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Dog Bite Attorney & Tucson Animal Attack Lawyer | Oro Valley, Marana, SaddleBrooke
When a child or adult is bitten by a dog or attacked by another pet or domesticated animal, the owner of the animal may be held responsible to pay for the medical bills, any lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and any psychological counseling the victim needs.
Dog bites and animal attacks may be covered by the responsible party’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Unfortunately, the animal’s owner and the insurance company may fight to deny the victim full and fair compensation for his or her injuries.
As an experienced dog bite injury law firm, our attorneys understand how the insurance companies operate. We can act quickly and with determination to help you secure full financial compensation after a dog bite or animal attack resulting in serious personal injury or wrongful death.
We are trial lawyers — we will fight for your recovery in court, if necessary. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Oro Valley dog bite attorney and animal attack lawyer.
The Facts About Dog Bites Injuries And Children
Dog bites are a particularly concerning issue for children. The American Medical Association has identified dog bites as a leading cause of childhood injury, ranking higher than accidents on playgrounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echo this concern, noting that children are disproportionately likely to be victims of dog bites, with a risk ratio exceeding three to one. Injuries to the face, neck, and head are especially common among children who end up in emergency rooms due to dog bites.
It’s Not Just Dog Bites – Individuals Can Be Held Liable For Other Animal Attacks
Dogs and other pets are not the only animals that cause serious injury. Many do not realize that, under certain circumstances, they may have legal recourse if they are bitten by a rattlesnake, javelina, spider, or another wild animal.
An owner of a business or commercial property may be liable for failing to use reasonable care to protect guests from harm from local wildlife, or to warn them of the danger. Failing to use reasonable care to prevent wild animals from having access to the patio of a restaurant or hotel, for example, may make the business liable for any injuries that result.
What Causes Many Dogs To Bite Or Attack Victims?
Dogs may bite for a variety of reasons, and understanding these can be crucial in preventing bites. Some common causes of dog bites include:
- Fear or Defense. A dog might bite if it feels threatened or scared. This can occur if they are startled, feel cornered, or perceive a threat to themselves or their owners.
- Protection of Territory or Possessions. Dogs are naturally territorial and protective of their space, food, toys, or even their human family members. They might bite if they feel these are being encroached upon.
- Pain or Sickness. A dog in pain or suffering from an illness might bite, even if it’s normally gentle. Pain can make animals unpredictable and more likely to react aggressively.
- Maternal Instincts. A female dog with puppies might be more prone to biting due to her instinct to protect her litter.
- Excitement. Sometimes, dogs bite during play because they get overly excited. This is more common in puppies who have not yet learned bite inhibition.
- Provocation. Dogs might react with a bite if they feel provoked. This can include rough handling, teasing, or being attacked by another animal or person.
- Prey Drive. Some dogs have a strong prey drive and might chase and bite moving objects, animals, or even people, particularly children who are running or playing.
Understanding a dog’s body language and warning signs (like growling, baring teeth, stiff posture, etc.) is crucial in predicting and preventing potential biting incidents. Teaching children how to interact safely with dogs and supervising their interactions is also important in reducing the risk of bites.
How Much Can I Get From An Arizona Dog Bite Lawsuit?
In Arizona, victims of dog bites and other animal attacks can seek various types of compensation through legal action. The specific types of compensation available generally fall into several categories:
- Medical Expenses. This includes costs for immediate medical treatment, ongoing care, surgeries, medications, and any future medical needs related to the injury.
- Lost Wages. If the injury has resulted in missing work, compensation for lost income can be claimed. This also includes loss of earning capacity if the injury impacts the victim’s ability to work in the future.
- Pain and Suffering. Compensation for physical pain and suffering due to the injury is a common claim. This also encompasses emotional distress, which can be significant, especially in severe attack cases.
- Disfigurement and Scarring. If the dog bite results in permanent scarring or disfigurement, compensation can be sought for the physical and emotional impact of these injuries.
- Loss of Quality of Life. In cases where the injuries significantly alter the victim’s lifestyle or ability to engage in activities they once enjoyed, compensation for loss of quality of life can be claimed.
- Psychological Counseling. Dog bites, especially severe ones, can lead to psychological trauma. Compensation for therapy and counseling to address these issues can be included.
- Punitive Damages. In some cases, where the dog owner’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious, punitive damages might be awarded. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
Arizona has specific statutes regarding dog bite liability, which may influence the course and outcome of a lawsuit. Consulting with an experienced dog bite injury lawyer is crucial for understanding and effectively pursuing the full range of compensation available in such cases.
What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By A Friend’s Dog?
Dog bite injuries often involve animals owned by someone the victim knows well, like a family member, neighbor, or friend. This familiarity can make people hesitant to take legal action, even in cases of serious, life-changing injuries. However, it’s important to understand that in most scenarios, the dog owner’s personal finances are not directly impacted by injury claims.
Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies usually provide personal injury coverage for dog bites. In such cases, an experienced dog bite attorney can typically secure full compensation from the insurance company, avoiding the need to file a lawsuit against your friend or relative.
Can I Be Held Liable In Arizona If My Dog Has Never Bitten Someone Before?
In Arizona, unlike some states where a “one-bite” rule might apply, dog owners are held to a standard of strict liability for dog bites. This means that a dog owner in Arizona can be held liable for damages if their dog bites someone, regardless of whether the dog has a history of biting or not.
For the strict liability law to be applicable, two key conditions must be met: the dog must have bitten the victim, and the bite must have occurred either in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property. In such cases, the victim is not required to prove that the dog owner was negligent to hold them accountable for the attack.
However, there are notable exceptions to this rule in Arizona:
- Provocation. If the dog was provoked by the victim, the owner may not be held liable under the strict liability law. For an action to qualify as provocation, it must be something that a reasonable person would consider likely to provoke a dog.
- Trespassing. The strict liability law does not apply if the person bitten was trespassing on private property at the time of the attack. In such cases, the dog owner may not be held responsible under this particular statute.
Contact Bache & Lynch To Schedule A Free Consultation With An Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
To discuss your rights and legal options after a serious dog bite or animal attack, please call our Tucson dog bite injury law firm at 520-293-5300. You may also contact us by using the Contact Form above for more information or to schedule a free consultation.
Please continue reading for useful information regarding preventing animal attacks.