Arizona Dog Owners Are Strictly Liable For Dog Bites

Arizona Dog Owners Are Strictly Liable For Dog Bites

We all love dogs. Unfortunately, many dogs bite for no apparent reason. When a dog biteswithout being provoked and the bite causes harm, the dog’s owner is strictly responsible for the damages caused by the bite.

In Arizona, “dogs do not get ‘one free bite’.” Massey v. Colaric, 151 Ariz. 65, 66, 725 P.2d 1099, 1100 (Ariz. 1986).

Owners are held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs’ actions and liability is imposed without regard to an owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. The owner is virtually an insurer of the dog’s conduct. Id. Provocation is the only defense permitted in strict liability dog bite
cases per A.R.S. § 11-1027, which states:

Proof of provocation of the attack by the person injured shall be a defense to the action for damages. The issue of provocation shall be determined by whether a reasonable person would expect that the conduct or circumstances would be likely to provoke a dog.

There is a one year statute of limitations for strict liability dog bite claims, so if you or a loved one were seriously injured because someone else’s dog bit you, you should contact our office immediately 602-265-5777.

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