Many homes have welcomed dogs as members of the family, but without proper training a person’s canine companion can exhibit dangerous behaviors towards people. Victims of aggressive dog bites can suffer permanent damage or disfigurement, as well as emotional trauma. Often it is children that are victims of these attacks due to their inability to fully comprehend that not all dogs react in the same ways to certain stimulus.
On average, 4.5 million dog bites occur annually within the United States according to the Center for Disease Control. This number seems large, but 81 percent of bites do not result in any serious injury needing medical attention. However, it is always good to go seek legal counsel in the event that you or a loved one has suffered an attack from a dog.
Arizona has what is deemed “strict liability” when it comes to dog bites, meaning that the dog’s owner can be held accountable for injuries caused by a bite regardless of negligence or prior knowledge of the animal’s temperament. Owners are responsible for the injury even if the dog has no prior history of bites or aggressive behavior.
In Arizona, there are two timelines for the statute of limitations for dog bites. The dog bite statutes, A.R.S. 11-1025 through 11-1027, have a one-year statute of limitations from the time of the bite. If a claim is brought to the owner at any time within the one year, the owner may be held immediately liable. For the common law negligence statutes, there is a two-year statute of limitation.
The Oswalt Law Group recommends that victims seek legal action as soon as possible within the one-year time frame in order to have a strong case for both legal areas.
In order for a dog bite case to be brought to court you must prove that the injury was both caused by a dog and that it occurred in public or lawfully within a private place. Cases for which the owner is not held responsible are when provocation of the animal can be proven.
You will most likely need an experienced lawyer to represent you, bearing in mind that you must deal with difficult parties and legal complexities before you can receive your due compensation. Remember to be quick about hiring an attorney or otherwise risk missing the deadline for filing your injury claim, as stipulated in your state’s statute of limitations. At Oswalt Law Group, our attorneys are always available for a free consultation about your injury case, so call us today on (602) 225-2222 to see how we can help you.