Phoenix Dog Bite Injury Attorney
Dog bite injuries can easily cause catastrophic injuries. When a dog attacks, its teeth and claws can cause injuries such as serious puncture wounds and deep lacerations. Also, large dogs can knock over the victim and cause them to hit their head or suffer other serious injuries. Just the force of the dog bite can break bones, particularly the fragile bones in the hands and feet.
Usually, the most severely injured victims are young children and the elderly. Whether the person was attacked in a public place or on private property, they could be eligible for compensation from the dog owner or another party.
If you or a loved one recently suffered serious injuries in a dog attack in Arizona, contact the Phoenix dog bite injury lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy for assistance. We will listen to your story and tailor a legal strategy for your case with your unique goals in mind. Contact us at (602) 530-8400 or complete our online contact form to request a free consultation.
What Makes Our Arizona Law Firm Unique?
At Gallagher & Kennedy, our lawyers possess more than 210 years of combined legal experience, and our law firm has served Phoenix and all of Arizona since 1978. Our attorneys have earned many awards and honors for our impeccable professionalism and outstanding client service. Some areas that set our firm apart include:
- We give each client the personal attention of a smaller boutique firm, but as the sixth-largest law firm in the state, we also have all the resources of a larger firm.
- We dedicate immense time and energy to each case to ensure the best possible results. To date, we have recovered more than $500 million in total compensation for our clients.
- We address the common concern of the cost of an experienced legal team by offering our services primarily on a contingency fee basis. You will only pay if we win.
The personal injury lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy are committed to delivering unmatched legal representation, and we have extensive experience handling dog bite claims. We will protect your legal rights and fight hard to help you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries caused by a vicious dog attack. Our Phoenix dog bite attorneys are here for you when you need us, and you can schedule a free case review by calling (602) 530-8400 or by filling out our contact form.
How a Phoenix Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
You might think you can handle your dog bite injury claim alone, but Arizona’s dog bite laws are broadly defined in some instances and contain certain exceptions that may help or hurt your case. Also, you may not know how to deal with a dog owner who gives you false information or refuses to take financial responsibility for their pet. You also don’t want to have to deal with the property or homeowner’s insurance company on your own without legal counsel.
An Arizona dog bite attorney will understand the state’s law regarding animal attacks and will be able to better assert your rights and hold the dog owner accountable. An experienced personal injury lawyer will also know how to deal with insurance companies, and they can gather evidence for you and submit your claim, and deal with the insurance company so you don’t have to worry about it.
Our Phoenix Dog Bite Lawyers Can Protect Your Rights
Arizona law prohibits dogs from running at large, and they must have a dog license attached to their collars.
Arizona’s dog bite laws impose strict liability on dog owners whose dogs bite or attack someone. This means the owner is legally responsible for any injuries the dog causes you, and it doesn’t matter if the dog owner knew the dog was vicious or believed the dog would ever attack anyone. The state also does not have a so-called “one bite rule” like some other states. You can recover damages from the dog’s owner if it was the first attack.
The state’s dog bite laws also offer the following provisions regarding dogs:
- Aggressive – The dog is known to bite or attack or have aggressive tendencies
- Breed – The dog’s breed or mixture of breeds
- Provocation – Refers to tormenting or otherwise inciting a dog to attack
- Vicious – Refers to a dog’s propensity to attack, cause injury, or endanger people’s safety without provocation
The law does not list any breeds as being more vicious than others. In fact, the law states that the court or officer hearing the case cannot consider a dog’s breed in any “findings of facts or conclusions of law entered by a court.”
Any breed of dog can be aggressive or vicious, especially when provoked. Also, large dogs can ostensibly do more damage than small dogs, but you can still suffer severe dog bite injuries from a small breed.
Although some breeds have worse reputations than others, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, and chows, the court cannot base its decision on the dog’s breed and must use the facts at hand.
The law makes exceptions for police and military dogs that bite someone while performing their “official” duties, such as assisting officers in making a lawful arrest, or “defending itself from a harassing or provoking act.”
To find out if you have a valid dog bite claim, you can contact the Phoenix dog bite lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy for help. We will carefully review your case and advise you of your options. If you have a viable claim, you can count on us to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
What Types of Injuries Can Dog Attacks Cause?
Dog attacks can cause devastating injuries that require extensive medical treatment, and result in substantial medical bills. Also, if you don’t get prompt medical attention for a dog bite, even a small injury can become infected, leading to even more complications and medical expenses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 20 percent of dog attacks require immediate medical attention, and many dog bite injuries cause permanent scars and disfigurement. Some of the most common dog bite injuries include:
- Deep puncture wounds
- Cuts and lacerations
- Muscle tears
- Broken bones and fractures
Also, a large dog can knock a victim to the ground, causing the victim to suffer head or brain injuries, neck and back injuries, and injuries to the joints, spine, and nerves. A dog bite can also puncture a major vein or artery and cause profuse bleeding, and the sheer weight of some large dogs can crush a victim’s internal organs or extremities.
Severe dog attacks can even kill a victim, particularly a child. Some dogs will not stop attacking until the victim is unconscious or no longer breathing.
The CDC estimates that around 27,000 undergo reconstructive surgery each year as the result of a dog attack.
We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Need
As you deal with your injury, you will incur a lot of medical expenses, and you may have to take time off work to recover. You may also develop a permanent disability and never regain the capacity to work and enjoy your life the way you did before the attack.
Arizona allows victims of dog attacks to recover economic and non-economic damages from the dog owner, and you can receive compensation for things like:
- Medical bills
- Surgery or therapy costs
- Prescription medication
- Emergency medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
In cases of egregious misconduct or negligence, intentional harm, or unlawful conduct, the court may also award punitive damages. These types of damages can be challenging to pursue, and you will need an attorney to advocate for you in court.
The dog bite injury attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy can file your dog bite claim with the owner’s insurance company and negotiate if necessary to help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible. If your case goes to trial, we will fight hard to uphold your rights and hold the dog owner liable so you can get the full amount of money you deserve.
If you suffered serious, life-changing injuries, such as scarring, disfigurement, temporary disabilities, or psychological and emotional trauma, give your case its best chance of success by hiring a Phoenix injury attorney. A dog attack lawyer from Gallagher & Kennedy will stand by your family every step of the way, and we are committed to helping you through this difficult time and ensuring you get all you need to deal with the trauma you experienced following a vicious dog attack.
How Long Do I Have to File for Compensation?
If your case is covered by insurance, you will have your attorney submit your personal injury claim as soon as possible. Your lawyer will have to gather a lot of evidence and prepare a strong case for you, so you have no time to delay in seeking a dog bite attorney to handle your claim.
In Arizona, you have only two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You will have to take the owner to court if their insurance does not cover dog bite injuries or if they have no insurance at all. You may also have to take the insurance company to court if they deny your claim and refuse to negotiate or if they act in bad faith regarding your claim or settlement agreement.
If your attorney does not file suit with Arizona’s statute of limitations, the judge will probably dismiss your case, and you will have virtually no other legal action to get compensation.
Our dog bite attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy have a deep understanding and strong grasp of Arizona law regarding dog bite claims. We can help dog bite victims combat common defenses to dog bite injury claims, such as provocation of the attack or comparative fault, to maximize their potential for financial recovery.
Gallagher & Kennedy’s experienced Phoenix dog bite attorneys can walk you through every phase of the insurance claim or litigation process in Arizona, and we will fight hard for you to help you get the money you need.
Consult With a Dog Bite Injury Attorney Today
It is normal to feel unsure about the claims process after suffering a major dog bite injury in Arizona. Our lawyers can help you navigate the dog bite injury claims or lawsuit process without adding to your financial burden.
Our personal injury lawyers work on contingency, so you pay $0 upfront for us to represent you. We also offer free consultations, so you have nothing to risk by giving us a call.
We can go up against a dog’s owner, property owner, or another party on your behalf, and we can help you pursue compensation from multiple defendants, if necessary. We can also fight for recovery after a loved one’s wrongful death.
For more information about how you can obtain compensation after a dog attack, talk to a Phoenix dog bite attorney today at (602) 530-8400. You can also fill out our online contact form, and an attorney will get back to you promptly for a free case review.