Who Pays for Dog Bite Victims’ Medical Bills?
Dog bites can leave victims with deep wounds and a long, expensive road to recovery ahead of them. As they receive treatment, dog bite victims are likely to wonder, “who’s going to pay for all this?” The answer varies based on who’s liable for the dog bite, but if you’re unsure, one of our Arizona dog bite attorneys can help.
Who’s Liable for a Dog Bite?
Liability simply refers to an individual’s fault in a case and their responsibility to compensate the victim for their expenses and damages. At times, however, you might be liable as a victim yourself, and will have to file through your personal insurance plan:
- If you provoked the dog or forced it to act in self-defense, you’re squarely to blame for your injuries and will have to file for compensation through your personal injury insurance.
- If you were bitten while trespassing on the owner’s property or while committing a crime, you’re liable for your injuries.
- Exceptions to both of these cases apply: If the owner knew they had a dangerous dog and failed to warn people about it, then they’re likely to be partially liable even if you provoked it or were trespassing.
However, the owner is usually the one who’s liable under Arizona dog bite law. If the victim was lawfully on the property when bitten and didn’t do anything unreasonable, they can generally file a claim against, or sue, the owner of the dog. Note that this doesn’t apply if the owner’s dog was stolen at the time of the attack of course, provided that they did their best to keep people safe.
Damages to Keep In Mind
First and foremost, you’ll need to get compensation for your medical bills, as mending deep lacerations and treating likely infections can be expensive affairs. Make sure that you receive prompt and comprehensive treatment after being bitten by a dog, to avoid any complications in your condition or liability.
Dog bites are often traumatic experiences, with severe, lasting consequences for the mind and well being of a victim that goes beyond any medical bill. You deserve compensation for intangible, general damages as well, such as:
- Mental suffering, such as depression from hospital stays.
- Mental trauma, including lasting anxieties around dogs.
- Disability, whether temporary or lasting.
- Disfigurement and scarring, which can be a permanent matter.
- General pain and suffering experienced during recovery.
Learn More About Arizona Dog Bite Compensation
Hiring an Arizona attorney after a dog bite can be incredibly helpful, as they can both answer any questions you have as well as handle the claims process on your behalf, especially if you have to file a lawsuit against the owner for fair compensation. Give ELG a call today at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation and get started.
Regardless of how you decide to go about things, make sure to act fast. Arizona’s statute of limitations for dog bites is just one year; after that point, you won’t be able to file for compensation anymore and will forfeit your rights to recover.