Lawyers Representing Victims of Dog Bites in Phoenix
Let’s face it, most of us are animal lovers and have pets in our homes, be it dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, or fish. Dogs, in particular, are referred to as ‘man’s best friend.’ We often treat them as a part of the family. Unfortunately, some dogs can turn on people and inflict serious injuries, including disfigurement, maiming, and killing.
Across the United States of America, there are approximately close to 80 million dogs either in homes and kennels or wandering the streets as strays. When you consider there are a little over 300 million people in America, that’s really a lot of dogs. So, even if dog bite statistics may seem startling, we do not wish to conjure unwarranted fear. Not every dog is a dangerous dog, or else the number of bites would be much, much higher.
Still, even with that being said, the fact that most dogs are sweet and calm is probably little comfort to the numerous dog bite victims across the country.
The fact of the matter is that dogs can and do bite people. Sometimes the dog attack comes from an animal that everyone long feared and believed to be an aggressive dog. But dog attacks are just as regularly blamed on a dog with no prior history of aggressive behavior or reports saying the dog attacked someone before.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog on public or private property, it is important that you first seek medical attention for any wound you may have suffered during the animal attack. An injured person should also document their injuries caused by the dog to better help their dog bite claim when they later take legal action.
Survivors and the families of loved ones who have suffered a dog attack should then contact a law firm with experience bringing a dog bite lawsuit to court. If you’d like to discuss your dog bite claims, contact Phoenix, AZ’s Moore Injury Law, for a free consultation.
How Do Arizona’s Dog Bite Statistics Compare with the Rest of the Country?
- Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur yearly in the U.S., according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Close to 800,000 of these dog bites require medical care. That’s about one in five bites.
- Nearly 50% of dog attacks involve children under the age of 12.
- 82% of dog bites needing ER treatment involve children under 15 years old.
- Each year, insurance companies pay out approximately $1 billion in dog bite claims.
Children are more likely to be attacked and injured by dog bites than adults. Children play with dogs more often and are not as familiar with warning signs from dogs to back off. Plus, children frequently are not large enough to defend themselves from an attack.
More locally, studies have shown that Arizona’s rate of dog bite attacks (as well as dog bite injuries that require hospitalization) have gone up dramatically in recent years. One study showed that dog bite injuries that required at least one day of hospitalization had gone up 139% in Arizona between the years 2008 and 2012.
Arizona recently ranked as the 15th most dangerous state in terms of reported dog bite claims. These claims cost insurance providers and Medicaid millions of dollars every year.
Maricopa County local news and city Animal Control claim that there is an overpopulation of pit bulls right now, which is overcrowding the dog shelters and resulting in more stray dogs. When there are more strays, there is a likelihood of more dog attacks, too. In 2019, pit bull breeds accounted for approximately 17% of Maricopa’s dog bite claims. The next closest breed, German Shepherds, and their related mixes were blamed for only 7% of biting dog incidents.
Do Arizona’s Laws Hold Owners Liable for Dog Attacks?
Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 11-1025 states the following regarding liability for dog bites:
“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.”
To put it simply, in the state of Arizona, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries created by their dogs. There are exceptions for law enforcement dogs, for bite victims that were bitten while trespassing, and for bites due to provocation of the animal. But in most other cases of a person being bitten by a dog, the law imposes strict liability on the dog owners.
Many states in the US have adopted breed-specific laws which effectively limit exposure to dangerous dogs by regulating ownership of certain breeds, but Arizona is not one of them.
Arizona does have a statute governing ownership of “Aggressive Dogs,” which is defined as any dog that has bitten a person or domestic animal without provocation or that has a known history of attacking persons or domestic animals without provocation. According to this statute, owners of aggressive dogs shall take extra care to keep their dog from escaping the owner’s property and to keep the dog from biting people when the dog is not on the owner’s property.
With the legal assistance of an experienced dog bite lawyer, you may be able to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. It is important that your dog bite attorney prove fault rests with the dog’s owner if you are to pursue strict liability claims in an Arizona court of law. With a successful lawsuit and attorney-client relationship, the at-fault dog owner and their insurance company may be forced to help pay for future medical bills as well as any pain and suffering caused by the dog attack.
What Are Common Injuries Caused by a Dog Attack?
If you have been bitten by a dog, after seeking medical attention you should contact a dog bite lawyer. The attorneys of Moore Injury Law offer a free case evaluation where they will look into your claims and examine the wounds that the injured person has sustained.
Common types of injuries from dog bites include:
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
- Face disfigurement
- Head and neck injuries
- Loss of vision
- Nerve damage
- Puncture wounds
What Dog Breeds Are Blamed for the Most Attacks in America?
No one dog breed is necessarily automatically more dangerous than any other. With the proper training and socialization, breeds that are typically thought of as vicious guard dogs can be sweet, docile, family pets. And similarly, a dog that has not received proper socialization and training — or worse, has been trained to be aggressive and fight — can be dangerous to humans and animals, regardless of its puppy-dog looks.
With that being said, however, there are certain types of dogs that are blamed for more dog bite cases than others. It probably comes as no surprise that pit bulls are ranked #1. But how much of their status at the top was naturally earned vs. how much was bred into them by criminals vs. how much is pop culture depicting them as villains can be difficult to parse.
The most dangerous dog breeds based on injury claims include:
- Pitbull: considered responsible for half of dog attack fatalities.
- Rottweiler: blamed for 10% of dog bite deaths.
- German Shepherd: the second most popular dog in America, has caused 20 deaths between 2005 and 2017.
- American Bulldog: this powerful dog is responsible for approximately 3.5% of reported dog bite fatalities.
- Bullmastiff: responsible for 3.2% of reported dog attacks resulting in human death.
Should You Hire a Phoenix Dog Bite Lawyer?
If you were bitten by someone else’s dog without provocation, you have a right to seek compensation for damages. You are entitled to compensation for hospital and medical bills incurred now and in the future, lost wages now and in the future, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, scarring, and disfigurement.
Phoenix dog bite attorney Lew Moore has over 30 years of experience practicing law and has handled many dog bite cases. He will do everything he can to make sure the dog owner is held accountable for all damages. Many times, homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for animal attacks. If the insurance company doesn’t pay out a fair settlement to you, Moore Injury Law will take your case to a jury trial to force the insurance company to give you fair compensation for your damages.
It is unfortunate that you have had to endure this hardship. Dog bite attacks can be terrifying to suffer through. Their sharp teeth and claws may leave physical pain and personal injury, but the emotional trauma of the event can sometimes be even more damaging. Just as the dog’s owner has a responsibility to keep their animal under control, dog bite victims have the legal right to seek financial compensation for any damages caused.
Contact the Dog Bite Lawyers of Moore Injury Law for a Free Consultation
We are sorry to hear that you have suffered a dog bite injury, either by some unexplained accident or because of an at-fault party acting in some negligent manner. A dog bite injury can often require serious medical attention, which then may be followed by the need for surgery to repair physical damages inflicted and years of future medical expenses. These injuries may also lead to lost wages if you are unable to work for a time.
The attorneys of the law firm of Moore Injury Law provide a free case review to new clients looking to file a dog bite accident claim. It is important to note, however, that you need to act fast. As with most matters of law, there is a statute of limitations for how long you can wait between the incident and when you decide to file a lawsuit against the dog owner. If you want to know whether you have a viable dog bite case, please call a Phoenix, AZ, dog bite lawyer without further delay.
To speak to a injury attorney in Arizona about your dog bite claims and potentially pursue a personal injury case, please contact the law firm of Moore Injury Law to schedule your free case evaluation. 602-795-6605.