Lawyers Offer Legal Assistance for Dog Bite Victims in Phoenix
Have you ever heard that "ignorance of the law is no excuse?" Well, that saying is true in many respects. And when it comes to people who have been injured because of a dog attack in Arizona, it is a real problem.
Statutes of Limitations in Arizona
There are two different "statutes of limitations" for people who have been bit by dogs in Arizona, or anywhere else in the state. That is why an injured victim may think that they can wait to get a Phoenix injury lawyer until after the first year after an incident as long as they file a lawsuit or settle their case within two years. It is this mistake that allows people to take their time to recuperate from a serious dog attack and to think that they can bring a dog bite claim or lawsuit much later.
The problem with this is that while there is a two-year statute of limitations there is on a dog bites, that two-year statute of limitations does not provide very much protection at all. In reality, the other statute of limitations for dog bites - the one-year statute of limitations - is the one that every dog bite victim in the State of Arizona must be aware of.
One Free Bite Rule in Arizona
You see, there is no "one free bite" rule in the State of Arizona as long as someone who has been bit by a dog files a lawsuit within one year from the date of the attack. In other word, if a dog that has never bitten anybody before is allowed to get loose and bites somebody and causes them injury as a result, the owner of the dog cannot make the argument that this is the first time their dog had ever bit anybody. This law recognizes the fact that dogs - as much as we love them - can bite.
That all of us as dog owners must be responsible for our dogs and make sure we do not put them in a situation where they can bite a stranger or anybody else. So many dog bites in Arizona take place when a pit bull attacks somebody because the pit bull is off the leash, a Doberman bites someone when they are off the leash - or some other breed of dog is just not being properly watched by the owner because that particular dog has never bitten anyone before. However, as long as the lawsuit is filed within one year from the date of the dog bite, the argument that this particular dog had never bit anyone before goes by the wayside. It becomes irrelevant.
File Your Phoenix Dog Bite Lawsuit with The Husband & Wife Law Team
Now, for someone who has suffered a dog bite that does not file their lawsuit within one year, they can still file their lawsuit between year one and year two. However, by waiting more than one year to file that lawsuit - but still filing it in less than the two-year anniversary from the time of the attack - the dog bite victim has a legitimate claim. However, it's a more basic negligence claim. Therefore, the person who was bit by the dog has to prove that the owner knew or should have known that that particular dog was dangerous. While there may be many ways to do that, it is a much higher hurdle to clear.
The law has been set forth so that people who have been bit by dogs are so strongly encouraged to file a lawsuit within one year that the second year of their claim has a far less likelihood of succeeding. And that makes sense as well. Let's face it. No matter how well someone takes care of their dog, there are going to be times where a dog unexpectedly bites somebody. Although it may not be the norm, some dog bites occur from animals of a breed that no one would ever expect it to bite anybody and from the dog that has never shown any aggression towards anybody before. In those circumstances, if the lawsuit is not filed within one year, the person who was bit by the dog has no recourse, no claim, and no lawsuit in Arizona.
Even if a dog bite victim has serious scarring or significant trauma or medical bills, the claim is lost.
Call a Phoenix Dog Bite Attorney at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280
Now, there are different rules in different situations. Minors - people who are under 18 at the time that they are bitten by a dog - have a different set of rules and are often allowed more than one or two years in which to file their case. However, whether or not all their claims will still be valid up until what time they can file the lawsuit is really something that is best addressed by a Phoenix dog bite lawyer at Breyer Law Offices, P.C.