Under Michigan’s dog-bite statute, a dog owner is strictly liable for any damages caused when his or her dog bites another individual. Importantly, this particular law applies regardless of whether the dog has previously bitten anyone or otherwise indicated it may be vicious.
However, there are some limited exceptions to this law. For instance, if you, the dog-bite victim, provoke the dog ― either intentionally or unintentionally ― you may be barred from recovering damages for your injuries.
Also, in order to hold the dog owner liable, the dog bite must occur on public property or while you are lawfully on private property. If, for example, you are invited onto the dog owner’s property, either as a guest or a customer, you will likely be able to collect damages if you are bitten by his or her dog. Alternatively, if you are trespassing on private property or gaining access to the property to commit a crime, damages will likely be unavailable.