Spending time with an animal can and should be a joyous experience. However, sometimes animals attack, especially if you try to protect your pets, and it can lead to horrible injuries. When a dog is not properly trained or restrained and you or your family member suffers because of the attack, you have strong legal rights against the owner.
In the State of Arizona, dog owners can be held liable for their animal’s actions if the dog is in a public place or if you are attacked while legally on the dog owner’s private property. Not only that, but the dog owner is still liable for your injuries even if they had no prior knowledge of their dog being vicious. If you’ve been injured by a dog, you have legal options, and our Prescott dog bite attorneys can help you seek financial restitution. Contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm today by calling (928) 778-2660 or sending us a message online.
Arizona law contains several statutes pertaining to dog bites, such as A.R.S. 11-1025 on liability for dog bites and A.R.S. 11-1027 on provocation. In Arizona, dog bites are treated as strict liability cases, which means that regardless of the owner’s negligence or knowledge of the attack, the owner is likely to be responsible for any injuries or damages.
In contrast, most states follow a “one bite” policy. If a dog bites or attacks a person for the first time, owners are protected from liability. Arizona does not have this policy, which means that dog owners can be held liable even if they did not know their dogs were capable of such actions and the dog had no history of reactionary behavior. If no dog owner was present at the time of the attack and the dog was cared for by someone else, the caretaker and owner may share liability for the victim’s harm.
For a dog owner to be held liable, negligence or ignorance of the dog’s viciousness is not required. Under A.R.S. 11-1025, the owner can be held liable for attacks that take place on public property or on private property where the victim is lawfully present.
Further, this statute makes the viciousness or knowledge of the dog’s potential viciousness irrelevant to an owner’s liability. As a result, even if an owner’s dog was not particularly aggressive before that point, they can still be held liable for damages.
The majority of dog bite victims experience some form of penetration injury to the skin, such as a deep puncture wound, scrape, scratch, cut, or other types of abrasions. Generally, dog bites can lead to two types of injuries that may cause extensive damage to victims, whether human or other animals. One is puncture wounds, which, if deep enough, can cause deep damage to multiple layers of the skin, muscles, or internal organs, as well as increase the risk of infection. Second, dogs can cause serious skin damage by tearing their victims’ skin when they grasp, tug, and shake them.
Injuries to internal organs may even result when the skin is pierced or punctured. For example, the force of a dog’s bite can rip through flesh and cause crushing injuries to internal organs and damage bones. Dog bite injuries usually result in damage to the muscles, joints, blood vessels, ligaments, and nerves near the wound, possibly resulting in partial or total loss of a body part or function, neuropathy, and a variety of other degenerative conditions.
Sometimes, dogs do not need to bite in order to hurt someone. Running away from or being knocked down by an aggressive dog could lead to severe injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, and more.
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite, you need to contact our attorneys for help with your case. Always document what happened (e.g., take pictures) and seek medical attention. Once our Prescott legal team reviews your case, we will help you determine the best way to get maximum compensation from the guilty party.
At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, our goal is to seek justice and financial restitution for you so you and your family can get the care you need and deserve. We will seek compensation for the following:
Serious dog bite incidents regularly result in immense pain, inconvenience, and financial ruin. As a result, those injured by vicious dogs need the qualified assistance of a personal injury lawyer to obtain the recourse they are due.
According to Arizona State Statute 12-542, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years, but a dog bite lawsuit must be filed within one year of the attack. Any dog bite lawsuits filed within that year are covered by Arizona’s strict liability law. After one year, you can only bring negligence claims against the dog owner.
A negligence claim requires demonstrating that the dog owner was careless, such as showing they knew or should have known that their dog would attack if not controlled. Generally, to prove the dog’s vicious tendencies, you’d have to show a record of such encounters, which can be difficult. Also, you can prove negligence per se if the dog’s owner failed to follow leash laws and allowed their pet to run free within a one-year statute of limitations. If you do not sue or settle your claim for damages within two years following your dog bite, you forfeit your right to collect damages.
Getting help as soon as possible can help your lawyer preserve evidence that could contribute to you achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Don’t hesitate to contact the dog bite attorneys at Jensen Phelan Law Firm for exceptional legal services and representation in Prescott, Arizona.
If you’ve been injured by an animal due to the owner’s negligence, please contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm today. We will put in the time to thoroughly investigate your case and earn you maximum compensation. Our Prescott dog bite lawyers have decades of experience and are known for being relentless and tenacious.
Contact us today for help with your case by putting your information in our contact form or calling us at (928) 910-7268. We serve clients in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Cottonwood, Chino Valley, Sedona, and the surrounding Arizona areas.