Dog Bite Law in Las Vegas, Nevada
Dog Bite Injuries and Liability Claims
In our experience, people who are most susceptible to dog bite injuries are people who walk into houses for a living - estate sales people, realtors, and home repair contractors. The dog “thinks” that the person who walked in unexpectedly is an intruder and attacks to protect the home. Even house sitters occasionally get attacked by dogs.
Dog Bite Law and the General Negligence Law
The State of Nevada does not have any specific statutes governing dog bites cases. Because there is no specific dog bite statue in Nevada, a dog bite victim seeking damages from a dog’s owner must rely on traditional rules of negligence.
What is negligence? Someone is negligent if and when they fail to use reasonable care under the circumstances. Essentially, negligent is being careless or having a disregard for other people’s safety.
A dog owner is negligent if their dog bites a human and the owner failed to take reasonable steps to protect humans from being bit. For example, letting a dog roam on a public street or sidewalk without a leash is negligence.
Establishing Fault in Dog Bite Cases
Once it is established that the dog’s owner acted negligent, a dog bite victim must then demonstrate that the owner’s negligence was a contributing factor to the bite and that the injuries and damages sustained were a result of that bite. Fault is established by providing proof in the form of testimony from eye witnesses, photographs, video, admissions by the defendant, medical records and physical evidence.
Big Dog, Small Dog
The big dogs (Pit Bull, German Shepard, Rottweiler) can cause the deepest and most serious wounds, but don’t be fooled – a bite by a small cute dog may also be also very dangerous.
What is the "One Bite Rule"?
In general, the “One Bite Rule” gives dogs and their owner’s the first bite for free. The rule states that a dog's owner is only responsible for injuries the dog causes if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that kind of injury. Basically, to be held responsible, the dog's owner must have knowledge that the dog has bit someone before. Consequently, in states with a "One Bite Rule", dogs and their owner’s are not responsible for the first bite, only subsequent bites.
Nevada does not have a “One Bite Rule”.
What Happens if a Child is Teasing the Dog and the Dog Bites?
In defense of a dog bite case, the dog’s owner may assert that the dog was provoked, teased or harassed. This defense is very fact specific and the dog’s owner must show that the human provoking the dog knew or should have known provocation at that level would result in the dog to bite.
Unless the provocation is clear, the dog owner may still be on the hook for the injury. This is especially true with young children. As a community, we have a duty to protect children. We assume that young children do not fully comprehend the complexity of this world and therefore we must take steps to protect them from dangerous conditions, such as a ferocious dog.
How Modified Comparative Negligence Works in Dog Bite Cases?
Nevada uses the rule of modified comparative negligence. Modified comparative negligence states that an injured plaintiff can collect compensation from other at-fault parties as long as the plaintiff was less than 50 percent responsible for the accident or incident that led to the injuries.
When More Than One Dog and More Than One Owner Involved
When a pack of dogs attack each dog - their respective owners are responsible for the injury their dog inflicted or contributed. If the injuries cannot be proportioned, the court will hold each owner responsible in full until the debt is paid.
Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim and Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners' policies provide coverage for liability resulting from the policy holder’s negligence. Thus, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bite claims.
You may be asking yourself, "If a dog bites me, can I sue? And if so, who do I sue?"
If you have been bit by a dog, you may sue the owner / caretaker of the dog. If the dog’s owner has insurance, the insurance company should pay the claim.
Renter Insurance or Condominium Insurance
If the dog owner has a renter insurance or condo insurance, you can file a claim against that insurance.
Landlord Liability for Dog Bite
If the dog owner has a landlord insurance, you can file a claim against that landlord insurance.
Dog Bite Facts
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Of those 4.5 million dog bites approximately 1 million become infected.
Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim
In order to file a dog bite claim, the dog bite attorney needs the following information:
- Location of the dog bite attack
- Pictures of the wound
- Dog owners name and contact information
How Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Each case is unique and the circumstances surrounding each dog bite accident are also very unique. Without knowing the details of your case, it is hard to give any practical recommendations. In general, if you are bit by a dog, you have a legal claim for money damages against the owner of the dog.
To speak to a dog bite attorney directly, call us at 702-432-1000. We successfully settled numerous dog bite cases.
Most of our clients live in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Summerlin and surrounding areas of Nevada. We also represent tourists on vacation in Las Vegas.
The attorneys at Heshmati & Associates take all personal injury cases, including dog bites, on a contingency fee basis, which means - the firm charges nothing unless the compensation for damages is obtained.
If you are the victim of a dog bite in Las Vegas, seek medical attention and contact our office at 702-432-1000 to start your claim against the owner and their home owner’s insurance policy.