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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Aug 4, 2015

Animals are wonderful additions to the families of many Americans. Sometimes, however, they can be dangerous and cause injuries to the people around them. If you’ve sustained a dog bite injury, here’s some legal information that you should know.

Arizona is a “Strict Liability” Dog Bite State
Many states have adopted a “one free bite” rule, which means that the dog owner is not liable the first time their dog bites someone. Arizona, however, is a “strict liability” state, which means that the owner is liable even if the dog has never been aggressive before and this is the first time the dog has bitten someone.

Arizona’s Dog Bite Statute
In order for the dog owner to be liable, you must show that your injury was caused by a dog bite and the bite occurred in a public place, or you were lawfully on private property. This means that if you were trespassing on your neighbor’s property when the bite occurred, then the owner is not liable. If it occurred on your property, or in a park, then the owner is liable.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases
There is a time limit on filing a civil case against a dog owner in court. In Arizona, dog bite injury cases must be filed within two years of the incident. After that, the case will most likely be thrown out without being heard.

Defenses to an Injury Claim
The two most common defenses that an owner will raise in this circumstance is that either you provoked the dog to bite, or you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property. If either of these can be proved, then the owner is not liable for the bite. Otherwise, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.

If your neighbor’s dog bit you, talk to your neighbor and give them a chance to rectify the situation. Since the life of their pet is at stake, they should be willing to work with you. If they’re uncooperative, then you have the right to take action. There is a time limit, however, so if you’ve sustained a dog bite injury and the owner has made no effort to , speak to an experienced attorney today.