Dog Attacks

What Happens When a Dog Bites Someone in Arizona?

Different states have different laws when it comes to liability for dog bites. The general rule that an owner of a dog is responsible for the harm it causes is applied with varying degrees of strictness across the country. Some states follow a “one free bite” standard, in which an owner generally isn’t liable the first time their dog bites someone if they had no reason to believe it was dangerous. Not so in Arizona, which follows a “strict liability” standard. If your dog bites someone in Arizona, you can be held liable for the injuries it causes regardless of whether you knew (or didn’t know) that it had a tendency to attack people.

Legally recoverable damages for dog bite injuries may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Lost wages from missed work
  • Emotional trauma
  • Compensation for permanent disfiguration

Even in Arizona, There Are Defenses to a Dog Bite Lawsuit

The victim of a dog bite will not win their lawsuit if they provoked the dog into biting them. Teasing, yelling at, or otherwise agitating a dog will likely satisfy this standard. Neither can a dog bite victim prevail if they were trespassing on private property at the time of the bite. Finally, a dog bite victim must file their case within two years of the incident or the case will be thrown out under what is known as the “statute of limitations.”

Even in Arizona, There Are Defenses to a Dog Bite Lawsuit

  1. Make sure you are safe. Call 911 if necessary.
  2. Write down the contact information of the dog’s owner and any witnesses.
  3. Take photos of the bite from different angles.
  4. File a report with an animal control agency such as Maricopa County Animal Care and Control — (602) 506-7387

Collecting this information will make the subsequent claim process and attorney consultation much easier.

A Good  Dog Attack Lawyer Makes All the Difference

If you are the victim of a dog bite, you will likely receive an offer of settlement from the dog owner’s insurance company (assuming they had insurance). If you sign this settlement offer, you forfeit the right to bring a suit against the dog owner. Therefore, you should only agree to settle after consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney, who will inform you if the offered amount is fair and reasonable compensation for the injuries you suffered.

We know that after experiencing a dog bite, trying to find an attorney is probably one of the last things you want to deal with. But it shouldn’t be. We can guide you through this difficult process so you can focus on recovering as best as possible. We won’t back down if an insurance company tries to pressure you to settle for less, and we are not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. 

For more information about how we can help you, please schedule a consultation with us today.

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