Why Dogs Bite and How to Prevent It
Dog bites can seem like they happen out of the blue, but more often than not, they’re predictably caused by certain situations. Any dog can bite when provoked, but the definition of “provoked” can often take on unusual forms depending on the dog’s unique situation. If a dog does bite someone in Arizona, the owner tends to be liable more often than not, depending on whether the victim was doing something illegal or reckless at the time of the bite.
Common Causes of Dog Bites
To prevent a dog bite, you should know the general warning signs of aggressive or scared behavior in dogs and always respect an animal’s personal space/ physical capabilities. Understanding why dogs bite can help you avoid dangerous situations as well. Dog bites aren’t random, and usually happen for one of the following reasons:
- Intentional provocation: Dogs are most likely to bike when knowingly provoked, attacked, or harassed, which is especially common among immature children who might not know better. This is one of the rare scenarios in which the victim of a dog bite, rather than the owner, is likely to be liable for the injury they invited upon themselves.
- Rough play and excitability: Dogs who aren’t thoroughly trained may get overly excited while playing, meeting new people, or seeing other dogs, which can lead to sudden, yet non-aggressive bites. This is especially dangerous for children, who are more likely to wrestle with or play rough with dogs in the first place, unwittingly encouraging dangerous behavior.
- Discomfort and pain: Even the gentlest, friendliest dogs may start to display aggression if they’re suffering from an illness or injury. This is especially true if someone tries to pet a dog who wants to be alone, or if they touch a sensitive area, which can result in an out-of-character bite.
- Self-defense: Whether defending themselves, their property, their owner, or simply a favored toy, dogs may bite if they’re startled or feel threatened. Depending on the particulars of the case, this could result in the victim being liable, such as if they trespassed or were attacking the dog or owner.
What Happens After an Arizona Dog Bite
Even with your best efforts, you might still be involved in a dog bite incident. Responding to a dog bite is relatively simple, as you should first prioritize your safety by distancing yourself from the dog and seeking medical attention. After your well being is assured, you can report the bite to animal control and discuss your options with a specialized attorney.
As far as liability is concerned, Arizona’s dog bite liability laws clarify that the owner can be held liable for a bite even if their dog has never bitten anyone before, and even if the owner didn’t actually do anything negligent to contribute to the accident. In simple terms, if the bite occurred while the victim was rightfully on a property, wasn’t provoking the dog, and wasn’t otherwise acting with extreme recklessness, they can hold the owner accountable for their medical expenses.
ELG’s Arizona dog bite attorneys have extensive experience with these types of injuries, so be sure to schedule a free consultation at (623) 877-3600 today. Whether you’re a dog owner trying to clear your dog’s name, or a victim seeking financial compensation for your wounds, we can help.