What should I know if I’m bitten by a dog on a rental property?

Dogs are man’s best friend, but when they get spooked or scared, they can become your worst enemy. There are many situations in which dogs will attack. Some of these situations don’t involve provocation on the part of the victim.

Children and mail carriers are at risk of dogs bites, but others might also be bitten. In every case, it is imperative that the victim gets medical care. Proper medical care may not take away the visual effects of the injury. It can minimize the risk of infection and it could improve the way the injury heals.

Once you have gotten the medical care you need, you can think about the financial impact and the ways this injury will affect your future. This might lead you to the idea of seeking compensation.

Who is liable?

You have to think about who is liable for the bite when you decide to seek compensation. The liable parties are the ones whom you list as defendants in your case. The dog’s owner might be the person you think about right off the bat, but that person might not be the only defendant you can name. Look into whether there is an insurance policy or a landlord who might be held accountable for the bite.

Typically, you would turn to the insurance company first. You need to find out if the person had a renter’s insurance policy that covered premises liability and dog bites. If this coverage isn’t enough, you could turn to the dog’s owner or landlord to cover what the insurance does not.

The premise behind the landlord sharing responsibility is that he or she had to decide whether to allow pets at the property. Some consider this the basis for a landlord being held financially liable when a dog bite occurs at one of the rentals.

What should I know about seeking compensation?

A commonly used defense for a dog bite is that the dog was provoked. Arizona law does allow for this type of defense, so you should be prepared for it. The process for seeking compensation likely isn’t going to be fast. You should be prepared for a lengthy battle.

These claims might be resolved through a jury trial. It is also possible to work out a settlement, which is likely the faster option. In either case, make sure that you think carefully about the options you have.