Arizona Dog Bites
Our Arizona Injury Attorneys Discuss what to do when an injury occurs from a dog bite.
When most people think of personal injury claims, they think of their own experience in a car accident or of litigious misers who greedily file fraudulent lawsuits as a form of income. Many people don’t realize that another unfortunately common type of personal injury claim is a dog bite claim.
Arizona Dog Bite Laws
There are three laws in Arizona that cover dog bite injuries:
- A.R.S. § 11-1020 states that “[i]njury to any person or damage to any property by a dog while at large shall be the full responsibility of the dog owner or person or persons responsible for the dog when such damages were inflicted.” This means that if your dog escaped, you are liable for dog bite injuries whether they incurred on public or private property. If someone else was responsible for your dog, e.g., a pet groomer or dog sitter, they would be responsible for the damages.
- A.R.S. § 11-1025 states that “[t]he owner of a dog which bites the person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness.” Some states only hold the dog owner liable for bites if the owner knew the dog had a propensity for violence. Arizona is not one of those states. However, a dog owner is not liable for dog bites suffered by someone trespassing on their property. This statute also makes an exception, barring recovery from those who suffer dog bites by military and police dogs in legitimately executed governmental agency activities.
- A.R.S. § 11-1026 states that “[a] person is lawfully in or on the property of the owner of a dog within the meaning of this article when an invitee or guest, or when in the performance of a duty imposed on him by law of the state or the United States, or by ordinances of a municipality in which such a property is located.” This means that in the context of a dog bite, someone who is performing a legal obligation on the dog owner’s property- like a police officer or an EMT- is treated as a guest instead of a trespasser.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bite in Arizona?
Whether you are the dog owner or the bite victim, there are a few steps you should take after a dog bite. Dog bite wounds are usually punctures, which can get infected easily. The first thing to do after a dog bite is clean and tend to the wound. Make sure the dog has its rabies vaccinations.
Much like if you’ve been in a car accident, this next steps will sound similar. You should exchange information with the other party. You may need to confirm vaccinations and file a personal injury claim with their insurance provider. Take pictures and videos of the wounds and the scene of the attack. Get the name and phone number of any witnesses. This is also the time to reach out to Your Arizona Injury Attorneys at My AZ Lawyers to assure that you are compensated for your injuries and inconvenience.
While it may sadly end in euthanization for the dog, you should probably call animal control after a dog bite. This may aid in the investigation of your own case, and prevent future bite victims from the same dog. If you are the bite victim, you should continue documenting your injuries after the initial attack. Inability to complete tasks, pain, and emotional distress should all be noted as this would be factored into the pain and suffering portion of your award. Also, remember, Our Mesa Injury Attorneys don’t get paid until you get yours.
Other Types of Animal Bites
- Cat bites- Arizona doesn’t have the same strict liability statute for cat bites as it does for dog bites. However, the owner can be held liable if it can be proven that the cat has bitten someone before, or if the owner is guilty of general negligence that caused the bite.
- Wild animals- Many types of wild animals require special licensure to be kept as pets. Because owning a wild animal is dangerous, there is strict liability for owners of wild animals that bite humans.
- Horses- Horses are more likely to injure humans through kicking and bucking rather than biting. Because most people know that horses are dangerous, and they are rarely running around loose, horse injuries are usually litigated under a general negligence standard.
Other Considerations Regarding Dog Bit Injuries in Arizona
Arizona is one of the states that provides an exception to strict liability if the bite victim provokes the dog. Hitting, kicking, or otherwise harassing a dog can bar a bite victim from recovering for their damages.
After a dog bite, there may be a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy that can cover the damages. However, certain renter’s insurance policies may not cover larger breeds with a reputation for being aggressive, like Pit bulls, Mastiffs, and Doberman Pinschers. An umbrella policy can be used to extend coverage for renters with excluded dog breeds.
Our Arizona Dog Bite and Animal Bite Attorneys are here to help.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, you should consult with a personal injury attorney to determine if you are eligible under Arizona law to collect for your damages. To start your dog bite injury claim process, start with a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Additionally, Our attorneys can assist you with settlement negotiations, and represent you at trial if it proceeds that far- all at a guaranteed contingency rate of 25%. Why waste 5-8% of your personal injury award when you can hire the best for less? Get started with your free consultation today.