7 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Personal Injury Case
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Dog Bite? Talk to an Experienced Phoenix Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites can be serious. They can cause permanent disfigurement, get infected, and create a life-long 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.
Call the Authorities and Get Immediate Medical Attention
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.
You Only Have Two Years to File Your Claim
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 bite occurs.
Arizona Is a Strict Liability State
Arizona has several laws on the books that cover dog bites. They cover liability and whether the dog was provoked. 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.
Dog Bites in Phoenix Aren’t About the Negligence of the Owner
A dog biting someone doesn’t necessarily mean that the owner was negligent or that the owner knew the dog was vicious. The owner may still be liable if their dog bites someone. It doesn’t matter if the dog bite happens on public or private property, either.
Is the Dog Owner Always Liable?
No, 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.
How Can a Phoenix Dog Bite Lawyer Help?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you should schedule a case review with a Phoenix dog bite lawyer. You’ll learn whether you have a viable claim and what sort of compensation you may be entitled to receive. Common types of compensation include:
A Phoenix dog bite lawyer can deal with the dog’s owner and their insurance company. Dog bites are often covered by homeowner’s, renter’s, and business insurance policies. The lawyer can also inform you about whether any settlement offered by the insurance company is fair. If necessary, a lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim.
To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us now at (602) 812-4600.