Ferocious dog showing terrifying teeth

On the Job Dog Bite Claim

Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney Nov. 9, 2023

When dogs have been known to bite strangers, whether provoked or not, the injuries can range from the minor discomfort to major results such as scarring, puncture wounds, broken bones, and even rabies in some cases.  

In both Ohio and Michigan, the laws regarding dog bites and attacks hold their owners “strictly liable.” (This is very different than some states that cling to a “one bite” rule — where the first biting incident by a dog will be forgiven). In Ohio and Michigan, once the dog bites, the owner is liable. 

If you’re bitten at work, the framework of the laws at issue in your case take on a whole different shape. Any injury occurring while on the job can qualify an employee for workers’ compensation benefits. In this employment scenario, you may be entitled to these worker's compensation benefits, while simultaneously be entitled to pursue an insurance claim against the owner’s liability policy as a homeowner or renter.  You need to be very careful here to protect any worker's compensation liens that exist.

If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, while on the job anywhere in Ohio or Michigan, contact Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney. Our legal team will delve into the details of what happened and advise you of which legal avenues would be best for you to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.  

On-the-Job Dog Bites

As mentioned above, if you’re bitten or attacked by a dog while performing your official duties on the job, you have multiple avenues to recover for injuries and associated losses. You can file a claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, which generally covers dog bites even if they occur off the insured's property.  

In Michigan, you have three years from the date of the incident to resolve your dispute or to file a personal injury lawsuit. The Ohio statute of limitations is two years. Both states have different rules related to minors and other specific individuals, so it is imperative to consult with an attorney that is knowledgeable in the dog bite legal arena. Both states, as noted, are strict liability dog bite states. This means that a dog and its owner do not get a pass on its first biting incident. 

The other avenue is to file for workers’ compensation benefits from the company for which you work. Any job that requires you to pay visits to other people’s property put you at a higher risk to encounter unfriendly or aggressive pets. Such occupations can include:  

  • postal/mail delivery, 

  • Deliverers of online shopping items,

  • Food deliverers,

  • plumbers,  

  • electricians,  

  • cable installers,  

  • landscapers,  

  • home healthcare workers,  

  • meter readers,  

  • door-to-door salespersons,  

  • contractors,  

  • and more. 

It’s also important to note that if you work for your own business and have no employees, workers’ compensation will likely not be available. 

How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help

A dog bite attorney can provide immensely useful guidance and help. To start with, your attorney can advise you of which paths are most justified and likely to get you the just compensation that you deserve. 

Keep in mind that — while insurance claims and lawsuits can provide compensation for medical expenses, time lost from work, your pain, suffering, and emotional anguish — workers’ compensation does not provide for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Also, workers’ compensation generally pays only a percentage of your average weekly wage. 

Another point to keep in mind is that, if you accept workers’ compensation and then seek an insurance claim or lawsuit, any compensation you receive from those sources can be claimed by the workers’ compensation insurer to repay them for what they provided you in benefits. 

Of course, an attorney would be absolutely essential if you want to file a lawsuit, but they can also prove invaluable in an insurance claim or workers’ compensation filing. In both instances, the insurance company’s representatives and legal team are going to try to pin as much of the fault on you as they can in order to lower or deny any settlement for your claim.  

You don’t want to deal with the insurance companies without an experienced dog bite attorney on your side. We regularly handle negotiations with insurance adjusters on dog bite claims.

Get Legal Assistance You Can Count On

If you’ve been involved in an on-the-job dog-bite incident anywhere in Ohio or Michigan, reach out to us immediately at Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney. We are personal injury attorneys with a combined 80-years’ experience. We focus on victims of dog bites, along with other causes of injuries. Contact us if you’ve been bitten or attacked on the job. Your first consultation is free. 

If you intend to file an insurance claim against the dog’s owner, we will negotiate the matter aggressively for you.

While we are located in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, we handle cases throughout both states.