Owning a dog comes with great responsibility. This includes financial responsibility, if your dog causes personal harm to an individual.
Dog-related injuries are typically caused by a dog biting, mauling or otherwise physically harming a person. However, physical dog attacks aren’t the only way a dog can injure someone.
When your dog breaks free of its leash or pen and runs into a road, it could cause a car accident, resulting in both physical injuries and property damage. Dog owners are almost always held liable for Phoenix car accidents caused by their dog being loose.
Dog-related Phoenix car accidents
When you’re driving and a dog runs in front of your vehicle, your natural instinct is to avoid hitting the animal. You might swerve to miss the dog and potentially crash into another vehicle or object.
Alternatively, you might slam on your brakes, which could cause a rear-end collision, if a driver behind you doesn’t react quickly enough to avoid slamming into the back of your vehicle.
Either type of accident could cause personal injuries and/or various types of property damage. Does this mean you’re liable as the dog’s owner? City and state leash laws pretty much answer that question.
Dog leash laws
In Arizona, dogs aren’t permitted to run at large, as ARS 11-1001(2) clearly states, an at large dog is any dog not physically restrained by a leash or properly confined in an enclosure on your property. This same is true in Phoenix, where City Code 8-14 also states dogs must be confined within an enclosure on your property or secured by a leash not exceeding six feet. Furthermore, ARS 11-1020 states you’re fully responsible for any personal injuries or property damage caused by your dog being at large.
While there aren’t any leash laws pertaining to cats, if your cat darts into the road and causes an accident, you’ll probably still be financially responsible.