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Dog Bites: Should You File a Claim?

Although dogs have earned a reputation as great companions, the reality is that they can be extremely dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not taken by all parties. According to data from the World Animal Foundation (WAF) cites data showing that dogs bite almost 4.5 million people nationwide each year. A dog bite could result in serious, even catastrophic, injuries. 

You may be wondering: Should I file a dog bite injury claim in Arizona? It is a complicated question, and the answer depends on a couple of case-specific factors—but it is an option that should always be considered. In this article, our Phoenix dog bite lawyer provides a comprehensive guide to the key things you should know about whether or not you should file a claim. 

You Should Always Get Immediate Medical Attention for a Dog Bite Injury 

Dog bites can result in a range of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to severe lacerations, fractures, or even life-threatening infections. It is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention if you have been bitten by a dog. Seeing a doctor will not only ensure your well-being but also provide documentation of your injuries, which makes it possible to take legal action. 

It should be noted that infection risk is a big issue for dog bites. All punctures of the skin by a dog require medical attention. In some cases, dog bites can cause infections like tetanus, rabies, or bacterial infections. These are dangerous. Getting professional medical care can help identify and address these issues early on, increasing your chances of a full recovery.

Understanding Arizona’s Dog Bite Injury Law

Under Arizona law (Arizona Revised Statutes § 11-102), “the owner of a dog that bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place” can be held strictly liable for the resulting damages. It does not matter if the dog has ever bitten someone else before. In other words, you do not need to prove negligence to bring a dog bite claim in Arizona. While common law negligence may be raised as a cause of action in some dog bite claims, our state holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their animals. 

Three Key Factors That Suggest a Dog Bite Claim is an Option

Not sure if you have a viable dog bite injury claim or not? It is normal to feel confused about the law. Here are three factors that suggest you may be able to bring a successful dog bite claim: 

  • You Sustained an Injury Requiring Professional Medical Care: If you suffered a serious injury, you should consult with a dog bite injury lawyer. 
  • You Were Bitten By Someone Else’s Dog: Remember, Arizona is a strict liability state. A dog owner is responsible for protecting you from their animal. 
  • You Were a Place You Were Allowed to Be: To bring a strict liability dog bite claim, you must have been in public or in a private place where you were allowed to be. Trespassers have limited rights under Arizona’s dog bite law. 

You May Be Entitled to Significant Financial Compensation Through a Dog Bite Claim

A dog bite can cause serious physical injuries and major emotional trauma. Arizona law allows dog bite victims to pursue compensation for economic and intangible damages. Various types of compensation may be available, including but not limited to the following:

  • Medical expenses (past and future); 
  • Lost wages; 
  • Pain and suffering; 
  • Emotional distress; 
  • Disfigurement or permanent disability; and
  • Wrongful death. 

Each case is unique, and the specific amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and the impact of the injury on your life. Our Phoenix dog bite injury lawyers can help you fight for compensation. 

Arizona has a One-Year Statute of Limitations for Many Dog Bite Injury Claims

In Arizona, there is a one-year statute of limitations for filing many dog bite injury claims. Common law negligence claims are governed by a two-year statute of limitations. However, the more victim-friendly strict liability standard is subject to a one-year statute of limitations. You must file your claim within one year from the date of the incident. Failure to do so may result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation. Be proactive: It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after a dog bite to ensure you do not miss this deadline and so that you are in the best position to gather the necessary evidence to support your case.

A Top Phoenix Dog Bite Injury Attorney Can Help Evaluate Your Case

You do not have to figure out whether or not you have a dog bite injury claim on your own. These are complicated cases. If you have been bitten by a dog and believe you may have a valid claim, it is essential to consult with an experienced Phoenix dog bite injury attorney. A skilled lawyer can evaluate your case, help you understand your rights under Arizona law, and guide you through the process of filing a claim. At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, we offer free, no obligation, and comprehensive initial consultation. Our Phoenix dog bite injury lawyer will carefully assess your case and help you determine what needs to be done to get justice and the maximum compensation. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Phoenix Dog Bite Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, our Phoenix dog bite lawyer is a passionate, justice-focused advocate for victims and families. If you or your family member was attacked by a dangerous dog, we are more than ready to help you find the best path forward. Contact us right away to set up a free, no-obligation review of your case. Our law firm handles dog bite injury claims in Phoenix, Maricopa County, and throughout the surrounding area in Arizona. 

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