While most dogs are relatively safe to be around, some may viciously attack either strangers or people they’ve interacted with in the past. A dog bite can have devastating consequences, including tendon and muscle damage, infection, scarring, and emotional trauma. Dealing with these effects can be expensive and time-consuming.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog and sustained a serious injury, it is vital to contact a personal injury lawyer who can help determine ownership of the dog and pursue restitution for your damages. An experienced Sierra Vista dog bite attorney from our firm can help you get the medical treatment and financial compensation you need after a life-altering dog attack.
Arizona’s Strict Liability Law for Dog Bite Injuries
Arizona statute, A.R.S. §11-1025, enforces “strict liability” on the owner of a dog that bites someone. This means that the plaintiff does not have to establish that the dog owner was negligent for that owner to be responsible for their dog’s actions.
The dog owner can be liable for damages resulting from a dog bite injury regardless of whether there were any previous biting incidents or whether the owner knew about the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Sierra Vista, call 866-499-8989
Recoverable Damages After a Dog Attack
Arizona’s strict liability law is good news for bite victims in Arizona since some other states are more lenient toward dog owners. In Arizona, a person injured by a dog may be entitled to the following damages, regardless of a dog’s past behavior:
- Economic damages, including medical expenses and lost wages
- Noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Typically, the injured person will recover both economic damages and noneconomic damages. However, punitive damages are awarded only in cases where the defendant has done something particularly egregious. For example, if a dog owner sicced their dog on someone, instructing it to attack, punitive damages will likely be awarded to the victim.
Keep in mind that homeowners insurance policies often cover dog bites, which gives you a means of recovering damages in a situation where the pet owner doesn’t have much money.
Sierra Vista Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me 866-499-8989
Insurance Claims for Dog Bite Injuries
After being injured in a dog attack, gather information or have friends or family do this for you. This will include the dog owner’s name and contact information, the location of the incident, and photographs of your injuries. Seek medical treatment for your injuries, and save all of your paperwork. Next, contact an attorney or claim with the pet owner’s insurance company.
If the pet owner owns a home, their homeowner’s insurance carrier will often offer coverage for dog bite injuries since dogs are considered property under the law. The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your personal injury case when you file your initial claim. Avoid going into detail about the incident with the adjuster before consulting with an attorney.
After investigating the incident, the adjuster will either accept your claim and offer a settlement or deny the claim altogether. A dog bite attorney in Sierra Vista can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and will typically negotiate a much larger settlement from the insurance company than they would have offered you had you not obtained legal counsel.