Arizona holds dog owners strictly liable for harm caused by their dog. (See A.R.S. § 11-1025). However, there are a few caveats. You must have a “lawful presence on [the] private property” (see A.R.S. § 11-1026) and there will always be some question as to whether you “provoked” the dog to bite or attack. (See A.RS. § 11-1027).
In a number of states, dog owners must have some knowledge that their dog has a propensity to violence. In other words, that dog must have attacked or bitten someone previously in order to put the owner on notice of their dog’s potential behavior. In Arizona, this is not the case. There is no “one free bite.” [(See Massey v. Colaric, 151 Ariz. 65, 725 P.2d 1099 (1986)].
Dog attacks can be very traumatic experiences. They can cause significant scarring to the victim, both physically and emotionally. In some circumstances a dog attack is witnessed by another individual who believes that they too may be injured; perhaps a child to the victim or some other close relative. In these circumstances, the witnessing child or family member might have available to them the claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress and recover damages for their own traumatic experience.
Victims should consider the costs to repair any scaring, medical bills, emotional distress, and long-term effects of diagnoses as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other long-term psychological or physical harm. If you have any questions, please contact us for a free evaluation of your case. Our attorneys understand the law and can provide you with sound legal advice to help you understand your legal rights and options. Consultations are free of charge and we take no fee unless we win money for you in all of our personal injury cases.