Dog Bites


Over many years of practice, I have handled numerous cases involving dog bite attacks.

Mean Dog

Although some breeds: Pit Bulls, Rotweilers and Chows, seem to be more frequently involved, any dog is capable of inflicting serious injuries.

In Arizona many dog owners have a careless attitude about their dogs. Under our State’s law there are special protections for those who are bitten and attacked by a dog. It is important to know that in  nearly all cases a dog owner is liable for injuries inflicted by their dog. Obtaining damages for a dog bite or attack is not just limited to vicious dogs. Even nice dogs or ones that have never bitten before will still make their owners pay damages. And most homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for the bite victims injuries.

The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 4.7 million people each year are bitten by dogs. Of these, 800,000 bites are serious enough to require medical attention and nearly half of these cases (386,000) come from children who have been attacked by dogs. Thus, it is very clear that children because of their small size and helplessness bear the brunt of the more serious dog bite attacks. Children between the ages 5-9 have the highest number of dog bite related injuries. Among children 4 years or younger, nearly 2/3 of all dog bite injuries are to the face and neck, leaving such young, helpless children vulnerable to scarring or even suffering brain and head injuries.

These attacks are in many cases needless and unlawful. Arizona law requires that dogs in public places or where they have access to public places, must be secured by a leash. Arizona law also requires that all dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs. That means that no matter how careful the dog owner might be or how free from dangerous tendencies a dog might have been, its owner is automatically liable for all injuries caused by their dogs’ biting or mauling, in cases of unprovoked attack.

In cases such as this, the adult or child who has been bitten or mauled, will at times suffer wounds that leave permanent scarring. When such scarring occurs about the head or the neck, it can be particularly disturbing and in many cases cause life-long consequences. These include loss of self-confidence, withdrawl, fear of all animals and overall, bad social experiences. Surgery, when it is possible to repair a wound caused by an animal attack, is often very painful and never assured of absolute success.

When these attacks occur, they often happen away from the dog owner’s premises. Still, because of the way in which many homeowners insurance policies are written, coverage is often available to cover such injuries to include: past and future medical bills, pain and suffering and scarring, loss of income and psychological injuries.

The sad truth is that most of these attacks need never occur. In truth, dog and animal owners must take responsibility for their pets. It is for this reason that Arizona has such a strict law. But, as always, the person attacked or their parents, must be aware that the animal owner’s insurance will often take steps to deprive the injured person or child of his or her fair damages. These insurance companies are often not friendly or caring. When you or your family suffer a vicious dog attack you need an attorney experienced in these cases. So call without delay. It is for this reason that legal representation is needed. Therefore, if you or a family member are bitten or attacked by a dog, call me.

Call: 602-254-7740 (24 hrs.) or 602-274-1110

Act quickly to protect your rights.



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