At Friedl Richardson, our passion is the representation of victims. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers hold negligent parties accountable for their actions so that victims can receive deserved compensation for their physical injuries as well as emotional distress. If you or someone you love was attacked by a dog, our firm is here to help. Trust Friedl Richardson's extensive experience with dog bite cases to get you or your loved one the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Arizona is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, which means that the owner of the dog is held liable for injury when their dog bites/attacks a person.
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes § 11-1025,
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 its viciousness.
While dog owners are held liable when their dog bites another person, this statute provides the exception that they are liable only if the victim was in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This would exclude intruders from filing dog bite lawsuits against an owner of a home or business they were attempting to gain unlawful entry into.
The issue of private versus public property regarding the location of the dog attack is addressed in § 11-1026 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. According to this statute, a person is said to be lawfully on a private property only if:
Another possible defense that the dog's owner might use to shift liability onto the victim is by claiming that the victim provoked the dog to attack. A civil court will only accept this as a defense if it falls in line with § 11-1027 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. This statute is up to much interpretation, as the judge will ask "Could a reasonable person have known that their conduct in the situation would have provoked the dog?" Our job as Phoenix dog bite lawyers representing plaintiffs is to ensure that the answer is "no" so that you, the victim, do not get blamed for the dog attack.
As you can see, there are some defenses which the dog owner might try to use to avoid taking the blame for the incident. Our Phoenix dog bite attorneys are prepared to handle these claims so that you are fully compensated for your injury.
While Arizona's dog bite laws seem to lean in favor of the injured party, dog owners can still try to shift the blame onto you for the accident. You need a skilled advocate on your side who can use the full extent of state and/or municipal law to show that you are the victim rightly deserving of compensation. If you or someone you love has suffered a dog attack, we encourage you to contact a Phoenix dog bite attorney from our firm today. Friedl Richardson will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.