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Dog Bite Laws in Phoenix: Understanding Your Rights

If you’re a dog bite victim, you may be wondering whether Arizona law allows you to recover damages for the injury you’ve sustained, and how the process typically goes. This article explains what you need to know about Arizona dog bite laws and why you need to hire a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to help with your claim.

Overview of Dog Bite Laws in Phoenix

In Phoenix, dog bite laws follow the strict liability rule. What does this mean for you? Essentially, that the dog owner can be held liable for your injuries even if their dog has never bitten anyone before. The only requirements are:

  • The dog must have bitten you
  • The bite must have happened in a public place, or somewhere you were lawfully allowed to be

You do not need to prove that the owner was negligent or irresponsible in order to receive compensation. Their responsibility is automatic under the law. There are a few exceptions to Phoenix’s strict liability rule:

  • If the bite occurred while you were provoking or tormenting the dog
  • If you were trespassing on private property at the time of the bite.
  • If you assumed the risk of being bitten by interacting with a dog that was clearly aggressive or vicious

In these situations, the owner may not be automatically liable for your injuries. You would need to prove that the owner was negligent in order to hold them responsible.

Dog Owner Liability Under Negligence Laws

As a dog bite victim in Phoenix, you may have legal claims against the owner even if strict liability does not apply. Under negligence laws, a dog owner could still be held responsible if they failed to act with reasonable care in controlling their pet.

you may have the right to file a claim if you are bitten by a dog


If the owner did not properly restrain or supervise their dog, and this caused your injuries, you could have a negligence claim. For example, if an owner lets their dog run loose in an area where people walk by, and the dog then attacks you, the owner may be negligent. The owner has a duty to control the animal and prevent foreseeable harm to others.


With this theory, you must show that the owner knew or should have known that their dog had dangerous tendencies, but they still failed to take proper precautions. For instance, if a dog has aggressively lunged at or bitten people in the past, and the owner was aware of this, they could be liable under scienter if that dog then seriously injures someone.

Negligence Per Se

Here, you would claim that the owner violated an Arizona law meant to protect the public, like failing to obey leash laws or properly confine a dangerous dog. If you can prove the owner broke such a law and this directly caused your injuries, they may be negligent per se.

Arizona’s Statute of Limitations for Dog-Bite Lawsuits

In Arizona, you have limited time to file a lawsuit after being bitten by a dog. Under Arizona’s strict liability dog bite statute, you have one year from the date of the bite to file a claim against the dog owner. This law holds owners automatically liable for bites regardless of the owner’s negligence or the dog’s bite history.

If you want to claim the owner was negligent in controlling or supervising the dog, you have two years to file a lawsuit. Negligence claims require you to show the owner failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the bite. Two years gives you more time to investigate the owner’s negligence and build your case.

Reach Out To an Experience Phoenix Lawyer

If you have been bitten by a dog in Phoenix, you should know that you have certain rights to pursue legal action. Speak to a knowledgeable Phoenix personal injury lawyer right away. They can review the details of your case, determine who is responsible, and advise you on the steps to take next.

The attorneys at Phoenix Lawyers have years of experience helping clients in situations similar to yours. Call 480-405-5010 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.

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