Phoenix Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
Strong advocacy for children and adults when dogs in Arizona attack
We know them as man’s best friend, but dogs can become a liability for pup and property owners in the case of a bite incident. While most dogs are trained and won’t bite humans; aggressive, untrained, or aggravated dogs can bare their teeth, sometimes with extremely painful consequences. Children are especially prone to dog bites because they don’t appreciate how easily provoked and scared dogs can be. If you have been bitten by a dog on someone else’s property, the dog owner and/or property owner may be liable for your economic and personal damages.
At Plattner Verderame, P.C., our Phoenix dog bite attorneys can help you determine the best course of action for finding fault and getting compensation for your injuries after a dog bite. We understand the Arizona laws that govern dog bite owners. We work with your doctors or your child’s doctors to show your physical and emotional injuries, the cost for medical care, how much pain and suffering you’re experiencing, whether there are any scars or disfigurements, and whether the bite caused any loss of function or disease.
How can we help?
How common are dog bites?
- “About 30–50 people are killed by dogseach year. In 2020, 46 people were killed.”
- “Between 2000–2018, 9% of dog bite deathsoccurred in people under 16 years old.”
- “Dog bite injuries in children increased during 2020and the coronavirus pandemic.”
Per to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, based on an analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs yearly in America. More than 800,000 dog bite victims require medical attention.
The American Animal Hospital Association also reports some of the breeds of dogs that bite the most include pit bull, mixed breed, German shepherd, terrier, and rottweiler.
What Arizona laws govern dog bites?
According to Arizona law, “Injury to any person or damage to any property by a dog while at large shall be the full responsibility of the dog owner or person or persons responsible for the dog when such damages were inflicted.” Arizona law further states that:
The owner of a dog that 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.
The breed of a dog may not be considered in findings of facts or conclusions of law entered by a court, administrative law judge, hearing officer, arbitrator or other legal decision-maker regarding whether a dog is aggressive or vicious or has created liability.
Some exceptions may apply, such as when the dog is a police or military dog and certain conditions are met.
The owner of the dog is strictly liable. This means that it’s sufficient to show that the dog was owned by the owner and the bite occurred. There’s no need to show whether the dog owner was negligent.
Who has the right to file a dog bite claim in Phoenix?
Our Phoenix dog bite lawyers file personal injury claims on behalf of adults, the parents of children who are bitten, and postal carriers. We also file wrongful death claims on behalf of the families of deceased dog bite victims.
What types of injuries do dog bite victims in Phoenix suffer?
Anyone who is bitten by a dog should immediately be examined at a local emergency room. Prompt treatment may mean the difference between life and death and between treatable and non-treatable injuries.
Our Phoenix dog bite lawyers handle all types of dog bite injuries, including:
- Abrasions. These are minor cuts that generally don’t require treatment, though anyone who is bitten by a dog should always be examined by a doctor.
- Lacerations. These injuries are deep cuts that need to be checked for infections. Lacerations may affect the muscle, nerves, bones, and deeper skin levels.
- Punctures. These are the deepest type of injuries. Immediate medical care is critical.
- Infections. A major concern when dog bites in Phoenix happen is the risk of infections
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “roughly half of dog bites introduce bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus and pasteurella, as well as capnocytophaga.” The CDC states that most capnocytophaga infections usually occur when dogs or cats bite. The signs and symptoms of capnocytophaga include fever, blisters around the bite wound, redness, swelling, pain, draining pus, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches and/or confusion. Treatments generally include cleaning the wound and prescribing antibiotics.
- Rabies. Rabies, though rare, can be deadly. After a dog bite, victims and our lawyers prioritize finding out if the dog that bit you was vaccinated. If the dog wasn’t vaccinated, the dog should be tested for rabies. The treatments for rabies are very painful.
Tetanus. Your physician will ask about your recent tetanus shot history.
Dog bites, especially lacerations and puncture wounds, can cause scars. The treatments may include skin grafts and plastic surgery. Many victims, especially if the dog bites your face or your child’s face, will need psychological help to cope with the emotional trauma of their scars and disfigurement.
In some cases, dog bites can cause paralysis. In the worst cases, a victim could die from a dog bite, especially if infections aren’t treated in a timely manner. A secondary danger of dog bites is that when the dog bites, the victim could fall and suffer head injuries and other injuries.
How much is my dog bite claim worth?
Our Phoenix dog bite lawyers seek full compensation for your (or your child’s) injuries. We demand payment for all the current and future damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Psychological counseling
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Any lost income
- Any other damages Arizona law permits
Generally, the homeowner’s insurance company for the owner is responsible. We’ll explain if you can file a claim if a family dog bites your child. We’ll explain whether the defendant may be able to argue that you are partially responsible (such as when an adult knowingly provokes a dog) or that you assumed the risk (such as if you work at an animal care facility).
There are time limits. Since most dog bite claims are filed based on strict liability (liability created by statute), your claim must be filed within one year from the date of the dog bite – instead of the two year time limit for personal injury claims. The best recommendation we can give is to contact our office as quickly as possible so we can address all your legal issues and review your medical status.
Do you handle other types of animal bites?
Yes. We do handle other types of pet bites and injuries such as cat bites, kicks from horses, and other pet and service animal injuries. Generally, the strict liability law for dog bites does not apply to bites or conduct by other animals. Our lawyers will explain the requirements for filing these other types of animal claims, what insurance might pay these claims, and what damages you can seek.
Do you have a Phoenix dog bite lawyer near me?
Our Phoenix dog bite lawyers understand how traumatic dog bite injuries are. We meet clients at our Phoenix office located at 316 E Flower St. We also have an office in Tempe. We can also make alternate arrangements to meet clients away from the office. We also schedule video conferences by appointment.
We work with you step-by-step to prepare the strongest case possible.
Speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer now
At Plattner Verderame, P.C., our skilled Phoenix premises liability attorneys are ready to pursue your claim as soon you are ready. Our lawyers will investigate how the dog bite happened, work to verify who the owner of the dog is, and work with your doctors to verify the severity and scope of your injuries or those of your child.
Please call us today or contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We handle dog bite cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if the case settles or we obtain a favorable verdict on your behalf.