Dog Bite Attorneys in Tucson, Arizona
We can help you establish premises liability for any kind of animal attack in Tucson.
Although dogs are often described as “man's best friend,” getting bitten by an unfriendly or unpredictable dog can be a terrifying, traumatic, and truly life-threatening experience. Pet owners are responsible for the behavior of their animals, as well as any injuries or damages they may inflict.
If you or your loved one were attacked by a dog or dangerous animal, you have rights. That is why you should not hesitate to speak with the Tucson personal injury team at AZ Injury Law if you have been injured or traumatized by an animal attack of any kind. You can hold the animal's owner legally responsible for your medical expenses and other needs.
At Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian, our dog bite injury attorneys can assist you with filing a claim in Tucson, Arizona. We will help you gather the evidence to establish the liability and negligence of the animal's owner, and we will fight for the highest possible damages in your case.
Injury Due to Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
We help hold pet owners responsible for injuries stemming from dog bites or animal attacks.
Dog bites are perhaps the most common type of animal attack injury and the injuries or trauma sustained when they become aggressive and attack can be devastating. Lacerations and puncture wounds from animal teeth are prone to serious infections, and it is not uncommon for a dog attack to leave the victim with permanent disfigurement or scarring.
Though in many areas a dog has "one free bite" where the owner is not liable the first time it attacks, this is not the law in Arizona. Outside of a few exceptions regarding police and military dogs, any time a dog attacks a person in the absence of deliberate provocation, the owner can and should be held responsible for injuries sustained. Get immediate legal assistance if you've been attacked by a dog or other animal and need to hold the owner accountable for their negligence, as well as for your damages.
Depending on the severity of your dog bite or animal attack, you may need immediate medical attention at the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. Even if you don't visit your local urgent care, however, it's important to make sure that the wound is properly cleaned and disinfected after the bite. Infection is one of the most serious complications associated with a dog bite, as the bacteria from a canine's mouth can spread quickly through the bloodstream.
Some common dog bite injuries and injuries sustained from animal attacks include:
- Staphylococcus or “staph” infections
- Sepsis (blood poisoning)
- MRSA virus infections
- Rabies infections
- Broken bones or fractures
- Permanent nerve or muscle tissue damage
- Bruising and swelling
- Puncture wounds
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Unfortunately, injuries, damages, and trauma sustained from a dog bite or animal attack can be even greater when it happens to a child. For example, the disfigurement or long term damages could be far greater on a smaller, underdeveloped body. Children who've been bitten by a dog may go through their entire life dealing with physical scars and the emotional trauma stemming from a brutal animal attack causing life-altering issues and long-term injuries for years.
Steps to Take If You've Been Bitten by a Dog
There are many factors that decrease the odds of a victim winning a dog bite injury case. Therefore, it is imperative you hire the AZ Injury Law team - Arizona's premier dog bite attorneys.
Collecting critical information that a Tucson dog bite attorney can use to help you obtain damages is imperative as well. We strongly encourage you to take the following steps if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog or attacked by an animal to solidify the legitimacy of your case:
1 - Get immediate medical help to treat your dog bite or animal attack injuries.
The first priority after a dog bite is to seek medical attention immediately and follow all of the doctor's recommendations, especially as they relate to wound care. Without proper medical treatment for your injuries, insurance companies may assume these injuries don't exist.
2 - If possible, get the dog owner's personal information and their location.
If it's obvious who the dog's owner is, ask about the person's homeowners insurance while being as calm and cordial as possible. It's crucial that you don't threaten the pet owner. Politely and professionally inquiring about the owner's insurance information is one of the best ways to smoothly obtain compensation because their policy might include coverage for dangerous animals.
If the defendant does not have homeowners insurance or if the policy doesn't cover hazardous animal attacks, you might be able to sue the homeowner if you can prove that he or she owns the dog and that the dog was responsible.
3 - Contact both the police and animal control to come to the scene and issue a report.
Contacting both police and animal control is imperative to a strong injury claim, especially if the pet owner won't cooperate with you. These officers can help you by acting as a go-between and asking the dog owner about insurance on your behalf. Reporting the incident to local animal control could show that the dog bite actually happened and which dog bit you.
4 - Take detailed notes of the injuries sustained and your surroundings at the time.
Document the dog bite by taking pictures of it and record any evidence you can about the animal attack, including the date and time, the location of the incident, details about your injury, and how the situation unfolded. It will also help your claim if your lawyer can obtain any legal paperwork acknowledging the incident, such as medical treatment and police reports.
5 - If possible, get witness information from anyone who saw the animal attack.
Eyewitnesses to a dog bite or animal attack are important and can play a significant role in winning your dog bite claim. If possible, interview everyone who witnessed the attack, and record their info and observations on your phone or by writing it down while the incident is top of mind. Most smartphones have the ability to record video and include real time data that may be permissible in court.
6 - As soon as you can, contact a dog bite attorney to begin exploring your legal options.
If you have been bitten by a dog or attacked by an animal and are seeking compensation - act quickly! In Arizona there is a limited time to file a lawsuit for your injuries. The longer you wait to file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit, the longer it will take to get your money. And remember that it takes time to negotiate with the insurance company, so you should allow some time for this process to unfold, which is why we recommend getting the process started immediately after you or a loved one suffers injuries.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Dog Bite or Animal Attack?
When a person has been injured by a vicious biting dog, it is important to seek legal help immediately from a qualified Tucson, Arizona dog bite attorney. At Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian, we have more than 120 years of combined experience, and we take an aggressive and proactive approach to pursuing justice and compensation.
If you're wondering why you need a dog bite attorney when liability is not in dispute, it's important to know that even when nobody disputes liability, an insurance claim is not necessarily a smooth process for the injured person. Not only do our Tucson dog bite attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies, but we also know how to negotiate the settlement you deserve.
Insurance companies will often make the first settlement offer a lower one hoping to get you to settle the claim for far less than it's actually worth. However, with the right negotiating power and the evidence needed to establish the liability and negligence of the animal's owner, you can get the insurance company to agree to pay a fair amount for your injuries.
The dog bite attorneys at AZ Injury Law will expertly fight on your behalf for the highest possible damages in your case. While it is likely that we will be able to reach an agreeable settlement with the dog owner's insurance company, we always prepare to go to court, so defendants know that we mean business. If necessary, we will litigate fiercely on your behalf in the courtroom in an effort to secure the compensation you deserve.
How Much is My Dog Bite or Animal Attack Case Worth?
Without representation, you may not even know what your dog bite claim is worth and can assume that the insurance company will undervalue your claim. This is why you need a lawyer with experience handling dog bite claims to understand how much you should receive.
Our award-winning attorneys are experts in dog bite cases and have handled dozens of dog bite and animal attack claims in Arizona - and 98% of our cases end in a successful settlement.
Frankly, there is no such thing as an average dog bite claim. While there is data out there regarding what the average dog bite claim is worth, this number does not necessarily reflect what your claim may be worth. What matters is your specific situation, your individual losses, and your personal injuries and damages.
As long as you can demonstrate that a dog bite or animal attack took place – and that you did not trespass on the owner's property or intentionally provoke the animal – you will likely be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What Are the Dog Bite Damages I Might Be Able to Recover?
Depending on the complexity of your particular claim, the damages you can recover may vary. Damages you may be able to recover with our representation could include lasting emotional distress to expensive hospital stays to long-term or life-altering effects of a dog bite. Medical bills alone for critical dog bite care could exceed $30,000, even more if the victim needs several surgeries or long-term care to correct the damage. Monetary compensation could be far greater if the dog bite or animal attack is fatal.
Common scenarios of dog bites or animal attacks may include:
- The dog bite victim is a guest in the home where the dog lives.
- Your child might have been at a playdate in the home when they get attacked.
- A dog jumps on top of someone and they sustain injuries falling to the ground.
- Dog caretakers being bit as they attempt to do their job (i.e. groomers, dog walkers, etc.)
- Being attacked by a dog that is off-leash in a park, hiking trail, or public area.
- A delivery person gets attacked when they are attempting to place a package on the doorstep.
Many people may hesitate to file a dog bite claim because it might be a friend's dog, the victim has some connection with the dog or pet owner, when the victim has a legal right to be where they are, or when they are out and about in public. Chances are that your friend or family member may not even have to pay out of pocket, so they would not lose anything if you seek the compensation you deserve for your dog bite injuries.
Arizona has strict liability laws however, so you do not need to show that the owner abused the animal or failed to protect you in order to receive damages. Since dog bites are covered by insurance policies up to the coverage limit, in many cases, the average homeowner's policy would likely cover the amount needed to compensate you for your losses.
Dog Bite & Animal Attack Blogs, Articles, and Helpful Info
Torts: Viability of Negligence Claim vs Intentional Act
- Torts: Negligent Use of Force by Police Officer
- Arizona Law: Courts Rule on Attorneys' Fees, Insurance Law, Dog Bite Law and Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement
CLICK HERE to read additional blogs on a variety of personal injury subjects.
Examples of Our Firm's Dog Bite & Animal Attack Victories
- Dog Bite: Seymour v. Casa Carina Homeowner's Association, et al
- Government Negligence: Police Dog Attacks Innocent Civilian
Our Tucson, Arizona injury lawyers offer assistance for a variety of personal injury, dog bite, and wrongful death cases for our valued clients.