It looks like there has been a spike in dog bite accidents across the nation. A recent dog bite accident left two victims in critical condition, and the four pit bulls responsible for the attack dead. It can be a traumatic situation for not only victims, who are often left in the hospital, but owners of the dogs.
Uptick in Dog-Bite Accidents
While attorneys representing dog-bite victims have seen the uptick in numbers, so have insurance companies. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites are up five percent nationwide from last year. “If your dog bites someone, and they’re somewhere where they can be lawfully then you’re strictly liable for the injury your dog causes,” said dog-bite attorney Mosley Collins. “You can’t say, ‘Well i warned them, I told them this, I told them that’—if your dog bites someone, unless they’re like breaking into your house, then you’re gonna be responsible. You’re gonna have to pay.”
Dog-Bite Victims 50% Children
According to dog bite experts, often times the victims are family or friends. And 50 percent of dog-bite victims are children under 10. “The last call I got was a 4-year-old boy who was in the backyard and he was near a dog, and this was a pit bull, and I would have to say, although it’s gonna irritate people–but i would have to say most of the dog bite calls I get are pit bulls biting children,” Collins said.
Arizona is not a “Free-bite” State
“Some states have one-free bite rule,” Collins said. But that’s not the case in Arizona. In Arizona, the first time a dog bites someone the owner is responsible and liable. In fact, some homeowners insurance companies will not cover dog bits if the dog you own is a certain breed. “The owner is always ultimately responsible,” Collins said. Because of this, its crucial you know your rights when it comes to your dog and your neighbor’s dog.
If you or a family member have been injured in a dog bite accident, you need the expert advice of lawyers such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.