What Are the Laws About Dog Bites in Arizona?

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
What Are the Laws About Dog Bites in Arizona?

Dogs are man's best friend, but sometimes they can be unpredictable or improperly trained. In these circumstances, dogs can sometimes cause serious injuries to humans and other animals. In this article, we'll discuss dog bite law in Arizona and review potential legal options and other frequently asked questions our dog bite lawyers in Arizona hear all of the time. 

If you've been injured as a result of a dog bite, you may be entitled to legal compensation as a means to recover from your injuries. Contact our personal injury lawyers by filling out the online form on this page, or texting/calling NUMBER. We provide free consultations to injury victims. 

What Are Some Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Dog bites can cause significant and serious injuries leading to large medical bills. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, dog-bite incidents typically affect the skin, arms, legs, head, neck, and torso. Some medical concerns that may result post dog bite include bone fractures and breaks, infections, and blood poisoning. Common injuries include:

  • Deep cuts and lacerations to the skin
  • Damage to the face and eyes
  • Nerve and tissue damage
  • Injuries to muscles and tendons
  • Injuries to the spinal cord and neck
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Loss of blood
  • Infections 
  • Head and brain trauma, especially as a result of falls during the attack

What Does Arizona Law Say About Liability and Dog Bites?

The state of Arizona addresses liability for dog bites in A.R.S. § 11-1025, which enforces “strict liability,” making the dog's owner strictly liable for the losses incurred in dog bite cases. The statute reads as follows. 

  1. The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of its viciousness.
  2. Nothing in this section or in section 11-1020 shall permit the bringing of an action for damages against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite occurred while the dog was defending itself from a harassing or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
  3. In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect's involvement in criminal activity.
  4. In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.
  5. In the execution of a warrant.
  6. In the defense of a peace officer or another person.
  7. Subsection B of this section shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.
  8. Subsection B of this section shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subsection B of this section.

To move forward with a dog bite claim, the victim must prove that his or her injury was caused by the dog bite. Negligence does not have to be proven in these types of personal injury cases, and, if the claimant can prove that he or she was a lawful guest or invitee to the dog owner's private property or the public space where the incident occurred, the dog's owner is liable for the dog bite injuries and must pay the damages incurred. 

Does a Dog Have to be Put Down If It Bites Someone in Arizona?

It's incredibly rare for a dog to be put down after one biting incident. However, there are some special, extreme cases when it may be ordered for the dog to be euthanized:

  1. The dog exhibits an erratic pattern of violent behavior - In these cases, it may be clear to investigators that the dog is likely to continue to act in a violent manner, especially if more than one incident has occurred in a short period of time
  2. The dog displays extremely aggressive behavior during investigation - If a dog is highly aggressive during investigation, even if the dog has only had one biting incident, it may be deemed safer for the public for the dog to be euthanized.  
  3. The dog is sick - Sometimes, when a dog is ill, it will display violent behavior as a side effect or causal factor in the biting incident. In these cases, investigators may conclude that a dog will continue to act in a violent manner, putting public safety in jeopardy.

Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers in Arizona

If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to legal remedy so that you may recover from your injuries and associated losses. In Arizona, dog owners are strictly liable for damages that result should their dog attack or bite someone. Some damages that may be recoverable after a dog bite include:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other associated damages

To schedule a free initial consultation, call or text our dog bite lawyers at NUMBER. You may, alternatively, fill out our convenient and confidential online form here

Note that the content on our blog and website is not meant to be a substitute for professional legal advice. This blog and other online resources on this site are for general information purposes only. We highly recommend that you speak with a lawyer about your specific legal situation.

Learn about dog bite laws in New Mexico here.