Dog Bites

Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyers

Serving the greater Phoenix area, Mesa, and surrounding cities

Most Arizona personal injury lawsuits fall under negligence statutes that require proving that the at-fault party is irresponsible. However, under Arizona law, dog bites are strict liability cases. This means that a dog owner is automatically responsible if his/her dog bites someone. Personal injury attorneys do not need to prove negligence.

dog bite attorney phoenix

Victims of Dog Bites

Sadly, children are the largest percentage of dog bite victims. Children are mauled and bitten on the face more than anywhere else on their body. Scarring, muscle damage, and disfigurement often result, not to mention emotional trauma.

It is also a fact that dog bite attacks occur in a child’s own home or neighborhood more than anywhere else. While no one wants to sue a neighbor, family member, or friend, most people’s homeowner insurance policies cover expenses resulting from dog bites.

Dog Bites in the U.S.

  • In 2007, dog bites caused 32 deaths.
  • Recent studies show that emergency rooms treat 1,000 Americans daily as a result of  dog bites.
  • Homeowner’s insurance pays over $300 million a year for dog bite injuries.

Damages Covered in Dog Bite Cases

Depending on the extent of injury, recoverable damages in dog bite cases may include:

  • Medical fees
  • Plastic surgery
  • Scars and disfigurement
  • Nerve damage
  • Treatment of wound infection
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological counseling
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages

Some Steps to Take after a Dog Bite Attack

  1. Get immediate medical attention: Immediate medical attention will help you avoid serious infection and permanent scarring. Take all prescribed medications for infection and follow your doctor’s directions. Document and keep records regarding medical treatment.
  2. Get information about the dog: Keep a record of the breed, size, and color of the dog. If possible, find out if the dog has had rabies shots and if the dog has a dog license number. Note the time and location where the dog bite occurred.
  3. Get owner/witness information: Get the owner’s name, address, and contact information. If witnesses are present, get their names and contact information.
  4. Get insurance information: If the dog’s owner has insurance, get the name of the insurance company. Typically, homeowner’s insurance and sometimes even renter’s insurance cover dog bites. There is a good chance that the owner’s insurance adjuster may try to contact you. Do not discuss the accident with the insurance adjuster or agree to accept a settlement. Get the adjuster’s contact information, the claim number for the dog bite case, and let the adjuster know that your lawyer will contact him or her.
  5. Take photos: Take photos of the injury, bruises, bloody clothing, and if possible of accident scene where the bite occurred.
  6. Report the dog bite to animal services or animal control: Reporting the matter may help prevent others from being injured by the dog. You may also be able to discover if the dog has a history of biting people, or other relevant information about the dog that may help your case.
  7. Get an experienced personal injury lawyer: You need to understand your rights and the laws that protect you or a loved one, if suffering from dog bite injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer will answer your questions and look out for your best interests.

“In Arizona, dogs do not get one free bite; owners are held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs’ actions and liability is imposed without regard to an owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness.”

Massey v. Colaric, 151 Ariz. 65, 725 P.2d 1099 (1986).

Tobler Law’s injury lawyers of Mesa has extensive experience handling cases that involve dog bites. We are sensitive to your needs and will work aggressively to see you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.

If you are unable to travel, a personal injury lawyer can visit you in the hospital or at your home. For a free consultation, call 480-898-9700 today or contact one of our personal injury lawyersonline.