Dogs are very popular companion animals. They offer comfort when you’re sad, protection when you’re scared and devotion all the time. Sometimes, however, a dog can be more of a threat than a friend. A lot of factors, from breed to upbringing, can impact a dog’s temperament. Even if the dog that bit you or someone you love never displayed aggressive behaviors before, the owner is likely still liable for any damages the dog may cause.
Arizona has strict liability laws for dog owners. It is the responsibility of each dog owner in the state to ensure that their pets are properly trained and restrained. The only real exception to that liability is in cases of trespassing. If a person did not have permission to be on private property and suffered a dog bite as a result, the owner may not be held liable by the courts. In most other circumstances, even if the person bitten was a guest in a private residence, the owner of the dog is likely liable for all injuries and damages. Most times, homeowners or renters insurance will assist with losses like medical costs.
Dog bites can cause long-lasting medical expenses
Most people understand that there will be medical expenses involved in a dog bite attack. Typically, these include emergency trauma care, such as stitches, bone setting or even minor surgery. More severe bites will require much more medical care, including plastic surgery to repair visible damage. When children are victims of dog bite attacks, there can be years worth of medical expenses. Because small children are still growing, reparative surgery and plastic surgery will have to be repeatedly performed for many years. This is particularly true of dog bite attacks that result in injuries to the face.
Regardless of the age of the victim, dog bite attacks can also leave non-physical scars. Many people who have experienced an unprovoked dog bite attack require therapy to address the trauma. Dog bites affect different people in different ways. Sometimes, the victim may develop a fear of all dogs. Other times, the victim could develop more pervasive fears, like agoraphobia, particularly if the attack happened on the street or in a public space like a park. Therapy can be a long and very expensive process. Your family shouldn’t incur debt to deal with the fallout of a dog bite attack.
An attorney can help you recover after a dog attack
Working with an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney is your best option after a serious dog bite attack, especially one involving a small child. Your attorney can help negotiate with insurance companies and even file a civil suit if necessary. Your lawyer can help ensure the person legally responsible is also held financially responsible for the damages you incurred as the result of a dog bite attack.