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Dog Bites and Seniors

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year. As a group, seniors suffer the second largest number of dog bites (2nd only to children). It is important for seniors to know that, if they are bitten by a dog in the State of Michigan, the owner of the dog is almost always legally responsible to compensate the victim for all of his/her damages, including payment of all medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, etc. In some instances, the owner of the property where the dog resided is also responsible. Often, doctors and other healthcare providers will submit the medical bills for a dog bite suffered by a senior to Medicare despite the fact that the dog owner has homeowner’s insurance that covers him/her for the damages suffered by the dog bite victim. In cases in which Medicare pays a medical bill that should have been paid by another insurance company (like the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company) Medicare will demand that the victim reimburse Medicare out of his/her own pocket if the victim receives a monetary settlement for the injury. As a result, it is important for a dog bite victim to contact an attorney licensed in Michigan as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can significantly increase the victim’s chance of having the medical bills paid by the dog owner’s insurance carrier, which can prevent these situations in which Medicare pays the bill and then seeks reimbursement from the dog bite victim.