Bitten by a Dog? You May Be Able to Sue

Bitten by a Dog? You May Be Able to Sue

Dog lovers find it hard to believe that their beloved canine could cause serious injury to another person, but statistics are clear. The number of dog bite claims increased year-over-year by 3% in 2019 to 17,802. About 20% of people bitten will need medical attention, and almost half of dog bites involve children.

Rover’s Bad Reputation

Some breeds have a reputation for being aggressive, but any dog can bite once provoked. Characteristics that determine if a dog is likely to bite include the following:

  • General temperament
  • Character and personality
  • Training
  • Experience with having bitten before

At the end of the day, whether the victim has been bitten by a pitbull or a chihuahua, often the owner is held liable for covering the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and sometimes pain and suffering. Homeowners or rental insurance may cover these costs, but there can be extenuating circumstances, depending on where the attack took place. A good dog bite lawyer familiar with current law will let you know if you should sue and/or go to court.

Taking Your Case to Civil Court

Leash laws fortunately protect most communities from serious dog bites, but negligent owners who violate these laws or leave their dogs unattended are considered to be at fault. To win your case, you will have to prove that the duty of care for others was violated by the owner.

The states with the largest number of dog bite claims are listed here, and generally speaking, the rules vary from state to state. In Nevada, there is no statewide dog bite statute. That being said, an owner that has a dog that bites another person does face civil liability for a lawsuit in cases where an animal has a previous history of being aggressive.

It is assumed that the owner should have been aware of the dog’s previous behavior, and should have taken necessary action to protect the community. This regulation is called the Nevada One Bite rule. Animal control may also play a role in your case if the dog has been previously registered as vicious or dangerous. People who own vicious dogs and knowingly let them continue their behavior unabated can face fines and even jail time under Nevada’s criminal dog bite law.

Nevada’s Dangerous Dog Law

It’s not against the law to own a dangerous dog in Las Vegas, but those who keep them have to comply with both municipal and Nevada laws and regulations, which include getting special permits from an animal regulation officer, keeping the pet muzzled and leashed when out of the house, microchipping, posting conspicuous warning signs with the owner’s name and telephone number, and keeping the dog secured at home. The owner must also maintain a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance.

Nevada’s Vicious Dog Law

Vicious dogs are defined as those who have repeatedly displayed vicious behavior after previously being classified as dangerous, or having caused bodily harm or death to a person previously. While dangerous dogs can be sold or given away with proper documentation, vicious dogs are basically illegal in Nevada and the owner may not keep or even give the dog away.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Nevada’s dog bite laws are complex. There are many animal classifications that determine who is responsible, and how much compensation can be recovered. Don’t try to sue on your own. It is common to be emotionally upset after an attack, but it’s in your own best interest to stay calm, and enlist the help of a compassionate dog bite lawyer.

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