Personal Injury Claims for Dog Bites


If you own a dog, you need to understand the laws surrounding dog bites in the state where you live. Those laws can affect you even if the dog you own is normally the quiet and laid back type, and you could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit if Fluffy or Fido takes a bite out of a neighbor or a passerby.

If you do find yourself in that situation, the first thing you should do is contact a dog bite attorney in Mesa, Arizona. A dog bite attorney will be able to explore what happened, examine the circumstances and provide the representation you need to defend yourself.

In the meantime, you can learn what you need to know about the dog bite laws in Arizona and how they could affect you, and your dog, in the future. Here are 5 essential things you need to know about the dog bite laws in the state of Arizona.

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My neighbor’s dog bit me. What should I do?

If you suffer a dog bite, you are required by law to report the incident to a county enforcement officer as soon as possible. The owners of the dog are also required to report any biting incidents to their county enforcement officer.

The government in Arizona is required to keep statistics on dog bites and vicious animals. The sooner you report the dog bite the better, and reporting the incident promptly is the best way to preserve your rights.

Who is at fault in most dog bite cases in Arizona?

The answer to this question is pretty clear cut, and that is typically bad news for dog owners. In the state of Arizona the owner of a dog that bites someone is liable for the damages sustained by the bitten person.

This liability holds true if the bitten individual is in a public space, like a sidewalk or a local park. The dog owner may also be liable for damages if the dog bite takes place in a private space, including the home of the dog owner.

What role does former viciousness play in the decision?

Some Arizona dog owners are under the impression that dogs are entitled to one free bite – that the dog is considered harmless until it proves otherwise. That is simply not the case.

In the state of Arizona the previous viciousness of the dog plays a very small role in assigning liability for a dog bite. The owner of the dog is liable for injuries to the bitten person regardless of any former viciousness, or lack of same, on the part of the dog.

What happens to the dog in Arizona?

According to Arizona state law, any dog that bites a human must be quarantined. If the owner of the dog is unable to provide sufficient proof of vaccination, the animal will be quarantined either at the dog pound or at a veterinary hospital.

The dog will be kept for a period of ten (10) days, starting with the date of the bite. The owner of the dog will be responsible for all the costs associated with the quarantine and confinement of the animal.

What happens if the Bite is intentional vs. unintentional?

It can be hard to determine whether a dog bite is intentional or unintentional, and it may take a police investigation to make the final determination. The laws of the state of Arizona do provide a level of protection for dog owners if their dog bites someone who is harassing or provoking the animal.

Arizona dog owners may also be shielded from liability if their dogs are defending the home or property from a burglary or other crime. If the police suspect criminal activity on the part of the bitten person, the owner should not be liable for the bite. That is why it is so important to get a police report and keep it for evidence.

Even the gentlest dog can inflict a nasty bite given the right set of circumstances. That is why training and socialization are so important, and why dog owners in Arizona and elsewhere need to keep their dogs confined and safely at home. If you do everything right and your dog still bites someone, your first call should be to a dog bite attorney in Mesa, Arizona.

Personal Injury Attorney Jared Everton is Focused on Your Future

Injuries sustained in a dog bite accident can lead to serious health problems, possible lost wages, and missed opportunities at work. None of that should be taken lightly, and the personal injury team at JacksonWhite Law knows exactly that: we are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to dog attacks in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix metro area.

If you have a legitimate accident case, it’s likely to be complex, requiring you to clearly show that the injuries you sustained were the result of negligence, and that your injuries were also legitimate. With the right legal team, you can prove your case, minimize the financial impact of the accident and get the compensation you deserve. When you’re ready to move forward, we’re here to help.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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