Phoenix Dog Bite Attorney
There are over 89 million dogs in the United States, and each year over 4.5 million dog bites happen. Dog bites are more common than you might think, and according to the CDC, 1 in every 5 people who are bitten by a dog will require medical attention for their injuries. Dog bites can cause injury, spread disease, and lead to the necessity of medical care.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, you could be entitled to compensation for the costs associated with your injuries. These costs include the short- and long-term medical bills linked to your dog bite injury, in addition to any change your injury has on your ability to work and earn income to support yourself and your family.
At The Entrekin Law Firm, our Phoenix dog bite lawyers can help. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Phoenix Dog Bite Resources
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Arizona Dog Bite Law
Do You Need to Prove Negligence After Being Bitten?
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Potential Long-term Impact of a Dog Bite
Potential Damages in a Dog Bite Case
How We Help With Insurance Claims
Can a Dog Bite Attorney Help With Your Case?
How Much Does a Dog Bite Attorney Cost?
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Arizona Dog Bite Law
The law in Arizona and how it applies to the unique facts and circumstances of your dog bite injury will determine if you are entitled to compensation. When you are entitled to damages, you will need to collect evidence to prove your damages in order to collect the full compensation you are entitled to.
Under Arizona dog bite law, the owner of a dog that bites a person will be liable for damages suffered by the person who was bitten. This is the case whether the person bitten was in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, which includes the property of the dog owner. While in some states it is necessary that the dog be known to be vicious or have bitten someone before, this is not the case in Arizona. Regardless of the former viciousness of the dog, or the owner’s knowledge of the viciousness of the dog, the owner will be liable for the damages experienced by the person who was bitten.
Arizona law determines that:
- The owner of the dog is liable for damages
- Whether the person bitten was on public property or legally on private property
- Whether or not the dog was known to be vicious or has a history of bites
A person bitten by a dog cannot recover when:
- They were illegally trespassing on land
The purpose of the Arizona dog bite law is to ensure that dog owners are liable for the damages caused by their dogs to persons who are legally on public or private property. Trespassers are not protected by the dog bite law, so burglars and home invaders cannot sue if they are bitten by a dog while illegally present on the property.
Do You Need to Prove Owner Negligence After an Arizona Dog Bite?
In general, there are two ways a person can be held liable for injuries caused by a dog bite: strict liability or negligence. In Arizona, the law favors strict liability, which means that a person does not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent and that their negligence was the cause of the dog bite.
Under a strict liability standard, an animal owner may be held liable for injuries caused by their dog even if they didn’t have prior knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities. It also doesn’t matter if the dog lacks a vicious history. To recover under a theory of strict liability, a plaintiff need only prove that the defendant owned the animal and that the animal attacked and injured the plaintiff. Once these two elements have been established, the animal owner will be held liable for damages even if they took every possible precaution to prevent the attack from happening.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule.
The first exception is if the victim was trespassing on the property where the dog was located at the time of the attack. In this case, the property owner would not be held liable for the victim’s injuries.
Another exception exists if the victim was attacking or harassing the dog prior to being bitten. In this situation, the victim would not be able to recover damages from the dog’s owner.
There is also an exception for government employees bitten by a police dog while performing their official duties. In Arizona, government employees are immune from liability in these cases.
Most Common Dog Bite Injuries
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly one in five people bitten by a dog require medical attention. Of those injured, young children are most at risk—particularly those between the ages of five and nine. Most dog bite injuries are minor, but some can be serious or even life-threatening. Here are some of the most common dog bite injuries:
One of the most common types of dog bite injuries are puncture wounds. These occur when a dog’s teeth pierce through the skin, causing bruising, bleeding, and often infection.
Lacerations are deep cuts that often require stitches or other medical attention. Like puncture wounds, lacerations can occur when a dog bites down hard on someone’s skin. They can also happen when a person tries to pull away from a biting dog whose teeth scratch the skin deeply.
Broken bones are another common type of injury caused by dog bites. This is particularly true for young children, who have smaller bones that are more likely to break under the weight and force of a large dog. Older adults with osteoporosis or other bone diseases are also at an increased risk for broken bones from a dog bite.
Any time your skin is broken—whether by a puncture wound or laceration—there is a risk for infection. This is because bacteria from the skin’s surface can enter the body through open wounds. To help prevent infection, it’s important to clean any wounds immediately with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic ointment if possible. You should also see a doctor as soon as possible so they can check for signs of infection and prescribe antibiotics if necessary.
Other injuries include minor cuts, bruises, and sometimes rabies, MRSA, tetanus, and even death in rare circumstances. In such a case, a wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix can help your family fight for justice for your lost loved one.
Potential Long-term Impact of a Dog Bite
In the United States, over 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of those bites, 800,000 will require medical attention. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, it’s essential to understand the long-term physical and psychological effects that can result from such an attack.
Immediately after a dog bite, it’s not uncommon to experience swelling, redness, and bruising at the site of the injury. The risk for infection is also high. Infections can cause fever, diarrhea, and vomiting, and in severe cases, can even lead to death. Even if an infection doesn’t develop, the wound itself can take weeks or even months to heal completely. In some cases, dog bites can leave permanent scarring.
The psychological effects of a dog bite can be just as devastating as the physical ones. Many people attacked by dogs experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and fear following the attack. It’s not uncommon for people living with PTSD to have nightmares about the attack, to be constantly on edge, and to avoid places where they feel unsafe. These psychological effects can last for years—in some cases, a lifetime—and can profoundly impact every aspect of a person’s life.
Damages Include Medical Bills and also Lost Wages and Earnings Potential
Recovering compensation for your dog bite injury is meant to cover all the financial costs and expenses linked to the injuries that resulted from the dog bite. This includes both short- and long-term medical bills. Short-term medical bills include the cost of the emergency room visit after your dog bite, in addition to any immediate treatments or medications you require. Any long-term medical costs linked to your injuries, including surgery, ongoing treatment or medication, and rehabilitation should also be covered in your compensation.
When a dog bite injury impacts your ability to work and support your family, you may also be entitled to compensation to cover these financial losses linked to your earnings. In the short-term, this includes any lost wages while you are recovering from your injuries as well as work benefits like accrued sick time or vacation leave. Should your injuries impact your ability to work in the long term, you are entitled to compensation for the change in your earnings ability from the time of your dog bite injury through the remainder of your working life.
Damages for your dog bite injury may include:
- Emergency room bills
- Ongoing medical costs like medications, treatments, or rehabilitation
- The value of any damaged personal property
- Lost wages and work benefits
- Lost earning potential
Claims are Filed with Insurance Companies Who Will Actively Work Against You
Collecting compensation for your injuries from your dog bite will generally be pursued from the insurance company of the dog owner. This could be their liability insurance, their homeowner’s insurance, or some other source. Whatever insurance company you file your claim with, it is important to understand that the insurance company does not work for you, they work for profit.
Insurance companies work to maximize profit by denying whichever claims they can, while paying as little as possible on those claims that are paid out on. They will try and shift blame for the dog bite accident towards you to reduce what you receive or to deny your claim altogether. The best way to protect your rights and collect what you are entitled to is by working with a local Phoenix dog bite injury lawyer from The Entrekin Law Firm.
How Can a Phoenix Dog Bite Injury Attorney Help?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you know that the physical and emotional scars can last a lifetime. In addition to the pain and suffering caused by the attack, you may also have incurred significant medical bills and lost wages due to time off from work. You may be entitled to seek compensation for these damages, and an experienced dog bite attorney can help you navigate the legal process.
An attorney can help gather evidence to support your claim, including eyewitness testimony, medical records, and photographs of your injuries. An attorney can also help value your claim by calculating the full extent of your economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as your noneconomic damages, including as pain and suffering. If you were attacked by a dog with a history of aggression or whose owner knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities, you might also be able to seek punitive damages.
Finally, an attorney can negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf to help you reach a fair settlement. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying out claims, so they will often offer very low settlements to victims in hopes that they will accept an offer that is less than they deserve. An attorney can level the playing field by advocating on your behalf and increasing the pressure on the insurance company to give you the compensation you deserve.
We Charge Nothing Up-Front and Nothing Out-of-Pocket
While you might worry that you cannot afford to pay an attorney to represent your best interests for your dog bite injury, this is not the case. In fact, you’ll pay nothing for your risk-free, cost-free initial assessment of your dog bite injury, and if we take your case, you’ll pay nothing out-of-pocket, ever. This is because we take dog bites and other Phoenix personal injury cases on contingency, which means that we only get paid if we win your case.
With our contingency fee arrangement, we only get paid if we win, out of a portion of the winnings that we’ll agree upon before getting started on your case. We begin by assessing the basic facts of your dog bite injury, and then consider whether your case fits with our firm. If we think we can help, we’ll go over the contingency agreement and answer all your questions, and only when you fully agree and sign an engagement form does our work begin. You are obligated to nothing unless you agree to let us represent you and help you collect what you are entitled to for your dog bite injury.
Connect with a Phoenix Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury, the Phoenix dog bite attorneys at the Entrekin Law Firm can help. We are happy to provide you with a risk-free, cost-free assessment of your case. Schedule a consultation or give us a call at your convenience to discuss options on how we can help.