Section 11-1025 of the Arizona Revised Statutes controls dog bite cases. The old saying “every dog gets one free bite” doesn’t apply in Arizona. For dog bites, it’s a strict liability state. Even if the dog never bit anybody before, or its owner didn’t know that the dog would take a bite out of somebody, that owner can still be found liable.
In the law of personal injury, liability is imposed without the necessity of proving fault if strict liability applies. No proof of carelessness or negligence is required. In dog bite cases the injured party need only prove that the injury occurred and that the defendant was responsible for the injury. Strict liability won’t apply to injuries that might be attributable to dogs without the bite. Should a person trip over another person’s dog, or should a dog jump up on somebody and knock them down, the rules of ordinary negligence as opposed to strict liability apply.
Section 11-1027 of the Arizona Revised Statutes addresses the defense of reasonable provocation. It states that a dog’s owner isn’t liable for a bite if the dog was provoked, and that “provocation shall be determined by whether a reasonable person would expect that the conduct or circumstances would be likely to provoke a dog.” The other defense available in dog bite cases is whether the person that was bitten was a trespasser. At the time of the bite, the injured person must either be lawfully on private property or on public property.
Statute of Limitations
Be careful on the applicable statute of limitations on dog bite cases. If filing under Section 11-1025 and strict liability, Section 12-541 controls the filing deadline. Because it involves strict statutory liability, only a one-year statute of limitations from the date of injury applies. If filing under an ordinary negligence theory, a two-year statute of limitations applies.
The Arizona justice system provides remedies for victims of dog bites. If you’d like to set a no cost appointment up with one of our attorneys about a dog bite, feel free to contact us. We service the Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert communities along with others. Since we take injury cases on a contingency fee basis, no attorney fees are due unless we successfully resolve your case. Don’t hesitate to contact Carlos Brown Law today.