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Arizona Dog Attack Laws

An estimated 4.7 million Americans will be bitten by dogs this year. Children are the main victims of these injuries. About 800,000 people will need medical attention each year due to dog bites. In the past 15 years, more than half of the states have passed laws with stiff penalties for owners of dogs that cause serious injury or death. (Source: American Veterinary Medical Association).

Arizona Dog Bite Laws

Arizona has several laws related to dog bite injuries.

Section 11-1025 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. This law states that a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by dog ​​bites without having to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. This is known as “strict liability”. The only defense to a claim under this statute is trespassing or provocation by the dog. This statute applies to dog bites. Not valid for cats or other pets. It also does not apply to other injuries that may be caused by a dog, such as claw scratches.

Section 11-1020 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. This law makes anyone who allows a dog to run free liable for any type of injury to a person or property. This law is broader than strict liability law. Injuries can result from a bite, as well as other injuries such as a broken leg if a dog jumps on someone riding a bicycle. The law imposes liability not only on the owner, but also on “persons or persons having charge of the dog”. This may include pets or others who may be looking after another person’s dog.

Arizona Common Law. Arizona has followed the common law rule for dog bites for many years. This generally requires proof that the owner knew, or should have known, of their dog’s dangerous tendencies. For example, if a dog owner has a dog that has bitten other people in the past and the owner does nothing to keep it away from visitors, the dog owner may be held liable if the dog bites a visitor. However, if the dog has never bitten anyone before and the owner has no reason to believe the dog will harm anyone, the dog owner may not be liable even if it seriously injures someone.

Deadlines. Different time limits apply to different types of dog bite claims. Some claims must be made within one year, while others must be made within two years, depending on the relevant legislation. There are some claims that must be made in as little as 180 days if a government agency is involved. Because of these time limits, a dog bite victim should seek legal advice quickly.

Dangerous races

A Special Report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association examined breeds involved in fatal attacks on humans. Looking at 20 years of data, they found pit bulls were responsible for more fatal attacks than any other breed. In fact, pit bulls caused nearly twice as many deaths as Rottweilers, the second most common breed responsible for fatal attacks. Together, pit bulls and Rottwielers caused two-thirds of all fatal human attacks.

Dog bite prevention

The Centers for Disease Control offers the following safety tips for preventing dog bites in children:

• Do not approach an unknown animal.

• Do not run from a dog and scream.

• Remain still (eg “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.

• If hit, roll into a ball and lie still (eg “be still like a log”).

• Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

• Immediately report a stray dog ​​exhibiting unusual behavior to an adult.

• Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.

• Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or nursing puppies.

• Don’t pet a dog without letting it see and smell you first.

• If bitten, report the bite to an adult immediately.

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