Dog Bite Bite Lawyers in Mesa
Did you know that according to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year? Furthermore, did you know that nearly one in five of those who are bitten need medical care or attention for dog bite-related injuries?
If you've been the victim of one of these dog attacks, then one of your first steps should be to contact an attorney. Finding a Mesa personal injury attorney who has experience with dog bite claims and the laws relating to dog bites in Arizona is all about asking the right questions.
Pretty much any certified lawyer can claim to be experienced in handling dog bite cases - and as a matter of law, they are legally allowed to handle dog bite claims, even if they are inexperienced with this type of case. However, there is a big difference between claiming experience and actually having experience. So one of the first questions to ask would be "How many dog bite cases have you handled?" The next question would obviously be "How many dog bite cases have you won?" It's critically important to hire a lawyer with this experience who knows the law relating to dog bites and knows how to best protect your rights.
For instance, one aspect many people are not aware of in the state is the fact that we don't have a "one free bite" law. In the State of Arizona, dog owners are held to a standard known as strict liability as long as a personal injury claim is filed within one year of the attack. This means that the pet owner can be immediately held liable for the actions of their dog.
In other states, there is what is called the one free bite law. This simply means that the owner cannot be held liable the first time that their dog bites someone. It's basically like a free pass or a "get of jail free" card for the first offense.
Anyway, back to the strict liability law in Arizona. This law means that if a dog bites you, then that dog owner could not argue or claim that they didn't know that the dog was dangerous or that it never bit anyone before. That simply doesn't matter. However, not everyone, including inexperienced attorneys, knows this is not a defense. Nor do they know the proper law to cite in order to prevent a pet owner or their insurance company from trying to avoid responsibility for the dog using this defense.
Furthermore, the ability to prevent this kind of defense is dependant upon when the lawsuit is filed. In the State of Arizona, where the strict liability standard is the law, personal injury claims brought within the first year of the dog attack are easier to prove. Claims filed within two years of the attack can still be proven, but are much more complicated. The reason is that for claims filed after the one year mark, the victim must then prove that the dog owner in fact knew that the dog was aggressive and dangerous. In other words, the burden of proof falls on the victim.
If a dog bites a child, however, then the statute of limitations changes and the defense, as a result, could change as well. And it's all too often that a child is bit in these kinds of cases because children tend to wander into backyards, where a dog may be guarding their home or their owner. Children are also more vulnerable to attacks by dogs running loose or unattended. But a skilled dog bite lawyer will be able to extend the time under which a claim has to be filed and still not have the burden of proof rest on the victim. The point is that hiring a lawyer who doesn't know the law or the statute of limitations in the various kinds of dog bite cases could damage a solid claim.
This probably all sounds very complicated. And it's true that cases involving dog bites can be tricky for someone who doesn't know the law in detail and doesn't have experience dealing with these kinds of cases. But here at The Husband & Wife Law Team, we've helped many people who have been the victims of a dog bite. We've seen a lot of cases where a Pit Bull has attacked an innocent person or child. We've also seen many cases where Rottweilers, too, attack innocent adults or children. We've even seen cases where breeds thought to be more benign have viciously attacked someone. But if you have a solid case, then the law is on your side and can be used to your benefit.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you may be facing a lot of hard challenges ahead in getting your life back in order. You probably have a host of medical bills. You may have had to take time off of work, resulting in lost wages. And you might even have to go through psychological counseling to get over the trauma from your ordeal.
What's worse is that even though the dog owner is responsible for the actions of their dogs, in many cases, they will not freely volunteer to compensate you. In order to be properly compensated, you should contact a Mesa dog bite attorney at The Husband & Wife Law Team with experience in handling dog bite cases.
Keep in mind, though, that not every dog bite case requires a personal injury attorney. When deciding whether or not to file a claim against the dog owner, it is important to consult a personal injury attorney who understands this complicated area of law. A qualified lawyer can quickly determine if you have a case and can also help you receive fair compensation for your physical injury, lost wages, medical costs, and all other related expenses.
For a free consultation, contact us at (480) 944-9753 today. If you have a solid case, our personal injury lawyers will work hard to ensure you receive compensation for your dog bite injury.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer