A dog bite can result in serious injuries. Sometimes, a debilitating illness might ensue. This is where legal claims come in to help you meet some of these costs.
After visiting the emergency room and receiving the treatment you need, your next concern would be how to hold the dog owner or handle responsible for what happened to you. But while Arizona applies strict liability rule to dog bite claims, things can become more complicated when it comes to stray dogs.
When nobody claims ownership of the dog that attacked you
Your ability to sue and recover damages following an attack by a stray dog usually boils down to whether or not the owner can be located and held accountable. The animal control department and the police may rely on government records and witness statements to track down the owner.
You may help trace the dog’s owner by taking photos of the surroundings where the attack happened, the addresses of the nearby homes as well as where the dog fled after attacking you.
And sometimes, you might be lucky if someone identifies the owner of the animal or the house where it typically sleeps and eats. Still, the homeowner in question might want to avoid liability by claiming that “it’s a stray dog that they only feed from time to time.”
This excuse may or may not exonerate them from liability. Keep in mind that a court might consider feeding and/or caring for the animal amounts to ownership. And it’s on this basis that you can hold someone liable for the attack.
So, what should you do if you are attacked by a stray dog?
Following an attack by a stray dog, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Next, acquaint yourself with Arizona dog bite laws so you can protect your rights while tracing the dog owner for damages.