What Does Arizona Law Say About Dog Bite Incidents?
Dog bite incidents are some of the most controversial in terms of personal injury law. Some individuals, and even some states, have laws in place that automatically euthanize a dog should they ever bite an individual while others listen to both sides before deciding who’s at fault. In Arizona, the law is simple. If a dog bites someone, the owner of the dog is held responsible. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Arizona State Legislature, Section 11-1025A states, “The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness.”
What this law means is that no matter where the dog bite incident takes place, whether it’s on public or private property, and no matter the dog’s history pertaining to how vicious it’s been in the past, the owner of the dog is going to be held responsible. If the bite occurs on private property, the person must have been on the property lawfully. Therefore, should the victim suffer any injuries, loss of income, medical bills, or other financial burden, they will become the responsibility of the dog owner and not the injured party.
While this area of the law does appear to be pretty cut and dry, there are some exceptions. If the individual that was bitten is a child and lives in the home with the dog, and the dog bite took place at the home, the owner of the dog is likely to not be held responsible. Another instance in which the owner of the dog may not be held responsible is when the bitten individual provoked the dog in any manner. While this typically applies to military and police dogs, if the dog owner can provide proof that the injured party was in fact provoking the dog, they may not be held responsible. Dog owners and insurance companies are more and more using the defense of provocation to avoid liability.
While Arizona state’s dog bite law appears to be fairly clear when it comes to dog bite incidents it can become tricky, especially when owners try to prove provocation. If you have been the victim of a dog bite incident, contact us today at Breyer Law. We are experienced Arizona lawyers that have worked – and won – many dog bite incident cases before. We know this area of the law, and that knowledge can help you get the compensation you need. Call us today, or visit our website to speak to one of our live representatives.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer