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Service dog bites an elderly woman

According to a recent media report, a 70-year-old Mesa, Arizona woman who was walking to her car outside her apartment complex was suddenly bit by a dog. According to the elderly woman, the entire incident happened very fast and before she realized it she was bleeding from her leg where the dog bit her. The woman required several stitches.

Reports indicate that the dog, which allegedly bit the elderly woman, was a service dog. According to the owner of the dog, the dog does not have a violent nature and generally gets along with others. The 70-year-old victim, on the other hand, expressed concern as to what could have happened if her young grandchildren were around. Due to the dog bite incident, the service dog is presently in quarantine, and the owner was cited.

Our Arizona residents may not be aware, but Arizona is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that regardless of the nature of a dog, if a dog were to bite a person, then the owner of the dog is liable and responsible for the injuries and damage the bite victim sustains. A specific statute in Arizona on service animals provides guidance. The statute notes that if a service animal bites without provocation, the owner or the dog's trainer is still responsible for the injuries that the service animal inflicts.

The only defense in such cases is if the person bitten by a dog provoked it. Whether provocation occurred or not must pass the reasonable mind test. This means that if the defense is used, then the court must determine if a reasonable person would deem the conduct of the person bitten by the dog as provocation. In many cases, dog bite victims require medical attention from stitches to reconstructive surgery. For those interested in learning about their legal options, it may be helpful to have an animal bite personal injury law firm examine the facts of their case.

Source:, "Dog bites special education teacher at Mesa apartment," Lindsey Reiser, Aug. 13, 2015

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

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