Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
One out of every 65 people will be seriously bitten by a dog this year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - or about twice as many people as will be injured in a traffic accident.
The Arizona injury lawyers at Abels & Annes know that dealing with a serious or fatal dog attack can be a devastating experience. More than 40 percent of serious dog bite cases involve children under the age of 14. And a significant number involve a household pet, neighborhood dog or a pet belonging to a friend or family member.
Unquestionably, we are a nation of dog lovers, with more than 77.5 million dogs residing in almost half of all U.S. households, according to Humane Society of the United States. Most dogs make wonderful companions. But when a dog attack seriously injures or kills an innocent victim, seeking qualified legal advice is necessary to protect you and your family.
At Abels & Annes, we will move aggressively to protect your legal rights. Dog attacks -- particularly those involving children -- frequently result in both physical and psychological issues, including scaring, fear, emotional regression, panic attacks, and issues complicated by growth and development. Sometimes, a dog owner is a family member, neighbor or friend. In such cases, we will work in as amicable a manner as possible to file a claim against a homeowner's insurance policy to ensure you have the financial resources to properly treat a dog bite injury.
In other cases, where a stray dog or a dog known to be aggressive, has attacked a member of your family, we will vigorously protect your rights and fight to ensure a vicious dog or inattentive dog owner is held accountable for the injuries caused in a dog attack.
Arizona dog bite law (Sections 11-1025 and 11-1026) imposes strict liability on dog owners - even for dog bites that occur on the owner's property.
"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 it's viciousness."
Not only can the dog's owner be held responsible, but the person charged with the dog's care at the time of the biting incident can also be held accountable as in cases where a family friend is walking or caring for a dog at the time of an attack. In addition to state law, a dog attack may also be governed by local, city or county ordinances.
In certain instances, a dog attack may even result in felony criminal charges if the owner knew or should have known that the dog was prone to attack or if a dog attacks someone while roaming free. The only recognized defense for a dog attack in Arizona is if a dog was provoked or if the dog is being utilized in the course of military or police work.
At Abels & Annes, we work on behalf of Arizona dog bite victims to collect damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, future medical care, counseling, lost wages and other damages. Call our Arizona injury lawyers today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.
If you suffered due to a dog bite or animal attack, call Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER for a free and confidential case consultation.