Tucson Dog Bite Attorneys
Every dog bite accident can cause pain, suffering, fear, injury, frustration, confusion and anger. Whether the dog that attacked or bit you belongs to someone you know or is a stranger to you, these types of incidents can scar you for the rest of your life, both physically and mentally. Dog owners many times are defensive of their dogs as well. That's why calling a skilled Tucson injury attorney at The Husband & Wife Law Team can help you make the right decisions about your claim. If you were bitten by a dog or otherwise injured in a dog attack and you need legal advice, read on for more information and reach out for help from The Husband & Wife Law Team.
When you're involved in a Tucson dog attack and a dog hurts you, you have rights. You may not be aware of just what those rights are, and you may not understand how to exercise or protect your rights. The laws in Arizona apply what is called “strict liability” to the owner of the dog that attacked you, and that means that you may have the right to compensation for your injuries and other damages suffered as a result of the attack. ARS 11-1025 establishes the law as it pertains to dog attacks and bite injuries. Some things you need to be aware of when it comes to this particular law include:
- You, as the victim, must be able to prove that your injuries were caused by being attacked by the dog in question
- You must be able to prove that you were in a public place at the time you were attacked by the dog, or that you were in a private place but had the legal right to be there
It is important to understand that ARS 11-1025 only applies to situations where your injuries were caused by a dog bite. Sometimes, injuries occur without being bitten by a dog. A dog could knock you down a flight of stairs or scratch you very deeply. There have even been instances of rather large dogs crushing small children, or smothering them by laying on top of them. If you are, or someone you love sustains injuries caused by a dog that don't involve bite injuries, you will have to be able to prove through the legal process that the owner didn't do the things they should have done to keep their dog from causing these injuries. For example, if you were knocked down the stairs at the park or somewhere else by a dog, if you want to hold the owner liable, you will have to prove that they were not in control of their dog at the time of the incident. This might mean that they did not have their pooch on a leash, or that they did not try to stop their dog from jumping up on you.
Strict liability means that if a dog bites you, the dog owner will not get a free pass just because their dog has never attacked a person before. The dog owner can still be held liable the first time their dog bites a person. Also, the dog owner can only claim the defense of "provocation." If there is no defense of provocation then typically the dog owner will be legal responsible for your injuries assuming causation is proved.
As mentioned above, dog owners also have defenses protected by the law, and victims should be aware that laws exist that protect dog owners from frivolous or unfair lawsuits. ARS 11-1027 protects dog owners in situations where the dog was provoked into attacking the bite victim. If you did something that could reasonably be believed to provoke a dog, like beating the dog, poking it, or attacking the dog's owner, then a court of law may not allow you to collect compensation from the dog's owner. If you were trespassing on the property of the dog owner at the time of the attack, you may also be precluded from collecting compensation. This is part of the law that works to prevent homeowners from being held liable in situations where injuries occur to individuals who are unlawfully on their property. This is also part of the law where dog owners will try to use to be held not responsible for someone else's injuries caused by their dog.
The statute of limitations in one of the most important things you can learn about when you've been bitten, or otherwise injured, by a dog. Sometimes, after a dog attack, you might not realize that you have rights or become so busy recovering from the injuries that you sustained that you may feel like you don't have time to think about the future, or about the compensation you need for your recovery. What is important to know is that part of Arizona law that impacts your dog bite claim is called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for dog bite injuries and dog attacks is two years; however, to use the strict liability claim that we spoke about above, you only have one year. Many people think they have two years and do not realize that if they do not settle their claim or file a lawsuit in the first year that they will lose the benefit of the strict liability claim, which is a major thing to lose when pursuing a claim for your injuries. In some cases, if the dog is owned by a government entity, the time period can be as little as 180 days.
Many people do not fully understand the statute of limitations and how it impacts their rights. As the victim, you do have the right to seek compensation from the owner of the dog that attacked you. However you also have responsibilities. One of your chief responsibilities, other than to tell the truth, is to file your case in a timely fashion. A timely filed case ensures that all of the evidence is secure and accurate, that nothing gets lost, and that the witnesses can remember what they saw. After the statute of limitations has expired you will lose your right to seek compensation. There are also different statute of limitations for minors as well.
If you were recently attacked by a dog or your loved one died in a fatal animal attack, you likely will need an attorney to help you make some decisions regarding your recovery and your legal options. Dog attack cases are complex in almost every sense, and it is very rare that the homeowner's insurance company, and the legal representatives of the dog owner will make things easy for you when moving forward with your case. In most cases, the dog owner and their representatives will try to convince you to accept a low settlement, or will bully you into accepting a low settlement.
Tucson dog bite lawyers can help make your settlement successful by making sure of the following things take place:
- Collect witness statements from individuals who saw what happened and can attest to the liability of the dog owner in the attack
- Collect evidence of the attack and your injuries including your medical records, photos of your injuries, information regarding the history of the dog (including if the dog has bit other people in the past) and more
- Negotiate your medical bills so that you are able to afford to receive medical care and to pay your other bills at the same time throughout your recovery
- Help you to understand your case, your recovery, your rights, your options, and help you to make the right decisions at every step of your case
- Negotiate your settlement so that you receive enough compensation to cover the costs of your medical care, the wages you've lost while you've been unable to work, your pain and anguish, the suffering your family has been through, expenses you may incur in the future as a result of your injuries, and more
Hiring an injury attorney to help with your case can be scary. In fact, it may be frightening. The right attorney can help you overcome your fears about engaging in the legal process, making a claim against the owner of the dog that hurt you, and making sure your voice is heard. When you reach out to the attorneys at The Husband & Wife Law Team at our Tucson office we start with a free consultation. We use this time with you to discuss the facts of your case and the law. We tell you the truth about your rights and your options. We will fight hard to ensure that you are treated fairly and that the dog owner is held responsible for their negligence actions and your injuries. For help with your case and straight forward advice, reach out to The Husband & Wife Law Team at (520) 624-4228 today.
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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
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