I was Bitten by a Dog in Arizona. What do I do now?
No one expects a dog to bite them, especially when the animal belongs to someone they know. Unfortunately, any dog is capable of biting when feeling stressed, threatened, or frightened. According to QuoteWizard.com, Arizona ranks 19th of the 50 states for the number of dog bite personal injury claims per capita. Last year, 410 Arizona residents filed a claim to obtain reimbursement for a dog bite injury. The average payout per claim was $45,811.22.
Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1025 Cover Dog Bite Liability
In Arizona, a dog owner is legally responsible to pay for injuries incurred by another person even if the dog had never bitten anyone in the past or the owner was not aware the dog would bite. This is known as strict liability in legal terms. Each of the following statements must be true for you to initiate a claim for a dog bite injury.
- The injuries occurred due to the dog bite and nothing else.
- The dog bite occurred while you were on public property or legally present on private property.
Please note this Arizona statute applies only to dog bites, not injuries sustained from a dog knocking you down or scratching you. For non-bite personal injury related to dogs, the burden of proof is on the claimant to demonstrate that the dog owner did not exercise reasonable care to prevent the injury from occurring.
Possible Defenses to Dog Bite Injury Claims in Arizona
Dog owners may claim one of two potential defenses to avoid responsibility for a dog bite injury. The first would be if you deliberately provoked the dog with actions such as kicking the animal or poking it with a stick. Unlawful trespassing is another way that dog owners may be able to deflect responsibility for injuries caused by their dog.
Door-to-door solicitors and people trying to break into a home are two common examples of trespassing under Arizona law. However, this dog owner protection does not extend to mail and package carriers since people have already given their permission to be on the property through implied consent.
Homeowners’ Insurance Policies Cover Most Dog Bite Injury Claims
You may feel hesitant to file a claim if the dog who injured you belonged to a family member, friend, or neighbor. This is understandable, but you need not worry about draining the dog owner’s resources in these situations. At Rep Law, we always seek to find all insurance coverage available to pay for the treatment you required after a dog bite injury.
Arizona Enforces a Two-Year Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury
You have two years under state law to initiate a claim for financial compensation for expenses related to the dog bite injury. However, you want to act as quickly as possible while evidence of the injury is still fresh. Please contact Rep Law to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options moving forward.