Educating Yourself about Arizona Dog Bite Criminal Liability

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Arizona law may impose criminal liability on a dog owner

In some situations Arizona law imposes criminal liability on the dog owner if the dog injures another person. The owner can be found guilty of a class 6 felony in Arizona if:

  1. the owner knows, or has reason to know, the dog has a propensity to attack, to cause injury, or otherwise endanger the safety of human beings without being provoked or if the dog has been found by a court of competent authority to be a vicious animal, and
  2. the dog bites, inflicts physical injury on, or attacks a human being while at large.

Damages for Dog Bites

If a victim of a dog bite victim proves the owner of the dog is liable, the victim is entitled to be compensated for the damages including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. costs of all medical care. This can include; ambulance charges, medication costs, doctors' fees, emergency room, and hospital costs
  2. estimated costs for any future medical care needed to treat wounds and reduce or eliminate wounds, scars, or disfigurement
  3. any counseling costs
  4. any loss of earnings that stem from injuries
  5. costs to replace damaged or destroyed personal property
  6. compensation for any injuries to or loss of life of pets that have been attacked by the dog

The circumstances of each dog attack vary and may result in additional types of damages and thus compensation.

Who Pays the Damages?

Often the owner of the dog has insurance that covers the victim’s damages. Such insurance may be covered under homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, landlord’s insurance, dog owner’s insurance. It might even be covered by business insurance if the dog is owned by or under the control of a breeder or pet shop.

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