Every year, thousands of people visit emergency rooms across the country due to dog bite injuries. These injuries range from very minor to serious enough to cause permanent disability. A few dozen dog attacks each year result in death.
What does Nevada law say about dog bites?
- A dog bite victim in Nevada can recover compensation. The law does not restrict victims of dog bites from filing a lawsuit against the owner of the dog on the basis of both negligence and intentional torts.
- Nevada has no specific dog bite statute. Unlike some states, Nevada has no particular law dealing with dog bites. That makes Nevada a “one-bite state.” Essentially, a victim can only recover damages if the owner knew or should have known that the dog would bite. However, the “one-bite rule” may not apply if other circumstances apply, such as if the owner intentionally causes the dog to bite a victim.
- Victims must show the owner was negligent. An owner could be negligent in several ways, including failing to contain the dog safely. Negligence means lack of ordinary care, so a jury will look at whether a reasonable person should have known that the dog could be dangerous.
- Nevada allows negligence per se in dog bite cases. This means that someone can be held liable for a dog bite that occurs on property that person owns, even if someone else owns the dog.
- Counties and municipalities may make their own dog bite laws. Cities and counties are allowed to make dog bite rules that apply only in their jurisdictions, so civil suits may be based on violation of these laws as well as typical negligence cases.
If you have been bitten by a dog, there are several things you should do immediately. First, seek medical attention, even if you think the bite is not very serious. Dogs can transmit diseases through their bites, so it is important to talk to a doctor about your bite. Furthermore, some dog bites that do not look particularly serious can sever nerves or other important body structures, causing long-term damage.
Next, talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. Sometimes, victims are reluctant to take action against a dog’s owner because he or she is a friend, neighbor or even a family member. However, failure to take action may lead to the dog biting someone else.
Contact the personal injury attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas if you have been a dog bite victim.