It can be. Obviously, if you are provoking the dog, then it’s your fault; it’s not going to be the dog’s fault or the dog’s owner’s fault. But if you’re minding your own business – it doesn’t have to even be a dog bite – if the dog gets loose: in Phoenix area, for example, there are leash laws where they cannot be allowed to run loose. Often people think their dog is not a threat. They allow them of the leash and maybe they’re just happy, but if they’re running at you while you’re on your bike and knock you over on your bike, they could still be responsible for any injuries you suffer from that.
There can be a negligence claim, or, in Arizona, something called “strict liability,” which means they don’t really get to argue one free bite or one free accident. They can’t say, “Gee, I didn’t know my dog might bite somebody.” They are strictly liable for the actions of their dog. You can hold them responsible. Many people also don’t know that the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance could be responsible in covering that.
If you’ve been injured by a dog, bit or otherwise knocked down or had a problem, visit us at our website or call us at 602-266-2002. The Phoenix premises liability lawyers of Plattner Verderame, P.C. can help.