Dog Bite Compensation
Dog bites can be serious, sometimes causing permanent disfigurement, infections, and a lifelong fear of dogs in children. If you or your child was the victim of a dog bite, talk to an experienced Phoenix dog bite lawyer to learn about your legal rights. Here is some important information regarding dog bite compensation.
Dog Bite Compensation | What to Do
Although the authorities may not be able to do anything more than file a report, you should still call them. This report can be beneficial in proving your dog bite claim. It documents the description of the dog with either information they receive from you or from seeing the dog. They may be able to catch the dog and turn it over to animal control or locate the owners. The authorities can also help you deal with the owners of the dog if they are on the scene. Dog bite scenes can involve high emotions between the victim and the owner of the dog.
If the dog bite is serious and you need stitches, have a broken bone, have a torn muscle or tendon, or believe that the dog could be rabid, call 911. You need emergency medical attention. If the wound is relatively minor, you still need medical attention. Dog bites can easily get infected. Additionally, if you don’t get medical attention right away, the owner of the dog could argue that you weren’t really hurt by the dog and don’t deserve compensation.
Dog Bite Compensation | Statute of Limitations
Just like other forms of personal injury, dog bites have a statute of limitation. You must file your claim within two years of the date of the bite. If you don’t, the claim likely won’t be heard by the court. This short time period highlights the importance of making an appointment with a Phoenix dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after the dog bite occurs.
Dog Bite Compensation | Strict Liability
Arizona is known as a strict liability state for dog bites. Therefore, if a dog attacks somebody, the owner of that dog has liability for the injuries and damages, even if the owner wasn’t negligent or had knowledge of whether the dog is vicious. If the dog’s owner isn’t around, but there is a caretaker for the dog present (such as a dog walker), the caretaker and the owner may be held jointly liable for the bite.
However, a dog owner isn’t always liable if their dog bites someone despite Arizona being a strict liability state. In Arizona, there are laws that protect the owner from liability if the victim provoked the dog. Provocation is defined as “circumstances [that] would be likely to provoke a dog.”
Additionally, the dog owner may not be liable if their dog attacks someone who enters private property in an unlawful manner if there are signs posted that indicate that the dog is vicious. If the dog bites someone who was invited onto the property, the owner would likely be liable for the injuries.
If you have been bitten by a dog, contact our Phoenix dog bite lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.