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Dog bites occur daily in Arizona.  They can cause severe damage and emotional suffering.  If you are the victim of a dog bite, then you need an experienced attorney to seek insurance availability and get you just compensation. At Dove Law Firm, our Arizona restraining order lawyer and Dog Bite Attorney, Shawn Haven Dove, will start immediately on your case so that you can solely focus on recovering from your injuries.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes, ARS 11-§1025A :  The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness.  In other words, as long as you had a right to be in the area where you were bit and did not tease the animal, the owner is liable for any injuries you sustain as a result of that bite.

Other states have a “one bite” rule that allows a dog one bite without consequences.  Arizona does not have a “one bite” rule.  The previous behavior of the animal is not considered.  The owner of the dog is liable even on the first bite. Arizona laws do not allow a dog owner a free pass from their dog’s first bite.  “In Arizona, dogs do not get one free bite; 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.”  Massey v. Colaric, 151 Ariz. 65, 725 P.2d 1099 (1986).

What should you do if bitten by a dog?

  • Find an area away from the animal that is a safe environment
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries
  • Call Animal Control and report the bite
  • Document the incident by recording your own recollection in writing, taking photos/video of the attack site and any injuries, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Do not speak with any Insurance agency or sign any documents relating to the dog bite claim
  • Contact an Attorney to assist you in dealing with the insurance agencies


At Dove Law Firm, we can assess your case immediately and help you by investigating the incident, searching for applicable insurance policies, and demanding proper compensation from those insurance companies.   It is imperative to have a knowledgeable dog bite attorney who can find all recovery sources.  Sometimes, available settlement monies are undiscovered, and the dog bite victim never receives a chance to recover those funds.


Scarring and Disfigurement:  Scarring and disfigurement, especially to the head, face and neck areas can leave a dog bite victim devastated.  Without immediate medical attention from a skilled plastic surgeon, the dog bite wound could leave scars that last a lifetime.

Cuts and Lacerations:  The most reported injuries due to a dog attack are cuts or lacerations.  If not properly cleaned and treated, the area can become infected, which can lead to serious infection.

Damage to Nerves, Tendons and Tissue:  Dogs can have extremely powerful jaws.  Certain breeds, such as Kangals, Mastiffs, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are known to possess the most powerful bite out of Canines.  This jaw strength can result in severe damage to a dog bite victim’s body, face or extremities.

Emotional Trauma:  Unfortunately, the majority of dog bite attacks occur with children and young teenagers.  These dog bite victims may have post traumatic stress disorder as a result and may need counseling.


What to Do:

  • Remain motionless or indifferent when approached by a dog that is unfamiliar.
  • Do not express fear and remain calm. Act if the canine is not present.
  • Keep your hands down and in a comfortable position.
  • Slowly back away from the dog.

What not to do:

  • Do not run from the animal.
  • Approach any dog that is unfamiliar.
  • Panic or make noise that creates unwanted attention.
  • Alert a dog that is sleeping.
  • Surprise a dog that has puppies.
  • Pet a dog who has not sniffed you first. .
  • Let children play with a dog unsupervised. Children between ages 5 to 10 compose the majority of dog attacks.