Dog Bite Injury

Bite Injury in Arizona
bite-injury

Have You Experienced a Dog Bite Injury in Arizona?

A dog bite can be a serious injury to manage, leading to complicated medical issues that must be addressed immediately. After being bitten by a dog, call animal control to make sure that the dog has been secured preventing further injury to anyone else. It is also a good idea to have documentation and witnesses of the occurrence in case you need to recover medical costs, and loss of wages associated to the incident. Once the animal has been secured follow these 7 steps right away to avoid further risk to your health.

  • Wash the wound using mild soap and run warm tap water over it for five to 10 minutes.
  • Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth applying pressure until the bleeding slows or stops.
  • Apply over-the-counter antibiotic cream.
  • Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage.
  • Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.
  • Change the bandage regularly once you have been seen by your doctor.
  • Watch for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, increased pain and fever.

Experiencing a dog bite can be traumatic, and the affects of the attack could affect your well being for a very long time. If you have been the victim of a dog bite?  Call Garrison Law Firm, the father and son law team to evaluate your case and determine the best path for recovery. We specialize in handling dog bite cases in Arizona and can assist you in gaining fair compensation for your injury. 

Please refer to the Cleveland Clinic for 7 Steps to treating a dog bite.

7 steps to treat dog bites 

 

Who is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury?

In Arizona, the liability for a dog bite injury falls on the owner of the dog. Compensation for the injury can help cover medical expenses, lost wages and help you recover from the emotional, and financial damages caused by the attack. It can be difficult working with the insurance companies that provide the homeowners’ or renters’ insurance that covers these types of incidents, However, with the expert assistance from Garrison Law Firm you can be confident that our knowledge of the law and experience winning dog bite cases will bring the desired results.
What Should I Do If Bit By a Dog?

It is important for anyone bitten by a dog to immediately take steps to preserve evidence that will be needed to prove the case and to maximize the recovery of damages. All of the following should be done.

  • Get medical attention.
  • Identify the dog owner or person responsible for the dog at the time of the bite. Get the name address and phone number of the dog owner or person responsible for the dog at the time of the bite.
  • Call the police and local animal control office to make a report of the incident.
  • Obtain homeowner or renters insurance information from the owner or person responsible for the dog. Try to obtain the name of the insurance company and the policy number if possible.
  • Ask the owner or person responsible for the dog, the name of the dog and take appropriate steps to identify the dog. Ask the owner or person responsible if the dog is licensed and obtain the license number for the dog.
  • Identify any witnesses to the incident. Obtain names, addresses and phone numbers.
  • Photograph all scratches bruises, and wounds before and after medical treatment. Continue to take photographs of the wounds during the healing process.
  • While the events are still fresh, make a written account of the details of the incident from the beginning to the end.

Resources:
National K9 Research Counsel

What Damages May Be Recovered By a Dog Bite Victim in Arizona?

If a dog bite victim proves liability, then the victim is entitled to be compensated for the following items.
• The pain, discomfort, suffering, disability, disfigurement, and anxiety already experienced and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future as a result of the injury.
• Reasonable expenses of necessary medical care, treatment and services rendered and reasonably probable to be incurred in the future. This would include the charges of all medical care including ambulance, emergency room and hospital costs, doctors’ fees, medication fees, medical supplies such as bandages or prescriptions.
• This would also include the estimated cost of future medical care to treat any scars or wounds that are permanent, surgical revision to reduce the appearance of the scars or disfigurement, or any necessary future medical procedures. The cost for counseling up to the date of the trial and any counseling that would be incurred post trial may also be considered.
• Lost earnings to date and any decrease in earning power or capacity in the future.
• The cost to replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothes or jewelry.
• Loss of enjoyment of life. Thus, if the injuries from the dog bite are severe and prevent a person from participating in activities that they did prior to the time of the bite such as sporting or recreational activities the law allows compensation.

How Much Time Do I Have to Make a Dog Bite Claim in Arizona?

Because Arizona Statutes impose strict liability on the owner of the dog, the period to bring a claim under the strict liability statutes is shorter than a claim for negligence. In Arizona a claim brought pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes Sections 11-1020 and 11-1025A must be brought within one year. If the claim is not settled or a lawsuit is not filed within one year, then the statute of limitations will expire. This does not mean that the dog bite victim will be completely precluded from recovery. However, the dog bite victim will then need to prove a claim under negligence. Proof of a claim under negligence is more difficult than the strict liability statutes. Under a negligence claim, the dog bite victim must show that the owner acted unreasonably or that the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog would bite or injure the victim.

What Must Be Shown to Win a Dog Bite Case in Arizona?
First, the victim of the dog bite must show that they are in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog. This element is easily met unless the victim of the bite is trespassing in a public place or trespassing on the property of the owner. Generally, a trespasser is someone who wasn’t invited on the property. Unless you warn people off your property with signs or locked gates, you may be considered to have given “implied invitation to members of the public to approach your door on common errands”, for example to speak with you or try to sell you someone.
Some examples of what constitutes trespass, or a public place are found in the Arizona decisions. A child who entered a neighbor’s yard to retrieve a soccer ball was deemed a trespasser and could not recover under the statue when he was bit. Hartsock v. Bandhauer 158 Ariz. 591, 593, 764 P.2d 352, 354 (App. 1988). A dog groomer bitten by a dog at a pet hospital was determined to be lawfully present and was allowed to sue the dog owners. Mulcahy v. Damron 169 Ariz. 11, 13, 816 P.2d 270, 272 (App. 1991).

Call Today for a Free Legal Evaluation of Your Dog Bite Injury in
Phoenix, AZ

If you have been injured by a dog attack, call the Father and Son Law Team at Garrison Law
Firm. We have the knowledge and experience when you need it most. Call today to schedule
a free case review.

Can Anyone Other Than The Owner Of The Dog Be Responsible To a Dog Bite Victim? 

In addition to the owner, Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1020 provides:
Injury to any person or damage to any property by a dog while at large shall be the full responsibility of the dog owner or person or persons responsible for the dog when such damages were inflicted.

Temporary ownership may give rise to liability. Under the definition section of Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1001 (10) owner is defined as “any person keeping an animal other than livestock for more than six consecutive days”. Generally, landlords cannot be held liable for the damages caused by a tenants vicious dog unless the landlord knew that the dog was present and the landlord was aware of its dangerous propensities. If the lease of the tenant provides provisions against having dogs, dogs of a certain breed, or large dogs and the landlord is knowledgeable that those provisions are being breached, then the landlord may also be responsible. Indeed, this author recovered a substantial amount for a young boy that was bit by a large breed dog when the lease of the landlord contained prohibition against dogs over 40 pounds.

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