Tempe Dog Bite Attorneys
Whether it's you or your child that is involved, a Tempe dog bite can be, and almost always does become, your worst nightmare come to life. No one thinks about the possibility of being attacked by a dog while running down the street for morning exercise, or watching their child be attacked while innocently playing in the park or approaching a dog that they think is a "cute puppy."
These incidents happen more often than anyone thinks possible and they frequently leave the victims wondering what to do next and how to move on with their lives, which have been changed forever in just a matter of moments. Dog attacks can leave victims mentally, emotionally, and physically scarred, and their families searching for the financial means to pay for long term recovery option. That is why it is important to seek out an experienced Tempe dog bite accident attorney. If you, or someone you love, was attacked by a dog and sustained serious injuries from being bitten, the Tempe personal injury attorneys at The Husband & Wife Law Team may be able to help you. Read on for more information on dog attacks and reach out for help from an attorney you can rely on.
For victims of dog attacks in Tempe, the likelihood of escaping without sustaining any injuries is rather slim. After all, once a dog has started an attack, it is likely to continue until it feels that the "perpetrator" is dead or no longer a threat. Attempts to get away from the dog may only provoke it to attack further. Some of the most common injuries and other physical damages sustained by victims of these types of incidents include, but are not limited to the following.
- Deep lacerations to the face, neck, head, arms, chest, and legs
- Chunks of skin, muscle, and tissue removed by being bitten and having parts of the body torn away
- Dislocated limbs
- Injuries to the neck, head, back, and spine caused by falling or being stomped by a dog
- Broken bones caused by the bite of a dog, or falling on the ground
- Death caused by serious wounds that bleed, when the bleeding is unable to be stopped; especially in the case of the laceration of the femoral artery
Like all other personal injury accidents in the state of Arizona, when a dog bite injury occurs during a dog attack in Tempe, there is a statute of limitations placed on legal action. This means that you, the victim, are limited in the amount of time you have to bring a case against the owner of the dog that attacked you. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a dog bite can be as little as 180 days. There is what is called "strict liability" for dog bites which means if you file a lawsuit – not just a claim – within one year that you do not have to prove that the dog owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous. The liability on the dog is automatic if the lawsuit is filed in the first year. After the first year, the victim then needs to prove that the dog owner knew the dog had propensities to be dangerous. In either statute of limitations, the dog owner has the defense of "provocation" available to argue to them.
The law in the state of Arizona will have an impact on your dog bite lawsuit, whether you like it or not. Both the negligent owner of the dog that perpetrated the attack, and the victim, have rights and responsibilities under the law. These are used as measures to ensure that everyone involved is treated fairly.
While dog owners are required under Arizona law to ensure that their pooches are on a leash at all times and that they are unable to freely escape from their yards, or run at large throughout the neighborhood, there are rules that more expressly apply to victims. If you are planning to file a lawsuit against the dog owner whose dog attacked you and caused your dog bite injuries, it is important to note the following:
- Under ARS 11-1025, the victim must be able to prove through evidence that the reported injuries in the lawsuit were caused by the negligent party's dog
- ARS 11-1027 removes liability from a dog owner in the event that the victim provoked the dog by illegally entering private property, attacking the dog's owner, taunting the dog, or engaging in other illegal or negligent behavior
- Under ARS 11-1025, the victim must be able to prove that they were in a public place at the time of the attack - sidewalk, park, etc.- or that they were legally on private property - you went to visit the negligent party, were delivering a package, etc.
When you have the right attorney, someone who truly understands the law and who wants you to get better and move on with your life, you can expect them to take on the tasks that are most frustrating, and every other part of your recovery, except for the part you have to do yourself: physically and mentally heal. You can expect your attorney to do the following:
- Determine how each applicable statute of Arizona law, including ARS 11-1025 and ARS 11-1027, along with other statutes, apply to your case, to ensure that all applicable law is being presented to make your case
- Determine whether other similar cases have set a precedent for outcomes, so that that information can be used to your benefit
- Collect evidence on your behalf including police statements, statements from animal control, medical records, the dog's personal history (including whether it has ever attacked anyone else), and more
- Collect witness statements from people who were present at the time of the dog attack
- Work with your doctors and other medical and mental health care providers to ensure that you are able to pay your medical bills—this may include negotiating payment plans or even reducing the amount of your bills
- Work with you to help you find all of the right, and best, medical and mental health care providers for your injuries, so that you can make a swift recovery and move on with your life
- Work with you to ensure that you understand your rights, the responsibilities you have after your accident and throughout your case, and to help you make the right decisions for yourself, whatever they may be
- Negotiate on your behalf to get a settlement that will pay for the costs of your recovery
- Medical expenses for hospital visits, emergency room visits, checkups, physical therapy, surgery, and more
- Lost wages, for the time that you were unable to work during your recovery period, both after the initial accident, and in the months and years following that
- Pain and suffering you felt as a result of being attacked, and that you experienced throughout your recovery
- The need for ongoing medical care, mental health therapy, surgeries, care, and assistance after the statute of limitations will have expired; this is especially important for children and those individuals who may experience additional suffering many years down the line as a result of their injuries
- Financial damages resulting from the inability to hold down a job, inability to pay bills, and inability to cope with your recovery or your injuries
Talking to an attorney can help you determine whether you may also be able to claim additional compensation for other areas of your life that were impacted by your injuries, or that may be impacted by your injuries further down the road. Only an attorney can tell you what a reasonable claim is, and help you file all of the right paperwork and negotiate with the other party to ensure that you are treated fairly and compensated fairly, too.
Choosing the Tempe dog bite lawyer that will help you with your lawsuit after being attacked by a dog is a big deal. This isn't a decision that should be taken lightly, and you may need to visit with more than one attorney before you find one that makes you feel comfortable enough to move forward. That's okay. The Husband & Wife Law Team offers a free consultation to help you get to know our attorneys better, to help you understand your case and your rights, and to help you decided whether or not you want to and should move forward with your claim.
If you're ready to talk about your case, your options, your rights, and your responsibilities, now is the time to call us. We will help you understand your case and help you to get the settlement you deserve, and ensure that you are getting the care you need to fully recover.
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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