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Arizona Dog Bite Laws

Being bitten by a dog is a traumatic event for children and adults alike; victims often suffer long after the attack is over. In many cases, they can get relief by filing a civil claim. However, the liability of the dog owner depends on the law of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. States generally recognize either the "one bite rule" or strict liability.

Under the one bite rule, the owner is only liable if they knew or should have known that their pet was a threat. Rather than allowing a dog one free bite before liability applies, jurisdiction who apply strict liability hold owners liable without the victim having to prove fault or negligence. Regardless of the dog's former viciousness or the owner's knowledge of its viciousness, all the victim must show is that their injury was caused by the dog bite. Then they can hold the dog owner liable for their damages, including medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. Arizona is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites.

Dogs at Large

Additionally, anyone in Arizona who allows a dog to run at large is strictly liable for any personal injury or property damage that the dog commits. If a dog isn't confined by an enclosure or isn't physically restrained by a leash, they are considered a "dog at large."

Overview of Arizona Dog Bite Laws

While it's always a good idea to read the entire text of the relevant statutes while conducting legal research, it's often difficult to make sense of the legal jargon. The chart below was created to supplement your research by providing a plain language overview of Arizona dog bite laws.

Statutes

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 11. Counties:

  • Section 11-1025 (liability for dog bites)
  • Section 11-1026 (lawful presence on private property definition)
  • Section 11-1027 (reasonable provocation as defense)
  • Section 11-1012 (dogs not permitted at large; wearing licenses)
  • Section 11-1001 (definitions)

Liability Exceptions

 

 

Any action for damages against a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work is prohibited, if the bite occurred while the dog was defending itself from a harassing or provoking act.

Additionally, damages against a governmental agency aren't available in any of the following circumstances:

  • In the apprehension/holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect's involvement in criminal activity;
  • In the investigation of a crime or a possible crime;
  • In the execution of a warrant;
  • In the defense of a peace officer or another person.

Defenses

  • Provocation: If the injured person provokes the dog (does something that a reasonable person would believe would provoke a dog).
  • Trespassing: The injured person must be on public property or lawfully on private property during the attack.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations ranges from 1 year to 2 years, depending on the specific cause of action.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Arizona Dog Bite Laws: Related Resources

Questions about Arizona Dog Bite Laws? Get Answers from an Attorney

It's extremely stressful dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite attack. If you've been on the receiving end of a dog bite, then you'll likely want to know all the legal options available to you. On the other hand, if your dog bites someone else, you'll want to understand your potential liability. Reach out to a local animal bites attorney who can explain how Arizona dog bite laws apply to your specific situation.

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