Insurance companies pay out over $1 billion dollars annually to dog bite victims in the United States. Despite dogs being known as man’s best friend, over 5 million dog bites occur per year. If you are a victim of a dog bite our firm can represent you in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Some dog bites can result in serious injury or even death. Nearly 1,000 Americans are brought daily to the emergency room for dog bites.
Compensation from the dog owner may include all of your medical bills, cosmetic surgery or physical therapy to help you recover from the injury. Homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance can provide coverage for dog owners or responsible parties. In certain circumstances landlords can be liable for dog bite injuries if they had knowledge of a dangerous dog.
Some states use a “one free bite” standard to dog bite law. Arizona uses a stronger standard imposing strict liability.
Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S 11-1020 on Dog Liability states: Injury 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.
The owner or responsible party shall be liable whether or not they knew of prior bites or aggressive behavior.
Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S 11-1025 (A) states:
The owner of a dog which bites a 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.
In addition to the above statutory liability, it is also possible to file a claim based on negligence. Consult with a dog bite lawyer to determine which is best approach for your situation.
Arizona dog bite defenses include provocation of the attack, or if the dogs are being used by the government for work in a police or military capacity.
After the Dog Bite occurs certain steps should be taken. First it is important to remember not to panic. Dogs are usually friendly unless threatened. Once the dog is under control it is likely that further injury will not occur. Assess your injury and determine if a hospital or medical provider is immediately necessary.
Once your medical condition is stable, you should identify the animal that bit you. If it is a stray dog attempt to take a picture if possible to later identify the animal. If the dog is not identified painful treatment for rabies may be necessary. If the dog is with a handler or owner then you should get their information. Ask to see their driver’s license to confirm that the information is correct. If there are any witnesses also ask for their contact information. Have the handler provide any dog license information from the dog’s collar. Try to take photos of the dog and the area where the incident occurred.
When you are at home, write down in as much detail about the events as they occurred. Dog bite litigation can often take several months or years, so it will be important to have a clear chronology of what happened. Take several photos of your injuries.
Dog bite claims and litigation are subject to statute of limitations. This means that if you wait too long you lose the ability to recover for your injuries.
Our firm will evaluate your dog bite claim and can advise you on the best course of action. There is no cost for a consultation and no fee paid until a settlement or resolution at trial.