When you think about your dog, you probably think of it as sweet and cuddly and as something that brings a lot of joy to your life. It is probably hard for you to ever imagine your dog biting someone, but the truth is that dog bites do happen. And, when they do, you could be held liable for the injuries, pain, suffering, anguish, and more that may be suffered by the victim.
First things first, as a pet owner, you should know if you live in a “strict liability” state. In these states, you can be held liable for a bite inflicted by your pet even if you tried to prevent the bite from happening or had no knowledge that your dog would bite.
If you live in a state that enforces strict liability, you will want to be extra vigilant about keeping your pet in-check and well-behaved at all time to reduce the risk of a bite occurring.
Arizona is a strict liability state for dog attacks. Victims can typically sue under both a strict liability theory and a negligence theory.
Even if you don’t live in a state that enforces strict liability, you could still be held responsible for the damages and injuries suffered by the victim of your dog’s bite. This is especially true if it can be proven that your negligence somehow led to the biting incident.
Maybe you failed to fix a hole in your fence, allowing your dog to get out and bite someone. Or, maybe you knew your dog was aggressive and still allowed it around people anyway. If your negligence can be proven, you could end up being financially responsible for your victim’s claims.
Seeking Legal Counsel
Whether you live in a state with strict liability or not, if your dog has bitten someone, it’s smart to seek legal counsel and representation. You never know what a victim might do, and you will need to protect yourself in every way possible, which an attorney can assist you with.