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While dogs are known as “man’s best friend”, irresponsible owners who fail to properly leash their dogs or allow their dogs to roam the neighborhood can easily turn dogs into a child’s worst nightmare.  Although the family dog can be a beloved member of the family, many people underestimate both the frequency and severity of dog attacks.

Dog Bite Accidents Constitute the Basis for More Than One-Third of All Homeowner Insurance Claims

There are approximately 4.7 million people that suffer dog bites annually, and 800,000 of these dog bite victims are injured severely enough that they need medical attention according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The federal agency also reports that 42 percent of those treated for dog bite injuries are kids age 14 or under.  Dog bite injuries are so prevalent that they constitute the leading basis of claims against homeowner insurance policies.  Dog bite accidents account for over a third of all homeowner policy claims, resulting in payouts of approximately $489 million annually according to the Insurance Journal.

Arizona Dog Bite Laws & Basis for Liability 

Dog Owners Do Not Get One Free Bite

While common law rules in most states once required that a dog owner have constructive or actual knowledge of a dog’s viciousness to be strictly liable, this rule has been modified to favor dog bite victims in many states including Arizona.  Arizona’s dog bite law (ARS §11-1025) follows the modern trend by placing the financial responsibility for injuries and fatalities caused by dogs on those who elect to own a dog.  The Arizona dog bite statute eliminates the archaic “one bite rule”, which used to require a victim to prove that the owner should have known that the attacking dog had vicious propensities.

Under ARS §11-1025, dog owners are liable for attacks, maulings or injuries caused by their dog without the need to prove knowledge of viciousness (the “scienter” requirement) or negligent conduct by the dog owner.  Individuals who are lawfully present on the property or another person or public property can pursue a claim for damages against the owner of the dog.

Overcoming Defenses to Dog Bite Claims 

Provocation Defense

Although a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries or deaths caused by their dog, a dog attack victim can be barred from recovery for provoking the dog.  Our Phoenix dog bite lawyers promptly investigate dog bite cases so that we can locate witnesses or other evidence to establish how the attack occurred and that our client did not provoke the dog.

Lawful Presence

To obtain relief under ARS §11-1025, the dog mauling or bite victim must be lawfully present on the property.  This essentially means that trespassers cannot recover under this statutory provision.  However, trespassers may be able to recover financial compensation for a dog bite under a different legal theory.  Child trespassers may be especially entitled to compensation for injuries under other legal principles depending on the circumstances.  Liability can be based on negligence, leash law violations and other theories of liability.  If you or someone close to you was bitten by a dog while trespassing, you should seek immediate legal advice to assess your rights.

Seeking Serious Recovery for Dog Attacks, Mauling and Bite Accidents

When a dog attack occurs, the victim can experience severe physical injuries and deep lasting emotional trauma.  For many people, the term “dog bite” spurs thoughts of minor puncture wounds that heal in a few days.  The reality is far more ominous because dog attacks can cause devastating injuries that necessitate multiple reconstructive surgeries and permanent disfigurement.  Dog attacks also are responsible of dozens of deaths each year in the U.S., and they can cause many other types of injuries that include:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Infections including sepsis
  • Head injuries
  • Deep gashes, tears and lacerations
  • Emotional trauma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Internal organ damage and blood loss

When you suffer these types of severe injuries in a Phoenix dog bite or an attack anywhere throughout Maricopa County, our experienced Phoenix dog bite lawyers may be able to seek some or all of the following types of damages:

  • Emergency room bills and other medical expenses
  • Costs of therapy to deal with the psychological trauma
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Impact on quality of life
  • Punitive damages (cases of egregious conduct)

Don’t Wait to Speak Directly with a Phoenix Dog Bite Lawyer

When you call Ariano & Associates, PLLC, you will be immediately connected with a knowledgeable and friendly dog attack attorney so that you can get your questions answered without having to schedule an appointment.  Our Phoenix dog bite attorneys are committed to personally handling our clients’ cases rather than passing cases to legal assistants and other support staff. Our Phoenix auto accident law firm represents clients throughout the Phoenix area and Maricopa County, including but not limited to the following counties cities: Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Paradise Valley, Apache Junction, Peoria, Glendale, Chandler, Fountain Valley, Goodyear, Avondale, Surprise, El Mirage and Sun City.  We invite you to call us today so that you can get your questions answered and learn about your legal rights and remedies at (602) 666-0050.

No Recovery No Fee!