What To Do After A Dog Bite In Arizona
The last thing that anybody expects to happen is that they will be injured by a dog bite. However, these incidents are not uncommon, and they can lead to significant injuries, scarring, and disfigurement for a victim. If you or somebody you love has been bitten and injured by a dog in Arizona, there are various steps you can take to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How common are dog bite injuries?
Data provided by the Canine Journal indicates that there are as many as 4.5 million dog bite incidents each year across this country. Not all these bites are particularly severe, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that approximately one out of every five dog bite victims requires medical treatment at the hospital. This equates to approximately 800,000 to 900,000 victims each year.
Dogs have incredibly powerful jaws that can inflict significant damage on victims in Arizona. It is not uncommon for the following injuries to occur in these incidents:
- Extensive puncture wounds or lacerations
- Severe soft tissue damage
- Lacerated veins or arteries
- Lacerated tendons, muscles, and ligaments
- Possible amputations of the fingers
- Significant scarring on hands, arms, legs, and face
Do you have to report a dog bite in Arizona?
It is completely up to you as to whether or not to report a dog bite incident to animal control authorities. While we understand that many people may be hesitant to file a report, particularly if they know the owner of the dog that bit them, filing a report with animal control may be beneficial. A report will trigger an investigation into the incident that it will most certainly help when you file an insurance claim to recover compensation for your expenses.
Whether or not you decide to file a report, you must certainly need to seek medical attention for the incident. It is vital to get puncture wounds and more serious injures treated immediately. It may be the case that the dog was not vaccinated against rabies, and puncture wounds are prone to infection.
If there were any witnesses to the dog bite incident, make sure to get their names and contact information. You should also exchange information with the owner of the dog so that you can contact them.
Should you hire a lawyer after a dog bite?
Arizona is considered a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. This means that the owner or caretaker of the dog will generally be held liable for any injuries caused by the bite, regardless of whether or not the dog has never bitten anybody before. In these cases, it will not be necessary to prove that the dog owner’s negligence led to the bite incident.
However, that does not mean that these cases will be easy. In general, dog bite claims are paid by the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy. These insurance carriers can be incredibly difficult to deal with, and they may not want to make a full payout for the claim. If your dog bite injuries are serious, caused significant disfigurement, or the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement, you need to speak to a skilled Phoenix dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will have the resources and legal experience necessary to conduct a full investigation into the case and handle negotiations with other parties involved to obtain maximum compensation.