Dog bites often cause devastating injury – not to mention long-term psychological damage to many victims. When someone else’s dog bites you, do you have grounds for a claim? Does the dog’s breed impact your right to compensation?
Nevada Dog Bite Laws
Nevada does not have a specific, state-wide dog bite statute. However, dog owners are held liable for the actions of their pets, and when a dog bites someone, the dog’s owner may bear liability for that attack.
How a Dog’s Breed May Influence Your Claim
Some dog breeds, according to the court of popular opinion, can be much more dangerous and aggressive than others. However, dog bite laws do not specify breeds or types of dogs. You have the same right to file a dog bite claim regardless of what type of dog attacks you. Nevada law does not include breed-specific legislation, which means that knowing that you were attacked by, for example, a pitbull or rottweiler, will not influence your right to file for compensation.
However, a dog’s breed may have some unexpected impact on your claim.
Large Breeds May Cause More Damage
Large breeds naturally have larger mouths, which means that they have a larger overall bite radius. Large-breed dogs may also have more weight and strength to put behind the bite, which may mean that they cause more damage. Furthermore, you may have much more trouble getting a large dog, like a German shepherd, under control than a smaller dog, like a miniature poodle.
Large breeds may, therefore, cause more damage when they attack than smaller breeds. Since they may cause more severe injury, you may have the right to file for more compensation due to higher medical bills and more serious injuries.
Aggressive Dogs May Have a History
Often, dog owners will bear more liability for a dog bite that occurs after a dog has previously attacked someone. If a dog has a past history of violence, the dog owner knows that the dog could be a problem for future visitors, which means that the dog owner naturally needs to take more steps to help protect visitors against that possibility of aggression.
Aggressive Dogs May Require More Effort to Secure
Dog owners throughout Nevada need to safely secure their dogs, sometimes according to local statutes and restrictions, in order to prevent them from attacking others. Small breed dogs often stick close to home, or even live indoors, rather than being left outside on their own regularly. Large breed dogs, on the other hand, may require more effort on the part of their owners when the time comes to secure them.
Large breeds naturally need more space to run, and they may need more supervision when it comes to keeping them within those boundaries. They may require higher fences. While smaller, passive breeds may respond well to shock collars, large breed dogs may prove more likely to ignore the light shock that comes from the collars, especially if they feel provoked or territorial in any way.
As a result, pet owners may need to pay more attention to the methods they use to secure their large breed dogs.
Aggressive Dogs May Need More Work and Training
Dog owners who have large, aggressive breeds may find that their dogs require more work and training in order to make them safe for others around them. Those owners may need to invest more in specific training and spend more time working with their animals on a regular basis in order to ensure that the animal will respond to the owner’s commands.
While the dog’s breed may not directly impact the outcome of your claim, it can have some impact on how the dog’s owner must take care of the dog and what responsibilities the owner has. An owner who fails to take those responsibilities into account may be liable for any damages caused by the animal.
When You Have the Right to File a Dog Bite Claim in Nevada
As the victim of a dog attack in Nevada, you have the right to file a claim when you suffer injuries as a direct result of a dog attack. That includes circumstances where:
You Suffered an Attack on Private Property
If you had the legal right to enter the owner’s property, and you did not trespass in order to enter that property, you may have grounds for a dog bite claim when the dog attacks you. However, if you entered an area where you were warned not to enter, including a fenced-off area where the dog usually stayed when guests came over, or you provoked the dog in some way, it may impact your right to file for compensation.
You Suffered an Attack on Public Property
Unless you are at a dog park specifically geared toward off-leash play, where dog owners have the right to take their dogs off the leash and allow them to run freely, dogs in Nevada must, as a general rule, be leashed and under the control of their owner. That means that if you suffer an attack on public property, where you legally have the right to be, because of a poorly-controlled animal, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner.
In both of those cases, it does not matter what the dog’s breed is. What matters is that you suffered a dog attack, usually due to the negligence of a dog owner.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Dog Bite Claim?
If you suffer injuries in a dog attack, having a lawyer on your side can make a big difference in the eventual outcome of your claim. A lawyer can help you determine whether the dog owner bears liability for your injuries and how much compensation you may deserve, including compensation for your medical costs, any wages you lost as a direct result of the dog attack, and the pain and suffering you may have faced following the incident.
Contact Pacific West Injury Law to Learn More
If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, Pacific West Injury Law can help you learn more about your right to compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.