Animal Bites: Your Trusted Phoenix Dog Bite Attorney
Expert Dog Attack Attorney In Phoenix
Have you, a child, or a loved one been bitten by an animal? If so, you need a Phoenix Valley animal bite attorney who will do what it takes to ensure you are compensated fairly for your injuries. Injuries from an animal bite can be very serious, possibly requiring hospitalization, surgical intervention, or permanent scarring to the face or other body areas.
Arizona law is designed to be tough on pet owners whose pets harm others. The legal team at Lebovitz Law Group will ensure you get the compensation you deserve after an animal bite injury. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your case and counsel you about what our firm can do for you.
Dog Bite Laws and Dog Bite Lawyer In Phoenix
Not under Section 11-1025 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the owner of a dog that bites another person is strictly liable for damages suffered by the person who has been bitten, so long as the person who is injured is in a public place or lawfully (one who has been invited or is a guest) in a private place. The law provides, however, that if the injured person provoked the attack, the owner may use that as a defense to a claim for damages. Under A.R.S. 11-1027, provocation hinges on whether a reasonable person would anticipate that the injured person’s conduct would provoke a dog.
Although this is a “strict liability” law, there may still be a defense (e.g., provocation) to a lawsuit for damages. Strict liability means you do not have to prove the dog’s owner was at fault as long as the statutory requirements are met. Unlike other negligence cases, a plaintiff does not need to show that the owner of the dog was negligent or engaged in or refrained from any particular behavior to establish a case. In fact, A.R.S. 11-1025 specifically says that liability is established whether or not the owner was aware of any past behavior that would indicate the dog had vicious propensities. And unlike the law in some states, Arizona pet owners do not get one “free bite” before they become strictly liable for the injuries inflicted on others by their dog, so long as the case fits into the statute’s requirements.
There are numerous situations in which a dog bite injury incident does not fit neatly into the strict liability law. Does this mean you have no case? Not necessarily. Let’s say that a neighbor’s dog bites you on property owned by that neighbor; however, you were not invited onto the property, making you a trespasser as a technical matter. In that case, fulfill you may not fulfill the requirements for strict liability; however, you can still make a claim and sue based on common law in Arizona. This may require that you prove the dog had a propensity for vicious behavior or that the owner knew or had reason to know of its aggressiveness. Just because you cannot use the strict liability statute does not mean that you do not have a case! The Expert Phoenix dog bite attorney, at Lebovitz Law Group can evaluate whether your dog bite situation fits the strict liability statute and what other laws you can use if it does not.
If you’ve experienced a dog attack, seeking legal guidance from a knowledgeable dog attack attorney in Phoenix is crucial. While strict liability laws may not always apply, a skilled attorney can assess your situation and determine if you can still pursue a claim based on common law principles. At Lebovitz Law Group, we understand the complexities of dog bite injury cases, and we’re here to help you explore your legal options and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Statutes of Limitation in Arizona Dog Bite Cases
A statute of limitations, in civil cases, sets a time limit for when you can file a lawsuit regarding a particular claim. Most personal injury cases, whether involving a car accident or other negligent behavior, must be filed within two years from the date the cause of action accrues. This time frame is generally applicable to injuries sustained due to a dog bite under Arizona common law.
However, claims made under the strict liability statute (A.R.S. 11-1025) follow a different timeline. The Arizona legislature recognized the need for distinct and shorter statute of limitations for strict liability actions compared to those under common law. Specifically, A.R.S. 12-541 stipulates that when liability is established by statute, an action must be initiated within one year from the date the cause of action accrues. Generally, a cause of action accrues on the very day you experienced the injury. Therefore, in cases of dog bite injuries, you typically have a one-year window to file a lawsuit under the strict liability statute.
It is crucial to understand that legal complexities often arise in dog bite cases. Having the right legal representation, such as a qualified dog bite lawyer in Phoenix, is essential. Failing to promptly pursue your claim with the appropriate attorney could result in the loss of your legal rights and potential compensation.
How Does Insurance Come Into Play in an Animal Bite Case?
You may be wondering how insurance plays a role in animal bite cases. Millions of people are bitten by animals each year, and many claims (and lawsuits) are filed on behalf of injured people. Liability for animal bite injuries is often covered under homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. Industry statistics indicate that as many as one-third of all homeowner liability claims are for injuries sustained due to dog bites.
What does this mean for you? On the plus side, it usually means an available source of funds to compensate you for your injury. But it also means that an insurance adjuster will be involved in the case at one point or another. Negotiating with insurance companies is not easy, and it should not be undertaken on your own. Insurance companies are interested in their bottom line, and negotiating your case is a “zero-sum” game for them. This means that for every dollar they pay you, that’s one less dollar on their bottom line. The insurance company’s goal will always be to minimize injuries and losses and pay you the absolute minimum they can get away with.
To combat the rigid posture of the insurers, your best interests are served by having an experienced attorney by your side. This means an attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies; who means business; who is experienced and knowledgeable; and who is not afraid to proceed to trial when necessary to protect your interests.
Dog Bite Injuries
Just under five million people in America are bitten by dogs each year. Around 800,000 seek medical attention, and children make up over half of those who require medical treatment for dog bites. In addition, children between the ages of five and nine are more likely to be bitten than any other age group. Hundreds of thousands of those bitten require a trip to the emergency room to deal with their injuries.
Injuries inflicted by dog bites can be devastating. Although these injuries can significantly impact your life no matter what age you may be, in young children, they can be particularly devastating. When children are the victims, their small size contributes to the fact that they often suffer facial injuries. Lacerations resulting from dog bites often require plastic surgery, including skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, microsurgery, dermabrasion, etc. And these wounds typically require multiple procedures to try to rectify the damage done by the bite.
Hospitalization is sometimes required after being bitten by a dog due to the presence of open lacerations, the onset of skin infections, and other dangerous conditions. In some situations, dog bites have been known to cause bone fractures and even internal injuries. These injuries can be extremely serious, and they can require a lengthy period of treatment.
If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention and consult a qualified Phoenix dog bite attorney at Lebovitz Law Group, also known as a dog attack lawyer or dog bite injury lawyer. These legal professionals specialize in handling cases involving dog-related injuries and can help you understand your rights, pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages, and navigate the legal process effectively. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable attorney to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.
Animal Bite FAQs
1. What should I do if bitten by an animal?
Seek immediate medical attention and document the incident. Contact dog bite lawyer in phoenix like Lebovitz Law Group for legal guidance.
What compensation can I seek in an animal bite case?
You may be eligible for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and future medical costs.
How do Arizona dog bite laws affect my case?
Arizona’s strict liability law holds dog owners responsible for bites in public places or on their property. Defenses like provocation may apply.
Can I claim it if the owner alleges provocation?
Provocation can be a defense, but it depends on the circumstances. Consult a dog attack attorney in Phoenix to assess your case.
How can an animal bite attorney help with insurance negotiations?
An experienced attorney can handle negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring you receive fair compensation.
Call Lebovitz Law Group at 602-975-5550
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