Arizona Dog Bite Law
Free attorney consultations. Get questions answered about your dog bite injury.
In Arizona, dog owners are strictly liable for the actions of their dog. If you were bitten or otherwise hurt in a dog attack, Arizona law supports your right to be compensated for damages.
Who’s responsible in Arizona for dog bites?
In nearly all cases, the owner is responsible due to “strict liability” law. But in reality, homeowners or renters insurance for the property where the dog is kept is where the money for your damages claim comes from.
What kind of treatment will I need for my injuries?
Depending on the severity of the bite or other injuries sustained, you might need infection control, treatment to prevent or repair scarring, or physical therapy to restore functionality to damaged nerves or tissue.
How do I pay for treatment and recover damages?
This question depends on your case. Is the dog owner liable? Do they have insurance coverage? Your options include using your health insurance, upfront cash payments, or treating with providers on a medical lien. The different choices each have advantages and disadvantages.
Injuries besides bites?Injuries other than bites caused by a dog attack are included in your damages. This could be injuries from falls, climbing fences to get away, etc.
They are compassionate, caring, patient, professional and have the ability to discern what is the best course of action, in even the most complex of cases. – Heather
Kel Vrana, Amy and staff were very professional and on top of it from start to finish. Answered all my questions and Very pleased to have them on my side!!! – Ed
Your Dog Bite Questions Answered
At Vrana Law Firm you always meet with an experienced injury attorney who can answer the specific questions about your dog bite or dog injury case.
Free, No Obligation, No Risk
Your initial consultation is free. The attorney will discuss your case, answer questions and help you understand your unique situation. If you don’t need a lawyer to resolve your situation, we let you know!
Personal Attention to Your Case
We keep our case count low so if we do take your case we can keep you informed and supported while we work to get you the best treatment options and more money in your pocket, faster.
Components of an Arizona Dog Bite Claim
Who compensates you?
Damages from dog bites can range from a scratch to surgery or worse. For severe cases, the dog owner may not have the money or desire to compensate you. You could sue the owner, but this process is lengthy, complicated and could result in the owner declaring bankruptcy to avoid payment.
Home insurance or renters insurance is the preferred source of compensation. The challenge can be locating the policy. If the dog owner is cooperative you may be able to handle this between yourselves and then you can argue with the insurance company for payment. If the dog owner does not want to tell you about the insurance (or lack of insurance) you may have to sue to compel them.
How do I pay for treatment and recover damages on my Arizona dog bite claim?
How you pay for treatment is an important part of the strategy involved in maximizing compensation you receive when all is said and done. Insurers want to pay as little as possible. Additionally, as the claimant, you have a legal responsibility to minimize your damages. This basically means you must take common sense steps to fix the problem as efficiently as possible. Those steps depend on your situation, but a general principle is to get the treatment you need and follow medical advice.
You might choose to pay for treatment through health insurance. Depending on your health plan, you could be out-of-pocket for copays and/or coinsurance. However, your insurance plan also might have a right of subrogation. This means the insurance provider could demand you pay them back after you receive a settlement.
Some providers allow you to make up-front cash payments. The provider may offer a discount in this case. However, you are fronting the money and are not guaranteed a settlement or reimbursement from the dog owner or their insurance. Larger injuries or recurring treatments will probably be too expensive to pay up-front for most budgets.
Some providers let you treat on a lien. This means the provider is waiting to be paid until there is an insurance settlement. We work with many providers who will treat you on a lien knowing we are working to ensure you receive a settlement.
Why are they paying you? Damages for Arizona dog bite claims
Dog bites are categorized by severity. A low severity bite may not leave a mark or cause permanent damage. Though it’s frustrating the dog was out of control (even more troubling if this happens regularly or small children are at risk), your damages probably aren’t high enough to justify the work of taking legal action.
On the other hand, if a severe bite has led to scarring, the need for physical therapy, or even permanent loss of function, damage expenses can be very large. One trip to the emergency room could earn you bills from the hospital, the doctor, AND the x-ray technicians. These and other bills related to treatment for injuries caused by the dog make up your damages.
General pain and suffering compensation might be added on top of your medical bills. Many people have heard of pain and suffering, but overestimate the insurance’s willingness to pay it. If the insurance doesn’t think they’re at risk of losing more in trial, they will try and pay out as little as possible. The insurance company would much rather keep that money and give it to their shareholders because, after all, they are a business. They might even argue they shouldn’t pay your whole medical bills because part of the injury was your fault or was exacerbated by a pre-existing condition.
Have Your Questions Answered by an Attorney for Free
Every dog bite case has a unique set of circumstances and challenges. We are happy to meet with you and discuss your case in a free, no-obligation meeting with an attorney. Give us a call to set up an appointment at our Tempe office, or by phone.