Dog Bites, Dog Attacks

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Strict Liability for Dog Bites

In Arizona, a dog owner is held to the high standard of strict liability for dog bites and dog attacks. The owner is responsible for injury due to dog bites and the only possible defense is proving the dog was provoked. Under Arizona law, the dog owner is responsible for the dog bite, whether the dog attack occurred on the owner’s property or not, because a serious, unprovoked dog bite or animal attack can occur at any time and any place. Even familiar neighborhood pets that you assume are friendly may pose a threat. Arizona, like most states, has specific dog bite laws in place that provide protection for dog bite victims.

Any dog can bite or attack

While any dog, including a normally docile household pet, can become a dangerous animal under certain circumstances, attacks by pit bulls have gained widespread notoriety for the extreme degree of violence.

An arrest warrant was issued for the owner of two pit bulls, one of which was euthanized after reportedly attacking two people within a month. One of the victims was the pit bull owner’s father.

The court issued the warrant after reviewing a petition to revoke the owner’s probation. He was on probation for conspiracy to commit burglary, auto theft and theft, to which he pleaded guilty in 2009.

With regard to the dog attacks, the petition to revoke probation stated that the owner “failed to take reasonable steps to restrain his dog or dogs and his failure resulted in the dog or dogs biting and injuring third parties. He failed to restrain the dog or dogs despite having been warned about the dangerous character of at least one of the dogs.”

The owner also faces two misdemeanor charges for failure to restrain his dog, resulting in bodily injury.

Victims of dog bites are entitled to compensation for medical bills, plastic surgery, lost wages, pain and suffering. Permanent injuries such as scarring, disfigurement and emotional stress, damage to tissues and nerves should also be included when considering any potential settlement. An experienced attorney will make a clear determination of your rights, options, and consequences enabling you to make the decisions that are in the best long term interests of you and your family.

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