According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.5 million dog bites occur each year across the country, with many of them resulting in serious injury. In fact, one in five people bitten by a dog requires medical attention for the bite. Dog bite injuries are common but can have serious legal consequences for those involved in the attack.
If you’ve been involved in a dog attack in Arizona, contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys at the ELG Law. Our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help with a free, no-hassle consultation, and five steps to keep in mind after an attack.
Generally, liability almost always lies with the owner of the dog in Arizona, regardless of the involvement the owner had in the dog attack. And liability can even extend to individuals caring for the dog at the time of the attack. These caregivers could include family members, friends, or hired dog-sitters or dog-walkers.
Furthermore, the owner can be liable for a dog attack wherever it occurs, in public, on their property, or on another private property that’s not the owner’s residence. As long as the victim’s presence on the grounds is legal, the owner can be held liable for their dog’s attack.
Even if a dog has gotten off the leash, escaped a fence, or otherwise enclosed yard and attacks without the owner’s knowledge, the owner is still considered the liable party. Being unaware of their dog’s location is not a defense for the owner.
However, suing an owner who appears to be liable doesn’t guarantee a win. For example, a dog owner is not considered liable if they prove that the victim incited an attack.
If the victim agitates or provokes a dog, the owner’s liability is removed. Another example of removed liability is if the victim suffered a dog attack while breaking the law. Victims may have been trespassing on the owner’s property or disregarding clear signage that shows a dog lives there. In these cases, a judge and jury could rebuff the victim’s claim.
Finally, victims should be aware of the state’s liability laws and the statute of limitations to bring a case.
Though dog bite injuries are common, you shouldn’t go through the process of filing a claim alone. Whether you’re a dog bite victim or an owner defending a claim, you should consult with an experienced lawyer. An attorney can help review the facts of your case and ensure you position yourself for success in your case.
Dog attacks are unfortunate and common, but it’s important to stay calm and collected in the aftermath. If you’ve sustained injuries in a dog attack or are the dog owner, contact your attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can work as your liaison with the involved parties and help make the entire process stress-free.
Contact our Phoenix personal injury lawyers at ELG Law today at (623) 562-3838 for a free consultation and no-hassle legal aid.