Las Vegas
Dog Bite

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If a dog attacked you or your child in Las Vegas or Henderson, talk with a lawyer right away. Nevada law regarding dog bite injuries can be confusing. The state does not have an overarching statute that makes dog owners automatically liable for the dog’s behavior. However, there are ways to hold dog owners or other handlers responsible in court or through an insurance claim.

You need to talk with our Las Vegas dog bite lawyers about your specific circumstances and whether you have a strong claim against the dog owner or handler. Contact Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC through our online form or call (702) 878-2889 to schedule a free consultation.

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What to Do After a Dog Bite in Las Vegas or Henderson

If you were attacked and bitten by a dog, the first step is to get to safety. The next step is to seek medical attention.

You or your child may have sustained serious injuries. Dog attacks can be repetitive, prolonged, and vicious. Or, if the dog bit you on the hand once, you may only have a few puncture wounds. This more moderate injury still comes with serious risks, though. You should always see a doctor after a dog bite to reduce the risk of infection or secondary injuries.

Getting medical treatment also documents the attack and your injuries.

Take note of the physical description of the dog, such as the breed, size, and coloring. Find the dog owner’s information. Whenever possible, inform the owner of what happened, ask for their contact information and the dog’s veterinary history. Also, ask if the homeowner has liability insurance for their dog or homeowner’s insurance.

As soon as possible, contact animal control for your area. Animal control may be part of the police department, health department, or a humane society. Look for a way to file a report online, and if you do not see one, give the animal control agency a call. You may need to file a report in person.

Call a lawyer for dog bites next to discuss whether you can pursue compensation from the dog’s owner or the person or business in control of the dog at the time of the attack.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

When a dog attacks you, you may sustain:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Lacerations and scarring
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical limitations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Emotional trauma

Whatever the extent of your injuries, we recommend you talk with a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of dog bite law. When you are dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and dog-bite related scarring, disfigurement, or disabilities, you need to know if you can pursue compensation.

An attorney will analyze the facts of your case, advise you on your rights, and, when appropriate, represent you during a dog bite lawsuit and insurance claim.

Nevada Dog Bite Law

Nevada does not have a dog bite statute that dictates when a dog owner or handler is responsible for injuries their dog causes. However, there are several theories of liability a dog bite victim can use to sue a dog’s owner or handler.

If you or your child were attacked and injured by a dog, call a dog bite attorney immediately. Consulting a lawyer is the best way to learn more about your rights and legal options. A lawyer will immediately look into whether the dog owner may have violated a local ordinance or whether the dog was previously labeled dangerous or vicious.

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When you file a dog bite lawsuit, you must provide a legal basis for why an owner or other party is liable. Depending on the circumstances, Nevada law allows you to allege:

  • Dangerous or Vicious Dog/One Bite Rule: If the dog previously attacked or bit someone, you could seek to hold the owner responsible for your injuries. It only takes one attack for the dog to be labeled as dangerous or vicious. Once a dog has been labeled by animal control as dangerous or vicious, then the dog’s owner is responsible for taking additional precautions to control and contain the animal. If a dangerous or vicious dog attacks you, you may be able to hold the owner responsible. Owners of vicious dogs also may face criminal liability for their dog’s actions.
  • Negligence: You may prove the other party is liable by establishing they owed you a duty of care, and their breach of that duty directly led to the attack and your injuries. When you claim the dog owner or handler was negligent, you allege that their careless conduct is to blame. Negligence may be easier to prove if the dog was deemed dangerous or vicious. However, it is possible to establish negligence without that fact. For example, leaving a large, territorial dog alone with a small child may be considered negligent.
  • Negligence Per Se: If the owner or handler of the dog violated a municipal ordinance, which led to the attack and your injuries, you might be entitled to compensation. Negligence per se is a legal doctrine under which someone is responsible for harm caused by their violation of a law, ordinance, or regulation. A common negligence per se dog bite case involves a dog that is let off-leash in a public area when it should be secured.
  • Intent or Malice: You may know or believe that the dog’s owner or handler at the time instigated the attack that caused you harm. If you believe the owner ordered the dog to bite you, call a lawyer immediately.

Nevada Does Not Have a Strict Liability Dog Bite Law

In many states, a dog owner is automatically liable for the injuries their dog causes. This is known as a strict liability law.

Under a strict liability law, the dog owner does not have to be aware that the dog bit someone else or was labeled dangerous or vicious. The owner or dog’s handler can be held responsible for the very first time the dog harms someone.

Nevada does not have a strict liability law. Here, the dog must have bit someone before or previously been labeled dangerous or vicious. The owner must be aware that the dog could be a danger to others before the owner would be held responsible for a dog bite injury.

Dangerous Dogs in Nevada

Under NRS 202.500, animal control will label a dog as dangerous if it has:

  • Behaved menacingly toward people,
  • on two separate occasions in the past 18 months,
  • without being provoked, and
  • When the dog is “at large.”

A dog at large is one that is not contained by a leash, fence, cage, pen, or vehicle. The dog behaves menacingly if a reasonable person would defend themselves against substantial bodily harm.

Also, law enforcement can deem a dog dangerous if its owner or keeper used it in the commission of a crime.

It is not illegal for a person to keep a dangerous dog. However, owners and handlers of dangerous dogs must adhere to additional Nevada laws and local ordinances regarding keeping the dog secured.

An owner of a dangerous dog may need to obtain a permit for the dog. The owner may need to keep the dog secured at all times on their property, put up warning signs, keep the dog leashed and muzzled while off their property, and purchase liability insurance for the dog.

By contacting a dog attack lawyer after being injured by a dog, you have someone to thoroughly investigate the dog and dog owner’s backgrounds. Your lawyer may discover right away that a local authority in Nevada deemed the dog to be dangerous.

Vicious Dogs in Nevada

Animal control will label a dog as vicious if it:

  • Continues to behave menacingly after being labeled dangerous; or
  • Causes substantial bodily harm or death without being provoked.

It is not legal in Nevada to own and keep a vicious dog.

This is one of the reasons it is so important to speak with a dog bite injury attorney after an attack. You need to know as soon as possible if any animal control department in Nevada has labeled the dog that attacked you as vicious. If so, you may have a strong claim against the dog’s owner for compensation for your injuries.

Las Vegas Dog Bite Damages

If a dog harms you, talk with a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer about pursuing compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages.

If you can establish the dog owner, handler, or keeper’s liability, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Reduced quality of life

Compensatory Negligence in Nevada

You may be able to show a dog’s owner, handler, or keeper was negligent in causing your injuries. However, that person may claim you were also negligent. When the dog owner or other party raises this defense, Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule applies.

During a dog bite lawsuit, the judge or jury will have to decide who was at fault and by how much. Each party will be assigned a percentage of fault, adding up to 100%.

The judge or jury may find you were partially at fault if there is evidence you provoked the dog, knew the dog was potentially dangerous, or trespassed on the dog owner’s property.

If you are assigned less than 50% of the blame, you can recover damages. However, the judge or jury will reduce your compensation by your percentage of fault. If you are assigned 50% or more of the blame, the law prohibits you from receiving compensation.

We Handle Fatal Dog Attacks in Nevada

Dog bites can lead to minor injuries. However, an attack by a strong and vicious dog also can be fatal. If your relative lost their life in a dog attack, contact Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC immediately. We will analyze your claim for compensation, and when appropriate, guide you through a Nevada wrongful death lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations for Suing for a Dog Bite

If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a dog attack, talk with a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer right away. You only have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Nevada. That seems like a long time, but you never want to wait until the last minute. It is better to get started on your dog bite claim right away.

Let Us Help You Hold Dog Owner’s Responsible For Their Pets

Many of us love dogs and own dogs ourselves. However, the unfortunate truth is that not all dogs are friendly. Many are naturally territorial and aggressive. Others are trained to be violent. You never know how any dog will react in any given situation, which makes even dogs you think you knew well, a potential risk. When that risk becomes a reality, and you are suffering dog bite injuries, we encourage you to talk with a lawyer about your options. Responsibility for dog bites should rest on the owner’s shoulders, not yours.

To schedule a free consultation with Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC, contact us through the online form or call (702) 878-2889.