Dog Attack Attorneys in Glendale
I've Been Attacked By a Dog. How Do I Find an Attorney?
If you've been attacked by a dog, then you may be facing many difficulties ahead in dealing with your injury and getting your life back on track. You most likely have medical bills that are piling up. You might also have lost out on wages because you had to take time off of work. Worse, you could be suffering from anxiety or trauma after the attack and require counseling to help you overcome your ordeal.
Unfortunately, though, in many of these dog attack cases, the owner will not automatically assume responsibility for their animal. They will not freely volunteer to pay for your medical bills or compensate you for your pain and suffering. So in order to get your life back, you need to file a personal injury claim with a lawyer who has experience in handling dog attacks.
That said, not every incident involving a dog is serious enough or going to require that you hire an attorney or file a claim. But you may have a lot of questions. So it's important to at least consult with an experienced Glendale AZ injury lawyer who can determine if you have a valid claim and can also help you receive fair compensation for your injury.
What To Do First
If you have been attacked by a dog - and you're badly injured - then you need to contact an attorney right away. Finding a good dog bite attorney who knows the law as it relates to dog attacks is only a matter of asking the right questions.
One of the first questions you should ask is how many dog bite injury cases the lawyer has handled. Then you should ask how many of those claims have been successful. Dog attack cases get complicated, so it's important that the lawyer you hire has the pertinent experience to do a good job with your case and knows how to protect your rights.
Unfortunately, though, any certified attorney can represent you in an accident case, legally speaking. They do not have to have any experience with these kinds of claims. But you'll be making a big mistake if you don't hire someone who knows the laws surrounding aniaml attacks cases inside and out.
Arizona Law for Dog Bites
First of all, many people mistakenly believe that Arizona is a "one bite free" state. This means that the dog is allowed one bite before the dog owner can be charged or held liable. It's essentially a free pass or get out of jail free card for the first offense. Other states have this law on their books, however, Arizona is a strict liability state, which means that you can file a personal injury claim against the pet owner even if the dog never bit anyone before or showed any signs of aggression.
Because we have a strict liability law when it comes to dog bites in the state, then the defendant cannot claim they didn't know the dog was dangerous or that the dog hadn't bitten anyone else before. It just doesn't matter when it comes to strict liability. Not all attorneys know that this is not a defense, though; especially ones who aren't experienced with dog bite laws in the state. Nor do inexperienced attorneys usually know which law to cite in order to stop the dog owner or the insurance company from using this defense in order to get off the hook.
Statute of Limitations in Glendale, AZ
Moreover, in these kinds of cases, another factor that isn't taken into account by an untrained person is the statute of limitations. Under Arizona law, personal injury lawsuits filed within one year of the date of the attack are much easier to prove. Claims can still be filed within two years of the attack, but they are much harder to prove. The reason is that with personal injury claims filed more than one year after the dog attack, the person injured is responsible for proving that the pet owner knew the dog was dangerous and aggressive. In essence, the burden of proof now falls to the victim, rather than the person accused, and thus, these cases are harder to win.
However, the statute of limitations for dog bites is usually different when a child is the one who is attacked. And all too often it's a child who is attacked by an animal. The reason is that children are more vulnerable to being attacked by a dog that is running lose or somehow got out of its yard. Also, children are more likely to wander where they're not supposed to be, onto other people's properties, where a dog might be guarding the home or their owner. Again, only an attorney who is trained in the law pertaining to bites is going to know this and how to extend the statute of limitations so that the burden of proof doesn't rest on the victim. So the bottom line is that in personal injury cases, it's important to hire an attorney who has dealt with such cases in the past, knows the law, and knows the statute of limitations spelled out under the law.
Clearly, bite injury cases can get pretty complicated - especially for someone who isn't experienced or who doesn't know the law. But at Breyer Law Offices, we have helped many people who have been the victims of dog attacks win the compensation they deserve. We've seen cases where Pit Bulls have attacked innocent children and people. We've also seen cases involving Rottweilers attacking innocent people. We've even seen cases where certain breeds of dogs who are generally thought to be more benign have attacked an innocent bystander. But if you have a legitimate claim, then the law relating to dog bites is really on your side and can be used to help you.
Contact a Glendale AZ Dog Bite Attorney at Breyer Law
If you'd like to schedule a free consultation, contact the Glendale dog attack lawyers at Breyer Law Offices today. If you have a solid case, our lawyers will work hard to ensure you receive compensation for your injury.