Being attacked by a dog in Arizona is a traumatic experience. You may be frightened, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do as a dog bite injury victim. It is important to take the correct steps, however, if you wish to hold the pet owner liable, or financially responsible, for your injury and related expenses. Here’s what to do if you get attacked by a dog in Arizona.
Do your best to remain calm and in control of the situation. First, make sure you are safe from further injury by the dog. Avoid shouting at the pet owner or getting aggressive. The best way to handle the situation is to calmly assess yourself for injuries and exchange vital information with the owner of the dog before leaving to seek medical care.
If the dog bite injury is severe and the victim needs immediate medical care, call 911 to request an ambulance. If the victim is a child, for example, and the dog bit the child’s face or neck, paramedics may be necessary at the scene of the incident.
Before you leave the scene of the dog attack, collect information. Get the pet owner’s name and contact information, as well as information about the dog, such as if it is up to date on its shots and vaccinations. If there are any eyewitnesses, get their information, as well. Take photographs of the dog, the scene of the attack and your injuries. Continue photographing your injuries while they heal.
Go to a Doctor
Professional medical care is a necessity for a dog bite injury that pierces or penetrates the skin, as this type of injury comes with a risk of infection. A doctor can use antiseptic and antibacterial treatments to reduce the risk of infection. You may also need medical treatment if the bite is in a sensitive area, such as your face. Serious dog bite injuries require stitches and other medical interventions. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan while you recover.
Report the Bite Injury
It is important to report any dog bite injury in Arizona to your local Animal Control Center. Reporting the incident to a local agency can help prevent the dog from biting another victim in the future, such as by requiring the owner to use a muzzle when walking the dog. The Center’s investigation of the incident could also help your injury claim. If you live in Maricopa County, the phone number to call is (602) 506-7387 to file a dog bite injury report, or you may also file online.
Understand Your Legal Options
Keep a detailed record of your dog bite injury, including a description of what happened, the photographs that you have taken, a copy of your animal control report, and copies of your related bills and expenses. You may need these items to use as evidence during your dog bite injury claim.
As the injured victim of a dog attack, Arizona Revised Statutes Section 11-1025 gives you the right to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog, whether or not the owner knew that the dog had the propensity to be vicious. This is called a strict liability dog bite law. In other words, you do not need proof of the owner’s negligence to hold him or her financially responsible for your dog bite injury.
Contact a Glendale Dog Bite Injury Attorney
Contact a dog bite injury attorney in Glendale as soon as possible to further explore your legal rights and options. Be sure to do so within two years of the attack, as this is the statute of limitations in Arizona (the deadline to file a claim). The Law Offices of John Phebus offers free initial dog bite injury case evaluations to potential clients. Request yours today if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog.