You probably never thought that you would be the victim of a dog bite. When you become the target of a dog bite or attack, you need a Las Vegas dog bite attorney to advise you on your legal rights.
Dog attacks can come out of nowhere, causing pain, confusion, and sometimes lifelong emotional trauma. The last thing you should ever have to worry about is getting bitten or attacked by someone’s dog. The injuries caused by a dog bite or attack can turn your life upside down. The attack does not always even require a bite, a dog charging you and knocking you over can be enough to cause serious injuries resulting in a hurt victim. Suddenly, you’re facing a mountain of medical bills and dealing with the pain and limitations that your injury caused. You can no longer do many of the things you enjoy and may not be able to go to work.
The laws regarding dog bites and attacks vary from state to state and from one locale to the next. It can be confusing trying to figure out who is liable for your injury, much less how to go about collecting compensation.
At Bay Law Accident Attorneys, we understand the impact a dog bite injury can have on you. We’re here to listen to your concerns while working to find the best path forward for your situation. It isn’t always easy to pursue recovery, especially when the dog owner may be someone you know. Depending on your specific case, you might pursue compensation with as little conflict as possible. At Bay Law, we will never settle for less than a fair amount of recovery in your dog bite case.
Why Bay Law Injury Lawyers Is Your Choice After a Dog Bite
When you contact Bay Law after a dog bite, you get a trusted team of Las Vegas dog bite attorneys on your side. Our dog bite attorneys are dedicated to providing you with personalized attention and compassionate representation through every phase of your claim. When we say “Make Them Pay With Bay,” it’s our guarantee that:
- When you retain us as your dog bite injury attorneys, we will negotiate with the insurance companies to get a fair settlement for you. We will never recommend taking a settlement for anything less than the full worth of your dog bite case.
- Our attorneys have a proven track record of success at helping clients in Southern Nevada region and have the expertise to assist in securing a winning verdict. We will work quickly to get maximum compensation for your claim.
- Your initial consultation is free, and you don’t pay us anything unless our Las Vegas dog bite attorneys win your case and secure the compensation you need.
We understand what you’re going through. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s dog, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help whether it means filing an insurance claim or going to court to fight for your rights.
Nevada Dog Owner Laws
Each state has its own dog bite rules and laws, which usually come down to one of two common dog owner liability standards. One assigns liability when the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog might bite someone. The other makes the owner liable whether they knew the dog might bite someone or not.
The “One Bite” Rule
Nevada has a one-bite statute, meaning that liability depends on whether the dog’s owner knew or had reason to believe their dog might cause a biting injury. If they did, they are liable for any injuries their dog causes. If their dog bites someone for the first time, they aren’t automatically responsible.
Also, the injury doesn’t have to come from a bite. It might be scratches or other injuries caused by the person’s pet or being knocked over by a dog. Dog owners often protest this rule based on the presumption that the injured victim may have provoked the dog or voluntarily risked getting bitten or attacked.
Nevada Dangerous Dog Law
A dog that has previously bitten a person or exhibited behavior that indicated it might bite is considered “dangerous” in Nevada. In other words, it has behaved menacingly toward people without provocation on two separate occasions within 18 months. The attack must also be to a degree that would cause a reasonable person to defend himself or herself against substantial bodily harm while the dog was:
- Off its owner’s or keeper’s premises, or
- Not confined in a pen, cage, or vehicle
Law enforcement has the option to declare a dog as dangerous when the owner or keeper uses it in the commission of a crime. Dog owners can keep a dangerous dog in Las Vegas as long as they take the required safety precautions. If the dog continues to behave in a menacing way after being classified as dangerous or it causes substantial bodily harm or death to someone, it is deemed vicious. At this point, the owner can’t legally keep or give the dog away.
Las Vegas Dog Leash Laws
Nevada differs from many other states in that there is no state-wide leash law. Instead, regulations vary among the counties and locales. For example, it is a misdemeanor to willfully take a dog in public without a leash in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, Henderson, and numerous other cities in the Southern Nevada region. There are also state laws and local ordinances about leash use that apply specifically to the Strip. During the hours of noon and 5 a.m., dogs are completely prohibited between Sahara Avenue and Sunset Road.
Suing for Not Using a Dog Leash in Nevada
A leash puts control of a dog in the hands of the owner or keeper. The purpose of leash laws is to prevent dogs from running loose and biting people. If you are bitten by a dog that isn’t leashed, you might be able to sue the dog owner for negligence per se. This doctrine automatically considers someone who violates a statute or regulation without an excuse to have automatically breached their duty of care, making them negligent as defined by law. The only thing you must prove to sue someone for not using a dog leash is the dog owner violated a law and that the violation caused the victim’s injuries.
You can bring a lawsuit against the dog owner directly trying to prove standard negligence, however the negligence per se doctrine might be more successful as it provides for presumptions that standard negligence does not. If you take this path to obtain compensation, you must prove that there was a duty of care, and that the defendant breached it. The breach of duty of care is already assumed in negligence per se. The best choice depends on your situation and your ability to gather evidence to back up your claim.
The Las Vegas dog bite lawyers at Bay Law know a great deal about Las Vegas dog laws. We will help determine which laws were broken that resulted in you getting bitten. We will advise you on the best approach to getting compensation and prepare the evidence to prove your claim.
Las Vegas Dog Bite FAQs
What happens if someone else’s dog bites me in Nevada?
Nevada is one of 15 states that follow the one-bite rule. When a dog bites you, the first step is to identify the dog’s owner. Animal control can provide you with information about any previous bites and whether the dog is classified as vicious or dangerous. Even if the dog doesn’t have a history of biting, you can still pursue compensation from the dog’s owner. You have the burden of proof that the dog owner was negligent or acted intentionally causing your bite and injury.
Depending on whether the dog owner has liability home insurance, you might get compensation from the insurance company or directly from the dog owner. A Las Vegas dog bite attorney can advise you on your potential for getting recovery. Even if you file a lawsuit against the dog owner, a skilled attorney can negotiate a fair settlement without going to court.
Do doctors have to report dog bites in Nevada?
No, the state’s lack of a strict liability law negates the need to report dog bites by medical professionals. Since the state follows a one-bite rule, there is no liability unless you can prove the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog might bite someone. However, Nevada dog laws require both the victim and the dog owner to report dog bites.
Reporting a dog bite serves a few purposes, including:
- It serves as the mechanism for animal control to monitor the dog for rabies and other serious illnesses. Dogs have the potential to transfer some viruses or bacteria to humans through their saliva.
- The report provides animal control with the means to enforce safety requirements as specified in the municipality’s ordinances. The information provided will help them determine which dogs are vicious or dangerous and present a hazard to the public. If the dog that bit you bites another victim, the record will show that the dog owner was aware of the dog’s potential to bite.
- The report serves as evidence in your dog bite claim.
Is Nevada a strict liability state for dog bites?
Strict liability means that a state has laws establishing a dog owner’s responsibility when their dog bites another person. The liability is the same for dogs that have bitten other people as for those with no known propensity for biting.
Nevada has no strict liability for bites by domestic animals. Instead, the state follows a “One Bite” rule to determine the liability of a dog owner. If the dog is considered dangerous or vicious, or the owner is negligent, then they are responsible for paying damages to the dog bite victim.
This rule gives dogs one “free” bite where they might have acted out of character, were provoked by the victim, or otherwise acted innocently. This doesn’t mean that the dog owner can’t be held responsible if their negligence caused the incident. Even if a dog is not deemed dangerous or vicious, you might sue for damages for negligence per se. A Las Vegas dog bite attorney can explain your rights and your options for getting compensation for your injury.
How long after a dog bite can you file a claim?
In Nevada, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a dog bite claim. If you fail to file within that time, you cannot pursue damages through a claim or lawsuit against the dog owner.
If you are bitten by someone else’s dog, report the attack right away to animal control. Reporting early is important for your health and for your dog bite claim. The dog must be isolated for ten days to ensure it wasn’t rabid or had any other diseases. Failing to report the bite could result in your developing serious complications from your injury.
Although you have two years to file a claim, you should schedule a free consultation with a dog bite lawyer right away. Any gaps in treatment could negatively affect your recovery and the value of your case. The attorneys at Bay Law will look at the evidence in your case and determine the best route toward getting compensation.
Whatever the circumstances that led to your dog bite, you want the strongest evidence to back your claim. The sooner you learn about your options for getting compensation, the more time you and your attorney will have to collect evidence and build a strong case.
What is the basis for compensation?
Animal control keeps accurate records on the many dogs in Las Vegas that have been reported for bites previously. You can find out if the dog that bit you had bitten someone previously.
Even if the dog that bit you has not been determined dangerous or vicious by animal control, you may still get compensation under the doctrines of negligence, negligence per se, scienter, and intentional tort.
Negligence: A dog owner is negligent when they fail to provide the ordinary care that a reasonably prudent and careful person would exhibit under similar circumstances.
Negligence per se: If the dog owner or keeper violates city, county, or state regulations, the violations serve as the basis of liability under negligence per se.
Scienter: Scienter is the person’s knowledge that something they did was deceptive or illegal. In Nevada dog laws, scienter is the condition of the one-bite law that states that the owner knew the dog would or might bite someone. Someone who harbors or keeps a dog that has previously bitten someone or acted maliciously is liable for the victim’s compensation.
Intentional tort: Intentional torts occur in cases where the dog owner provoked the dog to bite you or didn’t try to prevent the attack.
Critics of the one-bite rule argue that victims of dog bites have more to prove without a dog bite statute. You need a Las Vegas dog bite attorney to support your claim and get the compensation you deserve for your injury.
What are the leash laws?
It is common to require dogs to be on leashes almost any time they are in public unless they are in a dog park. In Las Vegas, Henderson, and all of Clark County, leash law violations can be prosecuted as misdemeanors. Penalties include jail time of up to six months and $1,000 in fines.
Dogs must be leashed at all locations including their own yards that aren’t fenced and Homeowner’s Association (HOA) communities that normally make their own rules. The laws apply to both gated and ungated communities. These laws are made and enforced in an attempt to prevent bites by dogs that run freely and without restraint in the neighborhood.
If the dog that bit you was not leashed, you might be able to sue the dog owner for negligence per se. To prove your case, you must show that the defendant violated the local leash law, that the law was meant to protect people, and that the plaintiff’s violation led to your injuries.
If the dog that bit you was leashed, you still have the right to sue. In this type of negligence case, you must prove that the dog owner had a duty of care, they breached that duty, and the breach resulted in your injuries.
Reach out to a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer to discuss the circumstances of your dog bite injury. Depending on the extent of your injury, you might recover compensatory damages for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages, current and future
- Pain and suffering
If the dog owner was especially malicious such as in an intentional tort, you might even get awarded punitive damages.
How common are dog bites in Las Vegas?
Dog bites happen far more often in Las Vegas than most people think. Dog bite lawyers handle numerous cases in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Southern Nevada each year. While responsible pet owners take precautions and follow the laws to ensure their dogs are safe around other people, others fail to control their dogs and prevent them from acting violently toward others.
Despite the efforts of animal control and the Nevada cities, approximately seven dog bites occur daily in Clark County with the majority occurring in Las Vegas. Only a few dog attacks result in death, but many result in serious injuries and scarring. Dog bites are especially dangerous and traumatizing to children. Our attorneys have also handled horse bite cases, where do the size of the animal, injuries can be more severe.
Of the 2,400 dog attacks daily in this country, more than 50% of all dog bites are to children. They are more likely to be to the face, neck, and head. Children are more likely to have devastating injuries such as damage to internal organs, loss of a limb, or death. Younger dog bite victims also tend to have long-lasting psychological effects.
Dog bites aren’t uncommon — they happen every day. If you or your child is a victim of a dog attack, you need compensation for the impact your injuries have had on your life. Let a Las Vegas dog bite attorney who is familiar with the dog bite laws in Las Vegas help you get maximum financial compensation.
How do you get legal compensation in a “One Bite” state?
Dog bites happen more often than most people believe. Despite Nevada’s one-bite rule, there are many dogs that have a documented history with animal control. Even if the dog owner hasn’t reported an incident, the previous victim has likely filed a report. It’s a good place to start looking into the dog’s history and find out if it’s been picked up previously and, if so, why.
The one-bite law means that the dog won’t be euthanized if it hasn’t acted viciously before, and it never does again. The rule prevents a dog from paying the ultimate price for acting out of character when there might have been a reason for its actions. For example, the bite victim might have been teasing the dog or hurting it.
The dog owner doesn’t necessarily get the same courtesy if you can prove they had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive behavior. You can also sue the dog owner if they disobeyed any of the city’s leash laws or they were negligent in controlling their dog at the time the bite occurred.
What Is the Process for Making a Claim for Dog Bite Injuries in Las Vegas?
If you’re looking for “dog bite lawyers near me,” there are lots of reasons to retain the dog bite attorneys at Bay Law. When we say, “Make Them Pay With Bay,” we mean that you get a resolution to your case faster and when we say “Make them pay with Bay” we get the maximum compensation for your claim.
Our experienced lawyers know what you’re going through. Suffering from a dog attack can have a long, devastating impact on every aspect of your life. The dog laws in Las Vegas and the state of Nevada can be confusing and dealing with insurance companies only adds to your stress and frustration. Let the attorneys at Bay Law take care of finding evidence and building your case.
It doesn’t cost anything to schedule a free consultation and get an evaluation of your case. If there’s enough evidence to file a claim, you don’t pay anything for our service unless we win. We are here to give you compassionate representation throughout every phase of the claims process.
Documenting your injuries
Keeping a clear record of your injuries is essential to proving your dog bite case. Documentation shows the severity of your injuries, your concern over getting treatment, and the financial impact of treating them.
Some steps you can take are:
- Take photos of your injuries immediately after the attack before the wound is cleaned or treated. Continue keeping a visual record of the wound in the following days. Show any stitches or bruises that develop after the initial attack.
- Seek immediate medical attention and continue to go to doctor visits as scheduled by your medical professionals and avoid missing appointments.
- Keep records of the time you have lost for work and any associated records. For example, doctors’ excuses showing that you can’t use your hand for a specified amount of time are proof that your injury prevented you from earning wages.
- Notify animal control about the bite right away. Las Vegas, Henderson, and the unincorporated areas of Clark County all require dog bite victims to report attacks within 48 hours.
Documenting your dog bite carefully will provide evidence that your dog bite attorney needs to support your claim.
Discovering who owns a dog in Las Vegas
Most dog bites happen with dogs the victim knows. They are family dogs or belong to a friend, relative, or neighbor. If you don’t know who owns the dog that bit you, check with animal control. There might already be a record on the dog from a previous attack. If not, law enforcement might be able to check out the neighborhood where the bite occurred to see if anyone knows who owns the dog.
Another option is to hire a private investigator. Finding the owner of a dog that bites is very important. If the dog bit you, there is a potential to bite others in the neighborhood. Identifying the dog owner will also help you prove your dog bite claim. You could then learn if the dog had a previous incident of vicious behavior or what conditions might have caused the dog to act out for the first time. Dogs often bite when they are scared or feel threatened. For example, 4th of July fireworks or a thunderstorm might have frightened the dog.
Our Las Vegas dog bite lawyers offer free consultations and work on contingency. We can evaluate the information you have and employ the services of skilled investigators to find the owner of the dog that bit you.
Contacting the dog’s owner
The first step in getting compensation for your dog bite injury is to contact the dog’s owner. Don’t take this step yourself without speaking to a dog bite lawyer. It is easy to feel compassion for the dog owner, especially if they are a friend, relative, or neighbor. Your attempts to make them feel better about the incident could end up hurting your claim.
When you schedule a consultation with Bay Law, we will address your concerns and answer your questions. Our attorneys will work with you to determine the best way to approach the dog owner without doing damage to your dog bite claim.
Making a dog bite insurance claim
If the dog owner has liability home insurance, the coverage might include dog bites. If that’s the case, you will need to get an insurance adjuster assigned to the case. When the dog owner has insurance, the money is available to pay your claim. That doesn’t mean that the insurance adjuster will be willing to hand over any payment without a fight. It is their job to try not to pay you any money or to pay you as little as possible.
Our Las Vegas dog bite attorneys have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. We know the tactics they use to avoid writing a check. Before we ever contact the insurance company, we will have the evidence we need to make a compelling claim for a fair settlement. In most cases, we can reach an agreement without ever going to court.
Collecting the judgment
If you win your dog bite lawsuit, you must collect the damages from the dog owner. Collecting from an insured homeowner isn’t usually a problem. The insurance company writes a check to the dog bite victim.
When there isn’t any insurance and the dog owner is personally responsible for the award, obtaining the judgment can get more complicated. You might need to locate and execute judgment on the owner’s assets. In Las Vegas, this is often accomplished in one or more of several ways, including:
- Garnishing the dog owner’s wages
- Putting a lien against their property
- Attaching the dog owner’s personal bank account
- Agreeing to an out-of-court settlement containing a legally enforceable payment plan
Nevada law prohibits dog owners from disposing of assets for the purpose of avoiding a judgment. Your Las Vegas dog bite attorney will locate the dog owner’s assets before you file a lawsuit to ensure they have the ability to satisfy a judgment and they don’t dispose of them illegally.
What to Do If I’m Attacked by a Dog in Las Vegas
It’s understandable if you’re on the fence about reporting a dog bite. Maybe you think you can treat your injury yourself. The dog owner might be someone you are close to. You don’t want to upset them by reporting the bite. What if your injury is the reason that they end up losing their dog?
The problem is that dog bites can be more serious than they look. They can cost a lot to treat and might even prevent you from working. If you don’t report the bite, you won’t have access to the compensation you need to pay your expenses. You are also leaving the possibility open for someone else to end up with an even worse injury.
We take your concerns to heart at Bay Law. We will answer any questions you have honestly and to the point. Once we evaluate your situation, we can give you advice on how to pursue your case with your interests in mind.
Get the care you need and follow through on your treatment
Dog bites can cause injuries in two ways. First, they can do damage to the skin, soft tissue, and even the bone in those that are severely vicious. Some dog bites result in the need for surgery. Second, bites are open wounds that allow the passage of bacteria, viruses, and germs. Failing to have treatment can result in dangerous infections.
Following through with all of your doctor’s appointments and taking medications is important for your well-being. It is also important for your dog bite claim.
Keep any records and evidence that could be helpful to your claim
Keep all of your medical records, witness information, missed work and lost wages, records related to the dog that bit you, photos of your injuries, and any supporting documents you have related to your case.
Record your treatment and your feelings in a journal
Keep a comprehensive journal about your pain, how your injury impacts your life, and how you feel. Get treatment immediately and follow up as recommended by your doctor. Missed appointments or delays or gaps in treatment are looked upon unfavorably by insurance adjusters when negotiating an amount to settle the case for.
Don’t use social media
Lawyers and insurance companies use social media as a resource to find out what you’re sharing with your friends and family. Avoid using social media at all and don’t post pictures of your injuries.
Talk with a Las Vegas dog bite attorney as soon as possible
Our dog bite lawyers know the legal side of a dog bite case. Let our skilled attorneys take care of the insurance companies while you focus on healing.
How Our Las Vegas Personal Injury Firm Can Help You
The best time to contact a dog bite lawyer is right after someone else’s dog has bitten you. An experienced Las Vegas dog bite attorney at Bay Law will look at the evidence and quickly determine who is responsible for compensating you.
Dog bite victims often worry about seeking compensation from a friend, neighbor, or family member. If the dog’s owner is someone close to you, you might be able to recover compensation through their homeowner’s policy. Dealing with the insurance company is less awkward than approaching your loved one directly.
If the dog owner isn’t insured and won’t step up to the plate to compensate you, it might be necessary to file a dog bite lawsuit. Bay Law is here to ensure you get the compensation you need to get better.
Contact Our Las Vegas Dog Bite Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today
Bay Law works with our clients to find the best resolution for their needs. We know how difficult it is to deal with the requirements to prove a dog bite case while you are trying to get better. We offer compassionate representation to help take away some of your worries. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss the details of your dog bite case.