One out of every 80 people will be seriously bitten by a dog this year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To put that into perspective, that is about twice as many people as will be injured in a traffic accident.
If you were seriously bitten by someone else's dog and required medical treatment, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
What Happens When Man’s Best Friend Becomes Attacker
The Arizona injury lawyers at Abels & Annes know that dealing with a serious or fatal dog attack can be a devastating experience. More than 40 percent of serious dog bite cases involve children under the age of 14. And a significant number involve a household pet, neighborhood dog or a pet belonging to a friend or family member.
Unquestionably, we are a nation of dog lovers, with more than 78 million dogs residing in the US. Almost half of all U.S. households have a dog, according to Humane Society of the United States.
Most dogs make wonderful companions. But when a dog attack seriously injures or kills an innocent victim, seeking qualified legal advice is necessary to protect you and your family from the stress of financial damage, physical injury, and emotional trauma.
Injuries Caused by Dog Attacks
The most common types of injuries caused by a dog bite include cuts (lacerations), which can vary from superficial to deep. In severe cases, a victim will need stitches or medical attention to treat the wound and prevent infection and scarring.
One such infection that can result from a dog bite is rabies, which can be lethal. This is why many people choose to see a doctor after a dog attack to receive a rabies or tetanus exam and vaccination.
In severe cases, dogs may crush, break, or fracture bones, especially among children.
When the attacking dog is especially strong, there’s the risk that the dog can tear skin, tissue, or body parts, such as ears and fingers. These types of injuries can cause massive bleeding and surgeries to repair the damage done by the attack. In addition to all of these injuries, victims may deal with nerve damage following an attack.
In the worst of cases, death is a possibility of a dog attack, either by hemorrhaging, infection, or another complication of the bite.
Dog Bite Facts
- More than 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year in the United States.
- 800,000 will seek medical attention.
- 386,000 will visit the ER.
- 27,000 people will undergo reconstructive surgery.
- 24 percent of deaths involve unrestrained dogs off an owner's property.
- 58 percent involve unrestrained dogs on an owner's property.
- 17 percent involve restrained dogs on an owner's property.
Dog's that Attack the Most
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Wolf-dog hybrid
- Bull Terrier
- Great Dane
- St. Bernard
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Caninejournal.com
The Aftermath of a Dog Attack
At Abels & Annes, we will move aggressively to protect your legal rights. Dog attacks—particularly those involving children—frequently result in both physical and psychological issues, including scaring, fear, emotional regression, panic attacks, and issues complicated by growth and development.
Sometimes, a dog owner is a family member, neighbor or friend. In such cases, we will work in as amicable a manner as possible to file a claim against a homeowner's insurance policy to ensure you have the financial resources to properly treat a dog bite injury.
In other cases, where a stray dog or a dog known to be aggressive, has attacked a member of your family, we will vigorously protect your rights and fight to ensure a vicious dog or inattentive dog owner is held accountable for the injuries caused in a dog attack.
Arizona Law Regarding Dog Bites
Arizona dog bite law (Sections 11-1025 and 11-1026) imposes strict liability on dog owners - even for dog bites that occur on the owner's property.
"The owner of a dog which 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 it's viciousness."Not only can the dog's owner be held responsible, but the person charged with the dog's care at the time of the biting incident can also be held accountable as in cases where a family friend is walking or caring for a dog at the time of an attack. In addition to state law, a dog attack may also be governed by local, city or county ordinances.
In certain instances, a dog attack may even result in felony criminal charges if the owner knew or should have known that the dog was prone to attack or if a dog attacks someone while roaming free. The only recognized defense for a dog attack in Arizona is if a dog was provoked or if the dog is being utilized in the course of military or police work.
Hiring a Dog Bite and Animal Attack Attorney
At Abels & Annes, we work on behalf of Arizona dog bite victims to collect damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, future medical care, counseling, lost wages and other damages. Call our Arizona injury lawyers today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.
714 E Rose Ln
Phoenix, AZ 85014