Arizona's dog bite laws impose “strict liability” on the owner of a dog that bites a person. (See Arizona Revised Statutes §11-1025.) What does that mean? It means that generally, if your dog bites someone, you are at fault.
Unlike other states, Arizona dog owners do not get "one free bite." Dog 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. (Note: §11-1025 does not apply when the victim is a child of and resides in the same household.)
The only defenses to this law are 1) trespassing and 2) provocation. Assumption of the risk is not a defense.
In addition to strict liability, Arizona also permits claims based on negligence. This requires some knowledge that your dog might bite another, and little or no action on your part to prevent it. It is possible to claim both 1) strict liability and 2) negligence, however, beware that strict liability has a one year statute of limitations, while negligence has a two year statute of limitations.
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