Dogs are some of the most popular pets in Las Vegas and across the United States. While most people are fortunate to only have positive experiences with dogs, others are not so fortunate and suffer various injuries from dog attacks. It’s vital for dog owners to know the laws that apply to dog bites and for victims to know the personal injury laws of Las Vegas and how they can recover from attacks.
Each state has different laws for dog attacks. Some enforce strict liability rules that make dog owners fully liable for all damages their pets inflict on others, regardless of whether the dog has any history of prior attacks. Others enforce one bite rules, meaning a dog can inflict one bite before it is classified as a dangerous dog, and the dog’s owner would then face strict liability for a second attack.
Understanding Your Options for Legal Recourse After a Dog Bite
Nevada does not enforce a strict liability rule for dog bites, so it is possible for a dog owner to only face responsibility for medical expenses that the victim of their dog’s attack suffers. However, it is possible for a dog bite victim to file a civil suit against the dog’s owner if the owner was negligent in their care and handling of the dog.
Some dog owners have legal requirements they need to follow to safely manage their pets. For example, if the dog owner lets their pet remain off-leash in an unenclosed yard, and it suddenly attacks a passerby unprovoked, this could lead to liability for the dog owner if the local law enforces leashing and enclosure requirements. Additionally, if a dog has a prior record of an attack and the owner has specific requirements to prevent further attacks that they do not fulfill, this will also lead to liability for the victim’s damages.
It’s important for dog owners to know their rights and responsibilities to avoid liability for attacks. For example, if someone breaks into a dog owner’s home and the dog attacks the intruder, the intruder will not have any legal recourse against the dog owner because they illegally entered the property. The same rule applies to trespassers or if the victim of the dog attack assaulted the owner or abused the dog and the dog acted defensively.
Ultimately, it is natural for a dog owner to want to defend their pet when it has attacked someone, and the victim has every right to explore their options for legal recourse after a dog attack. If you find yourself on either side of a dog attack case, it is vital to consult legal counsel you can trust for guidance and support in this difficult situation.
If you have been injured in a dog attack, consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. They can help determine whether the owner is strictly liable for your damages under the rules of negligence or negligence per se, and they can help you identify all the damages you can claim from the dog owner.
Q: Does the State Have a One Bite Rule?
A: State law does not enforce a strict liability rule for dog bites except under very specific circumstances. Effectively, this means that the one bite rule applies, and a dog owner can be held liable under the negligence standard or through negligence per se. If you are unsure how to hold a dog owner accountable for a recent attack, it is vital to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Q: Do Dog Bites Have to Be Reported?
A: Yes. State law requires all dog attacks to be reported immediately. After a dog has bitten someone, it must be kept in quarantine for observation for 10 days. This is to verify the dog is stable enough to return to its owner and that it does not have communicable diseases. After this 10-day period, the dog is usually returned to its owner. Failure to report an attack can lead to criminal penalties for the owner.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Dog Bite?
A: It’s possible to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other damages resulting from a dog attack. However, the total amount of compensation you could foreseeably win from a dog bite case depends on the overall extent and severity of your damages and how the attack occurred. It is advisable for a dog bite victim to seek out an experienced dog bite attorney for guidance and support in their recovery efforts following a dog attack.
Q: Do I Need an Attorney to File a Personal Injury Case for a Dog Attack?
A: Nevada’s personal injury laws do not require plaintiffs to have legal representation when filing their claims. It is possible for you to file a personal injury case without an attorney advising you, but doing so is risky and challenging. Even if you manage to succeed with your case, you could unintentionally accept a smaller settlement than an attorney could have obtained for you. Hiring an attorney improves your chances of success with the case and the overall quality of your final case award.
Q: What Happens to the Dog After It Bites Someone?
A: After a dog attack, state law requires the dog to be quarantined for 10 days for observation. This is to verify they do not carry any diseases and do not pose a health or safety risk to others if they are returned to their owner. If a dog is determined to be unreasonably aggressive and/or a health hazard, a judge could order it to be destroyed.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of professional experience helping clients overcome all types of civil claims for damages, including personal injury cases filed in response to dog attacks. If you need reliable legal counsel after suffering a dog attack, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we can provide in this situation.