How Arizona law deals with Dog Bites
In Arizona, owners of dogs are strictly liable for dog bites and attacks, meaning the victim of a dog bit does not have to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong. The only burden on the victim of a dog bite is prove they were bitten or attacked. To avoid liability, the owner of the dog has to prove the victim of the dog bite “provoked” the dog. Many cities across the United States have adopted regulations regarding canines that extend beyond the traditional Leash Laws. These regulations affect the breeds that are allowed within city limits, kennel requirements, fencing requirements, and most important, the accordance of fault in cases involving dog bites.
According to the CDC, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bite cases every year in the United States. That appears to be quite a significant number, and it includes cases that are thrown out of court for various reasons such as burglars who were bitten while breaking into a home (yes, they do try to sue).
Just looking at that number can make you wonder why anyone would want to own a dog. However, that number is actually much smaller when compared with the total United States population, a considerable scope at 326 million people.
However, with that many cases occurring each year, it is reasonable to expect that many of those bites were serious. This leads one to wonder, what is the right thing to do in a dog bite case? Do you just let it go? Ask the owners to cover the stitches? What IS the right method of action?
When injuries are involved, there is no cookie-cutter answer
While we would love to give a definitive answer to that question, the fact is that there are far too many variables. While in one case it may be perfectly reasonable to ask for a doctor visit to be covered, there are more serious cases where extensive damage is done and the healing process is going to stretch far into the future. Those are the cases that end up in court most frequently, as there may be lost income that will continue for quite some time.
Victims of dog bites may suffer lacerations, bruising, bone fractures, muscle and nerve damage, disfigurement, scars, infection, rabies, and even death. In addition, a dog bite victim often suffers from psychological damages such as nightmares, post-traumatic stress syndrome, humiliation and embarrassment. On behalf of its dog bite clients, the Folger Law Firm will pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, future medical care, permanent scarring, disfigurement, mental distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
What kind of laws cover dog bites in Arizona?
The tort law is a common law that covers cases of failed duty, negligence, and general harm. This law is most often cited when handling dog bite cases, as it covers every aspect of the specific type of accident. This law applies in most states throughout the United States.
In Arizona cases, there is a specific Arizona dog bite law (or regulation) that states the owner of the animal is directly responsible for any harm caused by the animal. This includes treatment for injuries, follow-up treatments, and more. Many states are adopting this stance in regards to dog bite cases as the problem becomes more common in the courtrooms across the nation.
Exactly what constitutes failure of duty and general harm?
It is a dog owner’s duty to provide adequate fencing for the animal, as well as adequate supervision of the animal while walking on a leash. This is why leash laws were created, because the number of dog bites began to rise over time due to negligent ownership.
When the owner fails to put up proper fencing, they are knowingly running the risk of a person being bitten by their animal. The same applies to walking their dog without a leash. When they fail to follow the proper regulations to ensure public safety, they fall under violation of the tort law and can end up in the court system.
Do I need a dog bite attorney to handle my case?
While you may not feel it is necessary to hire an attorney for a case like this, the reality is that solid representation can vastly affect the outcome of your case. The Folger Law Firm in Phoenix knows the municipal regulations surrounding dogs and property, as well as dog bite accidents. We will be able to direct you regarding any changes that have been made to the regulations, as well as find information that may not be directly available to you personally.
In addition to the added backing for understanding legal regulations, as a reputable and experienced law firm we know of outside resources you can obtain for the following:
Trauma counseling – Many people who are bitten require counseling after their accident. Recurring nightmares can result in loss of sleep, poor health, and a slower healing process, not to mention the mental health concerns that can arise. The same can be said of any children who are present when the incident occurs, as children are much more susceptible to emotional and mental trauma.
Assistance with bills – You may not know all of the resources available to you when an accident of this type causes you to lose hours at work. We know about the resources in the Phoenix area, and possibly some that can work on a state or federal level as well.
Make the right choice and contact us to ensure your family’s future
Whether or not you feel you can handle your case on your own, it is best to contact the Folger Law Firm for a free initial consultation. With the risk of lost wages, additional medical bills, counseling costs, and more, there is no reason you shouldn’t look at every possibility in your case. Our lawyers will be able to assess your case, estimate the feasible amount that should be claimed, and guide your family forward during this traumatic period.
The dog bite lawyers at the Phoenix based Folger Law Firm accept dog bite cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our clients do not pay us anything unless we win the case. If you or someone you know sustained injuries from a dog or other animal please contact the Folger Law Firm for a free consultation.
Contact Folger Law today to receive the legal help you need.