No one expects to be attacked by an animal owned by another individual. In most instances, these pets are considered loving by their owners, but their temperament can change in the blink of an eye. Arizona recognizes strict liability, which means that, generally speaking, an animal owner is automatically held liable for any harm caused by his or her pet. A victim does not have to prove that the animal was previously vicious or that the animal’s owner knew that the pet was aggressive.
Being injured by one of these attacks, in the form of a dog bite for example, can result in serious damages. Similar to a car accident, a victim may be subjected to pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. Additionally, many dog attack victims suffer disfigurement that even corrective surgery may fail to completely remedy. In total, these damages can leave an individual on tough financial standing, with physical and emotional turmoil that leaves them overwhelmed with stress.
The good news is that these victims may be able to recover compensation for their losses. To do so, they will have to successfully pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Although strict liability cases give plaintiffs a strong starting position, in these cases defendants often claim that the animal was provoked. Essentially, this is the only defense to strict liability dog bite claims. Yet, a plaintiff needs to be prepared to counter these types of claims when made by an attorney representing a dog owner.
Therefore, dog bit victims may want to consider obtaining their own legal assistance. An aggressive personal injury attorney will know how to develop a strong claim backed by solid evidence. He or she will also fully understand how to push back against the defense’s arguments, which, if left uncontested, could jeopardize one’s claim. However, the statute of limitations is relatively short for these types of claims, so victims need to take legal action as soon as possible.