Phoenix Dog Bite Attorney
Dogs can make great pets. On the other hand, millions of people suffer serious injuries from dog bites each year. Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog? The experienced personal injury attorneys at Black Wynn are here to help. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your case, and we will explain the process, and talk to you about recovering damages for your injuries.
What is Strict Liability?
Strict liability in a civil tort case means that a defendant is liable for the injuries suffered by another person regardless of fault. In a personal injury lawsuit, if the doctrine of strict liability applies, you do not have to prove negligence, intent, or other wrongful conduct on the part of the defendant in order to recover damages for your injuries.
Whether the doctrine of strict liability applies in a case depends upon where you are located; the issue differs from state to state. However, it often applies in specific types of cases, including:
- Abnormally dangerous activities
- Some products liability cases
- Injuries caused by animals, including dogs
In some cases, even where strict liability is applicable, there are potential defenses that may be raised in an attempt to defeat your claim.
Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury in Arizona?
In most cases in Arizona, a dog bite injury is a strict liability event. The primary statute on the issue is A.R.S. 11-1025. There is no “one bite” rule in Arizona. In some states, owners are not necessarily liable for injuries suffered from a dog bite unless the dog has a history of biting people, aggression, or other violent behavior. The Arizona dog bite law says that liability exists for a dog bite regardless of any history of viciousness of the dog, or of the owner’s knowledge of such behavior.
While it is common to refer to Arizona’s dog bite statute – A.R.S. 11-1025 – as a strict liability law, it’s application is limited in some cases:
The first limitation comes directly from the statute itself, which states that it applies when the victim is in a public place, or lawfully on private property. Trespassers may not generally take advantage of the strict liability law.
The second limitation, which is a defense to any action for damages for a dog bite, is “provocation.” A.R.S. 11-1027 says that provocation is an issue that is determined on a “reasonable person” standard, that is, would a reasonable person expect that the conduct in question would be likely to provoke the dog.
Third, the liability provisions of the law do not apply in most cases where the dog is engaged in police work, unless the person bitten was merely an innocent bystander.
Having said that, the vast majority of those injured by dog bites in Arizona will be able to take advantage of our strict liability law. And under A.R.S. 11-1020, it includes those bitten by a dog which is “at large,” meaning that the dog is neither confined in an enclosure nor on a leash.
Dealing with Insurance Companies in Dog Bite Cases
There are over 75 million dogs owned as pets in the United States, and dog bites injure about 4.5 million people each year. You may be surprised to learn that dog bites account for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance claims. Because of this, your dog bite claim will likely bring you into contact with an insurance company.
If you are contacted by an insurance company agent or employee about your dog bite claim, talk to the attorneys at Black Wynn before you do anything. When an insurance company is involved in your claim, remember that, no matter what they say, they are motivated by one and only one thing – paying out as little as possible. You may be told that the insurance company cares about your injuries, and wants to do right by you. In fact, their only aim is to lessen their liability, and they care nothing about your injury, your pain and suffering, scarring, or anything else other than their own bottom line. As a result, we recommend that you contact our firm and allow us to deal with the insurance company.
Permanent Scars from Dog Bites
When you are bitten by a dog, it is common to receive lacerations and similar injuries that cause scars. You may hear a claims adjuster or the dog’s owner say that you will only have a “slight” scar. Unfortunately, that’s easy to say when it is someone else’s burden. Scars are often permanent, and some may require plastic surgery. This costs money, causes more pain and suffering, and may still leave you with a visible reminder of being attacked by a dog.
If you have scars as the result of a dog bite, you want to be sure that the settlement or award you receive is appropriate and represents, to the extent possible, reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Recovering Damages for Phoenix Dog Bite Victims
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as the result of a dog bite, you need the help than only an experienced and dedicated Phoenix dog bit lawyer can provide. You may have to deal with a denial of liability on the part of the dog owner or his insurance company. Defenses may be raised. And you want to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Black Wynn is a personal injury law firm. Our attorneys represent people who have suffered serious injuries from accidents, falls, and other causes, including dog bites. We will fight to make sure that your claim is successful, either through settlement or at trial. Our goal is to maximize your compensation for the damages you have suffered. Talk to us about how our attorneys can help in your case. Your initial consultation is free.
Call us today for a free consultation 480-665-7324