Service Animal Caused Injuries: Your Legal Recourse Explained


Service animals play a vital role in assisting individuals with disabilities, but incidents involving these animals can sometimes lead to injuries. If you’ve been injured by a service animal, it’s important to understand your legal rights and the steps you can take to seek compensation. Our team at Brad Johnson Injury Law will guide you through the legal recourse available to ensure you get the support and justice you deserve.

What is a Legal Service Dog in Arizona?

Under Arizona law and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined strictly as a dog, or in some cases a miniature horse, that is trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities. These tasks can include guiding individuals with visual impairments, alerting those with hearing impairments, pulling wheelchairs, or retrieving items. It’s important to note that emotional support animals, therapy animals, and companion animals do not qualify as service animals under these laws. Understanding this distinction is crucial for recognizing the legal protections and responsibilities associated with legitimate service animals.

Service Animal Vs. Emotional Support Animal

There are some key differences between a legally recognized service animal and an emotional support animal.  


Are Service Dog Owners Responsible for Injuries Caused?

Yes, service dog owners are legally responsible for injuries caused by their animals. If a service dog attacks or injures someone, the owner can be held liable for damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering. This responsibility underscores the importance of proper training and control of service animals to prevent such incidents.

What Steps Should You Take After an Injury Caused by a Service Animal?

If you are injured by a service animal, take these necessary cautions:

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

    1. Address any injuries and document their severity.
  2. Report the Incident

    1. Make a report with local authorities and animal control to make an official record of the accident.
  3. Gather Evidence

    1. Photographs of your injuries, the animal, and any witnesses who can provide statements.
  4. Consult with a Lawyer

    1. understand your legal options and receive guidance through the process.

Understanding Service Dog Liability

Service dog liability involves the legal responsibility of the handler for any harm or damage caused by their service animal. In Arizona, owners can be held liable if their service dog injures someone, even if the dog was performing its duties. Liability is typically determined based on the circumstances of the incident, including whether the handler maintained proper control over the animal. Owners must ensure their service dogs are well-trained and managed to prevent accidents or attacks. Understanding these liability laws is essential for both service dog handlers and those injured by service animals to navigate potential legal actions.


Determining Compensation from Dog Bite Injuries

Victims of service animal attacks may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Calculating this compensation involves documenting all medical treatments, rehabilitation costs, and any ongoing care needed due to the injury. Lost wages should be calculated based on the time missed from work and any future earning potential affected by the injury. Pain and suffering compensation considers the physical and emotional impact of the injury on the victim’s life. Working with an experienced attorney can help accurately assess these factors and ensure that victims receive the full compensation they deserve.

People Also Ask:

  • Can a Service Dog Owner be Sued for an Injury Caused by their Dog?

    • Yes, a service dog owner can be sued if their dog causes injury to someone.
  • Are Emotional Support Animals Covered under the Same Laws as Service Dogs?

    • No, emotional support animals are not covered under the same laws as service dogs.
  • What Types of Compensation can I Receive from a Service Dog Injury Claim? 

    • You can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Experienced Arizona Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Understanding your rights and legal recourse after an injury caused by a service animal is crucial for ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. Navigating these legal complexities can be challenging, but an experienced dog bite injury attorney can provide the guidance and support you need. Don’t let an injury disrupt your life—take action today to protect your rights and secure your future. Contact Brad Johnson Injury Law for a consultation and let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

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