A dog bite incident can range from a minor annoyance to potentially devastating and even life-threatening consequences for the victim. It is not uncommon for the victims of dog bites to find themselves disfigured for life. Dogs are the most common source of animal attack in the United States, and according to the CDC more than 4.5 million people are injured by dogs in the United States annually. A dog bite incident is not to be taken lightly. If your efforts of prevention have failed and your dog has unfortunately attacked another person or you are the victim of a dog bite, there are several key steps that you must take in response.
Assess the Victim’s (Or Your) Injuries and Secure Medical Attention
Immediately after a dog bite incident, assess the injuries. Even minor lacerations that do not look severe can still contribute to potentially severe infection. Wash and bandage the wounds and seek further medical attention if necessary. If the victim of a dog bite is unresponsive, immediately phone 911 and emergency services.
Gather Pertinent Information and Inform the Police
When a dog attacks another person or you are the victim, immediately gather proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies and inform the police. State law in Arizona requires that any animal who has bitten another person be quarantined for a period of ten days, but animals which have been vaccinated against rabies may be allowed to complete their quarantine in the owner’s home at the discretion of animal control. If the situation is taken to court, information such as but not limited to the owner’s name, address, dog vaccination, breed, how the attack happened etc. will be beneficial. If your dog attacked the victim, be sure to share information and show all the necessary forms to the police.
Know Your Legal Liability
The Arizona Revised Statutes section 11-1027 states that dog owners, in general, are strictly liable for all injuries caused by their dogs unless the dog was otherwise provoked or carrying out a lawful purpose for military or police under a pre-existing policy that requires the use of a dog. The law says explicitly: “The owner of a dog that 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 its viciousness.” The only defense to strict liability is that the animal was provoked, defined as: “tormenting, attacking or inciting a dog and includes the standard for determining provocation prescribed in section 11-1027”. The victim of a dog bite in Arizona has one year from the date of the incident to file a claim against the owner of a dog that attacked them.
Have you been injured by a dog or has your dog injured another person? Do not delay. Contact us at Simon Law Group to explore your legal options!