Dog Bite Laws in Nevada
Suffering a dog bite is a traumatic experience. However, victims often find it difficult to prove who should be held liable for their injuries after an animal attack. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Nevada, protect your right to financial compensation by speaking with a dog bite lawyer in Las Vegas at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys immediately.
The laws governing dog bites in Nevada are complicated. Getting experienced legal representation can improve your chances of securing the money you need for your medical bills, missed wages, and other losses. With over 130 years of combined experience, the legal team at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys has successfully recovered more than $100 million in total compensation on behalf of our clients.
You shouldn’t have to bear the financial consequences of a dog owner’s negligent actions if you’ve been attacked. Let our 702 lawyers fight to prove your case and protect your interests. Rest assured that we’ll demand maximum compensation for you while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
To learn how THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys can help, contact us for a free consultation.
What Are the Dog Bite Laws in Nevada?
Nevada does not have a statewide statute that clearly establishes legal responsibility for injuries and losses that result from a dog bite. Many states that do not have an explicit dog bite statute on the books often apply what is known as the “one-bite rule.”
Under the one-bite rule, a dog’s owner must have knowledge of their dog’s viciousness, dangerousness, or propensity to attack (usually due to a prior incident where the dog has bitten or attacked someone) before the owner can be held liable for a dog bite injury.
Unlike those states that follow the one-bite rule, Nevada courts have expressly rejected the notion that a dog is entitled to a “free bite” before liability will be imposed on the dog’s owner for injuries resulting from a subsequent biting incident or attack. Instead, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that liability for a dog bite is determined under common law rules governing negligence cases.
One Bite Rule: Does It Apply in Las Vegas?
Like the rest of Nevada, liability for dog bites that occur in Las Vegas is evaluated under traditional negligence rules: Did the dog owner’s negligence in handling their dog lead to a dog bite injury? Las Vegas and Clark County have municipal ordinances that impose various requirements on dog owners relating to controlling their animals. These ordinances have been adopted to help curb the risk of dog bite injuries in Las Vegas and Clark County.
For example, Clark County and Las Vegas have leash laws in their municipal code, which prohibits dog owners from letting their animal run at large and requires that all non-spayed/neutered dogs be kept restrained by a fence, cage, coop, leash, or chain.
Statewide, Nevada’s criminal law defines and regulates the keeping of dangerous or vicious dogs. The law defines a “dangerous dog” as one that, on at least two separate occasions within 18 months, behaved menacingly to the extent that a reasonable person would defend themselves against bodily harm when the dog was off its owner’s property and not confined in a cage, pen, or vehicle.
A dog may be deemed a “vicious dog” if:
- Without being provoked, it inflicts substantial injury upon or kills a person, or;
- After being designated a dangerous dog, it continues the behavior that led to the dangerous designation.
Clark County also has more detailed conditions in its municipal code for when a dog may be declared dangerous or vicious by a local animal control officer. For example, a dog may be deemed dangerous if it caused serious injury or death to another animal, or if it exhibits behavior or medical conditions that cause local animal regulation officers to reasonably believe the dog poses a threat to public safety.
Nevada also outlaws the keeping or sale/transfer of vicious dogs. A dog may also be declared dangerous if it was used to commit a crime.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite in NV?
In Nevada, the law may impose liability on a dog owner for a dog bite based on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the bite or attack. If those circumstances demonstrate that the owner did not properly control or supervise their dog, they could be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
Factors that may support a finding of negligence for a dog bite injury include:
- Allowing the dog to walk in public without a leash or muzzle
- Failing to fix fencing or gates, allowing a dog to escape
- Permitting a dog to interact unsupervised with a potentially vulnerable individual, such as a young child
- Failing to intervene when a dog begins to show signs of aggression towards a person (e.g., growling, barking, pinning ears back)
- Violating local animal control ordinances
What If a Dog Bites Someone on My Property?
If someone else’s dog bites another person on your property, whether you can be held liable for any resulting injuries and losses will depend on your actions. The mere fact that a dog bite or attack occurred on your property (by a dog not owned by you) is not a sufficient basis for imposing liability.
For example, Nevada courts have declined to impose liability on landlords for dog bites inflicted by animals kept by tenants, unless the landlord undertook some action that would impose a duty upon them.
Landlords and other property owners have no obligation to investigate other people’s dogs on their property. But landlords have been held liable where they permitted tenants to reside on the premises with their dogs and failed to undertake maintenance of the property that led to a dog bite or attack, such as repairing a broken fence or gate that allowed a dog to escape.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, take the following steps to protect your rights to compensation:
- If possible, try to locate the dog’s owner to notify them of your injuries and get the owner’s contact information.
- Take photos of any relevant details, such as a broken fence that may have allowed the dog to escape, as well as photos of your injuries.
- File a report with local police or local animal control officers.
- Get examined by a physician as soon as possible after the dog bite to begin treating your injuries (including preventive measures if the dog’s vaccination history is not known, especially for rabies).
- Be sure to follow all treatment recommendations and instructions and follow up with your doctor if bite wounds begin to show signs of infection.
- Keep copies of all invoices, bills, and receipts from any expenses you incur in treating your injuries. Also keep records of pay stubs or income statements if you miss time from work while recovering from your injuries.
Finally, speak to a dog bite injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will be able to investigate your case and gather the proof necessary to build a strong claim for compensation for you.
How Can THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys Help Me?
If you have a claim for compensation after being bitten by another person’s dog, THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys can help you with your case by:
- Helping you secure the evidence needed to prove the dog owner’s liability for your injuries and losses
- Advising you on your available options for obtaining compensation
- Filing your claim with the dog owner’s homeowners (or renters) insurance company and aggressively negotiating for a fair and full settlement
- Preparing your case to go to court if the insurance company won’t offer you the compensation you deserve.
- Representing you at trial, if necessary
If you’ve been injured by a bite from somebody else’s dog in Nevada, you deserve to know every legal option available to you. Contact a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys today for a free, no-obligation consultation.