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What are the dog liability laws in the state of Arizona?

Many people own and love their dogs. Dog owners are, in essence, guardians of their pets and dogs offer their human guardians companionship and unconditional love. Sometimes. However, a dog for some reason or another may attack or bite. Thus, it is important for every dog owner in Arizona to be aware that in the State of Arizona, specific statutes govern liability for dog bites.

Under current law, if a dog bites a person when that person is in a public place, private place or on the property of the dog owner, the dog owner is liable for damages suffered by the person who has been bitten by the dog. This is the case regardless of whether or not dog is actually vicious or if the owner has knowledge of the dog's vicious tendencies. In essence, the dog owner is strictly liable for dog bites.

In fact, if a dog damages the property of another while at large, then the dog owner is responsible for the property damage caused by the dog. In some cases, a dog owner may be able to show that the dog was provoked by the person whom the dog bit. Such proof of provocation can be used by the dog owner as a defense. The reasonable person standard is used to determine whether the behavior and conduct of the person bitten constituted provocation and likely led the dog to bite.

Every dog bite case is different and unique. The circumstances and situations vary from one incident to another. If a person believes that he or she was bitten by a dog without provoking the animal, he or she may want to talk with a personal injury lawyer to have the facts of the case examined.

Source: Arizona State Legislature, "Arizona Revised Statutes 11-1025, 11-1020 and 11-1027," accessed Nov. 25, 2014

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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