We all love our dogs and consider them to be a part of the family unit. Unfortunately, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bite victims every year in the United States. Almost 50% of all victims are children under the age of 12.
If you, or someone you know, is bitten, it is imperative that you have the bite checked out by a medical provider as soon as possible. Dogs can be a host to several bacterial and viral infections that you can contract, such as ringworm. Many dog bite victims suffer permanent scarring and consult with plastic surgeons. While scarring can be minimized by plastic surgery, most victims are still left with permanent residual scarring. In addition to physical injuries, many dog bite victims experience emotional trauma, lower self-esteem from visible scarring and a lifetime fear of dogs.
In Arizona, most dog bite attacks are strict liability cases. The owner of the dog is liable for the dogs actions whether they knew the dog was dangerous or not. Anytime their dog bites someone they are held liable no matter the situation or circumstances. The only defense to imposing strict liability is if the dog bite victim provoked the dog into biting. In other types of injury cases, the victim has to prove negligence in order to receive compensation.
Dog bite claims based on strict liability have a one year statute of limitations. Subject to several exceptions, a dog bite victim must file a lawsuit within 1 year from the date of loss or his/her strict liability claim may be barred forever. Claims based on a dog owner’s negligence have a two year statute of limitations.
Dog bite victims are typically compensated for their injuries by the dog owner’s homeowners policy. If the victim or the parents of the victim are contacted by an insurance carrier, please do not sign any document. You may be jeopardizing your health and signing away your legal rights. Since 1996, Petersen Johnson has successfully handled numerous cases involving dog bite attacks.
Please contact us immediately at (602) 650-1200 so we can compile evidence and maximize your damage recovery.