Arizona Dog Law

Liability Statute

Arizona has a strict liability dog bite statute. That means that dogs don't get "one free bite." The owner of a dog that bites someone in a public place or someone that is lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner's property, is liable for damages suffered by the injured person, regardless of the dog's former viciousness and regardless of whether the owner had knowledge of the dog's viciousness. The only defense to these strict liability statutes is in cases where the injured person provoked the attack.

Common Law Liability

Under Arizona common law, a dog bite victim can recover for personal injuries, so long as he or she can prove that the dog owner knew, or had reason to know, of the dog's vicious propensities at the time the bite occurred. Arizona's strict liability statute does not replace common law liability. In other words, dog bite victims can file suit under the strict liability statute and the common law.

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