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Understanding animal bite laws in Arizona

It is not uncommon for Arizona residents to encounter animals. Whether it is a household pet, a farm animal or a wild animal, individuals should use a certain level of care when interacting with an animal. While many household pets such as a dog or a cat are usually friendly and safe to encounter, some animals pose risks. Because of that, those harmed by these pets should understand what rights he or she has if they sustain an animal bite.

When an individual is a victim of a dog attack or a dog bite, he or she may hold the owner liable if it occurred in a public place or when the victim was lawfully on the private property of the dog owner. In these matters, it does not matter if the dog has previously bit or attacked another person, or even another animal. Therefore, the owner cannot make a claim that he or she did not know about the dangerous propensity of their dog.

If an individual is keeping a wild animal and it bites or attacks another, the owner will be held strictly liable. This means that the owner will be liable for any harm caused by the wild animal. The reasoning is that unlike most domestic animals, wild animals are considered vicious and inherently dangerous.

Injuries caused by animals such as horses are treated like other injuries caused by domestic animals. With regards to horse, most injuries are caused by kicks or bucking. Owners could be held liable for the injuries suffered by a horse if it is determined that the owner knew, or had reason to know, of the dangerous tendencies of the horse. However, when individuals ride a horse, he or she assumes the risks associated with riding a horse.

Because liability can range greatly when it comes to injuries caused by animal bites or attacks, victims should seek to fully understand the situation. This could help them hold an owner fully or partially liable for the injuries caused by his or her animal. Seeking legal guidance could help victims make informed decisions that could help them protect his or her rights.

Source: Findlaw, "Does the Type of Animal Affect a Bite Injury Case?" accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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