What You Need to Know About Arizona’s Dog Bite Laws
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Feb 28, 2018 in Personal Injury
A dog bite can cause devastating and painful physical injuries. However, the damage from a dog attack often goes far beyond the victim’s physical wounds.
If you are a victim of a dog attack in Arizona, it is important to know the state’s dog bite laws to understand your rights. If the owner of the dog can be held liable for the physical and psychological injuries you sustained, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, any lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other out-of-pocket costs.
The Phillips Law Group’s Arizona dog bite attorneys will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and determine if you have a case. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we obtain compensation for you.
Dog Bite Liability Laws in Arizona
Arizona follows a “strict liability” law for claims regarding dog bites and attacks. This means a dog's owner is liable for any injuries and damages the dog causes, according to A.R.S. § 11-1025.
The owner of the dog does not need to know about the attack, and the victim does not need to prove negligence caused the attack. For a victim to hold a dog owner liable for his or her injuries, the victim must simply show that his or her injury was caused by the dog bite.
The victim can hold the dog’s owner liable if he or she was attacked in a public setting or while on private property, as long as the victim was a lawful guest or invitee, according to A.R.S. § 11-1026.
Unlike many states, Arizona does not follow the “one free bite” policy, where the owner may not be held liable for damages the first time his or her dog bites someone. This means a dog owner can be liable for a dog bite injury regardless of whether the dog has bitten someone before.
When is the Dog Owner Not Liable for Damages?
Although Arizona uses “strict liability” in most dog bite cases, there are some exceptions where a dog owner may not be at fault for a dog bite injury.
The only defense dog owners have against liability for a dog bite injury is when it can be proven that the victim intentionally provoked the dog.
Under A.R.S. § 11-1027, a dog owner may avoid liability in a dog bite claim if a reasonable person would believe the victim’s actions unquestionably provoked the dog to attack, and that the animal would not have bitten the person otherwise.
In the case that an attacking dog is under the care and control of someone other than the owner at the time of the incident, then both the dog’s caretaker and the owner can be held jointly liable for the victim’s injury.
Time Limits for Filing a Dog Bite Claim
If you are the victim of a dog bite, Arizona law requires you to take legal action against the dog’s owner within one year of the attack.
This is referred to as the statute of limitations. If you wait any longer than the one-year statute of limitations to file your claim, it will likely be dismissed and you will lose the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
For this reason, anyone who is seeking compensation for a dog bite that occurred in Arizona must be aware of state’s one-year statute of limitations and act accordingly.
Phillips Law Group is Here to Help You
You should always be cautious about any dog that doesn't belong to you. If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, you should act quickly learn your rights to recover compensation for your injury.
At the Phillips Law Group, our lawyers are well-versed in the laws that apply to dog bite claims. We will guide you through the process while answering any questions you may have.
Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our attorneys to find out if you have a case against a negligent dog owner. We work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge any upfront legal fees to our clients. We only require payment if we recover compensation for your claim.
Call or text 1-800-706-3000 to get started today.