include infections or complications requiring extensive medical treatment like antibiotics, stitches, or even reconstructive surgery. Seeking immediate medical attention is vital to prevent complications and ensure proper healing.


Due to the presence of bacteria in a dog’s mouth, dog bites can often lead to infections. These infections, if left untreated, can escalate quickly and result in severe health complications. It is important to promptly clean and treat dog bites to prevent the spread of infection and ensure proper healing.

Nerve Damage

Depending on the severity and location of the bite, dog attacks can result in nerve damage. This can lead to long-term pain, numbness, or even paralysis in the affected area. Nerve damage can affect the victim’s ability to perform daily tasks and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, it can have a significant impact on their quality of life, causing emotional distress and hindering their overall well-being.


Scarring is another common outcome of dog bite attacks. When a dog bites, it can cause varying degrees of damage to the skin and underlying tissues. Minor scars, such as small cuts or abrasions, can often be treated with laser therapy and topical medications. However, in cases where the dog bite has caused more severe scarring, such as deep lacerations or tissue loss, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Psychological Trauma

Beyond the physical wounds, victims of dog bite attacks often experience profound psychological trauma that can have long-lasting effects. This trauma may manifest as intense anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a deep-rooted fear of dogs, which significantly impacts the victim’s overall quality of life and their ability to engage in daily activities.

It’s essential to seek immediate medical help after a dog bite incident, even if the wound doesn’t seem severe. Early treatment can prevent complications and ensure a smoother recovery process.

What is a Landlord’s Responsibility in Dog Bite Cases?

It’s not uncommon for landlords to be held liable for dog bite incidents due to their legal responsibility to maintain rental properties as safe and secure living spaces. A landlord may be found partially or wholly responsible if any of the following conditions were present:

Knowledge of the Dog’s Vicious Nature

When a landlord becomes aware of a tenant’s dog displaying aggressive behavior towards people or animals, it becomes their responsibility to ensure the safety of their tenants and visitors. Taking proactive measures, such as posting warning signs, can help alert others to the potential danger and prevent any dangerous incidents.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

Landlords are expected to take responsibility for ensuring that all rental properties are not only adequately maintained and secure but also free from potential hazards that could pose a risk to tenants. This includes but is not limited to, implementing proper safety measures to prevent dog bite injuries. For instance, if a gate is left open due to negligence and an attack occurs, the landlord could be held liable for any resulting injuries.


If a landlord demonstrates negligence in any way, such as consistently ignoring tenants’ repeated requests to take proper safety measures or failing to enforce clear guidelines stated in the property’s pet policy, they could potentially be held legally responsible for any injuries that occur as a direct result of their actions or lack of action. It is crucial for landlords to prioritize the well-being and safety of their tenants by promptly addressing any concerns and adhering to established policies and regulations.

What Should I Do If I’m Bitten by a Dog?

If you’ve been injured in a dog bite, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the wounds aren’t severe, infections can still occur and require treatment.

You also need to gather evidence to support your case. This could include taking photos of the attack scene and eyewitness testimonies. It’s also essential to file a police report as soon as possible.

Once you’ve sought the necessary medical care and collected evidence, it’s time to look into filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. While this can be an overwhelming process, our experienced injury attorneys are here to help you through every step of the way.

At Sigal Law Firm, we understand how difficult this time may be for you. That’s why we are committed to providing dedicated legal representation and zealous advocacy to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve for their suffering. Contact us today at 248-671-6794 for a free consultation.

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