When can I sue for a dog bite in Clark County?
Man's best friend can sometimes turn into man's worst nightmare. Nearly 5 million Americans will be bitten by a dog this year. One in six dog bite victims will be injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room. Some will suffer from permanent disfigurement or disability.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Clark County or Las Vegas, you need to know your rights and have someone in your corner. Nevada animal bite laws can be complicated. Much depends on whether the dog, cat or other animal had a history of aggression.
Additionally, it can be difficult to seek compensation from someone who loves his or her pet -- or who is the type of person to keep a dangerous dog. But you don't have to go it alone.
Our Nevada dog bite attorneys may be able to track down an animal's history and help you get the compensation you are entitled to after an animal bite. Compensation to which you may be entitled can include:
- Reimbursement of medical expenses;
- Costs of physical and/or occupational rehabilitation;
- Pain and suffering; and
- In egregious cases, punitive damages.
To help you better understand Nevada's "dog bite" laws, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers discuss the following, below:
- 1. The "One Bite" Rule in Nevada
- 2. "Vicious" vs. "Dangerous" Dogs in Nevada
- 3. Negligence and Nevada Dog Bite Laws
- 4. Negligence "Per Se" and Nevada Dog Bite Laws
Many states have what are called “dog bite statutes,” which say that dog owners have strict liability for dog bites. This means that if a dog bites someone in one of those states, the dog owner will always be responsible for the injury whether or not they had any idea that the dog might bite.
Nevada does NOT have strict liability for dog owners through a dog bite statute. Therefore dog owners are not automatically liable if their dog bites someone and has never bitten before. However once a dog has bitten someone in Las Vegas even once, the dog is then classified as either a "dangerous" or a "vicious" dog. The dog's classification determines the owner's future liability for dog bites...
Some dogs are classified as “dangerous dogs” or “vicious dogs” in Las Vegas. The distinction is important for dog bite victims and dog owners alike because it affects the owner's liability.
According to Nevada law a dangerous dog is a dog that has behaved menacingly toward people to a degree that would make a reasonable person defend him/herself against substantial bodily harm:
- twice in 18 months, and
- without being provoked by pain or torment, and
- away from its owner or unconfined.
“Dangerous dogs” are legal to keep in Clark County and Las Vegas. However, the owner of a dangerous dog can be held liable for damages if the dog bites again.
On the other hand, “Vicious dogs” are dogs that either:
- Have continued to behave menacingly after being classified as “dangerous"; OR
- Have caused substantial bodily harm or death to a human being.
Once a dog has been marked as a vicious dog, it is no longer legal in Nevada for its owner to keep or even give away the dog. If you have been bitten by a dog that was already known to be a vicious dog, you should contact an attorney and the police.
Keeping or giving away a vicious dog is a misdemeanor under NRS 202.500, Nevada's criminal dog bite law.And felony criminal charges can be filed against dog owners whose vicious dogs attack a person.
If you have been bitten in Clark County by a dog that had never bitten before, you might worry that you will be unable to seek compensation. But even though Nevada state law does not make dog owners automatically liable, they still might have to pay up if they acted with negligence.
Negligence means a failure to take reasonable precautions for a situation. For example if a dog owner knows that the dog “nips” ... and the owner lets the dog get too close to you ... the owner may be negligent. A Nevada dog owner who fails to properly secure their property could also be found liable due to negligence. An example is if a proper owner neglects to repair a hold in a fence that a dog gets through.
Under Nevada "negligence per se" laws, dog owners are automatically liable for dog bites inflicted while they were in violation of animal control laws such as leash laws. In Clark County ... including Henderson and Las Vegas ... all dogs must be kept on a leash when they are not enclosed.This means that if you were bitten by an off-leash dog on a public street or sidewalk, the dog owner may be liable even if the dog never bit before.
Injured by a dog bite in Las Vegas? Call us for help...
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog in Clark County, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.
Our caring Nevada personal injury lawyers can investigate the dog that bit you and find out what kind of resources the owner has -- including homeowner's insurance policies, bank accounts and other assets.
Before you sign any settlement paperwork with insurers or homeowners, talk to one of our knowledgeable Las Vegas dog bite lawyers. If we take on your case, we will not take a dime unless and until you receive compensation.
To schedule your free consultation, complete the form below or call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).