What to Do After Being Bitten By a Dog in Arizona
Federal regulations concerning dangerous dogs don’t exist—rather, it’s up to every state and city to enact their own policies, and as such, you’ll need to know what your local dog bite laws are. After being bitten by a dog in Arizona, make sure you know what to do to keep yourself and your wallet safe and sound.
Your Health Comes First
Though many worry about strangers’ pets, almost half the time, people are bitten by dogs they know, often because they drop their guard or, in the case of children, play too rough and incite an otherwise friendly dog to bite. If you’ve been bitten, your first priority should be getting to a safe area where the dog can’t hurt you anymore—after that, you should dress your wounds. Common signs that a dog bite is especially serious, infected, or otherwise needs emergency treatment include:
- Deep wounds that won’t stop bleeding
- Red, swollen, tender skin
- Fever and sweating
- Discolored skin or pus
- Numbness and loss of function
- General weakness or fatigue
The Owner is Liable
Arizona’s dog bite laws are simple and clear: if you were legally on the property where you were bitten, the owner of the dog is liable for any damages caused by the bite. This extends to all dogs, even if they’ve never bitten before, and also applies while on the owner’s property. There are only a few exceptions to this rule:
- If you were unlawfully on the premises, you cannot receive compensation.
- If the dog was used lawfully for police or military work, you cannot file for any damages from the government.
Note that being bitten by a dog during the course of law enforcement is only legal if you were directly involved in some manner, or more specifically if you were a party to, a participant in, or suspected to be a party to or a participant in whatever activity prompted the use of the dog. In simpler terms, if you were an uninvolved, innocent bystander, the government is liable for dog bites.
After being bitten, you should meet with the owner and check if the dog was vaccinated while telling them you were bitten. You might also want to file a report with local animal control officers, though this isn’t mandatory in Arizona.
Legal Options After Arizona Dog Bites
Filing a claim for a dog bite is one of the only ways you can be compensated for your medical costs and any pain and suffering you might have experienced, but it’s important that you don’t put it off for too long. By Arizona’s statute of limitations, you’ll only have a year to seek out compensation for a dog bite. Additionally, you should note that a dog bite specifically means a dog bite—these laws don’t apply to other dog-related injuries, such as scratches or being pushed down, which will likely have to be treated as serious injury or negligence cases. Regardless of the injury you’ve endured, scheduling a free consultation with a compassionate dog bite attorney with a proven track record is the best way to start the claims or lawsuit process. Call us today at (623) 877-3600 to learn more about dog bites and your options.