When a dog attacks, the experience is frightening. In many cases, the injured party is traumatized and may never fully recover mentally or physically. Unfortunately, under Nevada state law, they may not be entitled to compensation for their injuries either.
Nevada observes the one-bite rule in dog bite liability cases. Another Nevada law that may affect your case is comparative negligence law. Understanding how these laws work will allow you to better understand whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Seeking the legal advice of experienced dog bite injury lawyers will allow you to feel at ease knowing you are getting the best, most accurate advice. At Pacific West Injury Law, we want to help you be sure that you receive all of the compensation you deserve.
How the One-Bite Rule Works
Nevada does not have statewide legislation concerning dog bite liability. The state observes what is called the one-bite rule as several other states do. The rule prevents the dog’s owner from being held liable if the dog has not bitten anyone before.
The rule does not protect a dog owner who is negligent, however. The rule was not intended to protect the dog owner from liability at all, really. The rule actually establishes the fact that if a dog has bitten before and the owner is aware, the owner is liable if another bite occurs.
So the rule means that if a bite has not occurred before, then the owner may not be liable. This means that proving negligence is not necessary if the dog has bitten someone before. The owner of a dog that is known to bite is legally required to take extra precautions to prevent the dog from biting again.
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Proving Dog Owner Negligence
A person is considered negligent when they do not take proper care and precautions to prevent injury. A dog owner then can be considered negligent if they fail to take proper care to prevent their dog from biting. If the dog’s owner has neglected their responsibility, they can be held liable even if it is the first time the pet has bitten anyone.
All pet owners are expected to follow the laws relating to pet ownership. If the dog was running loose with no supervision, the owner may be considered negligent and held liable. If the dog is not registered or up to date on shots, the owner may be considered negligent.
Nevada recognizes negligence per se, which means that if a dog owner is in violation of a state law or animal control law at the time of the incident, then they are negligent in their duty of care.
How does the Law Define a “Dangerous Dog”?
In Nevada, a dog can be deemed dangerous if it acts aggressively towards a person on two different occasions within 18 months without being encouraged or antagonized. They do not have to actually bite someone to be considered dangerous. They had to act aggressively enough that the person felt the need to defend themselves from being harmed.
If a dog has been used to assist with criminal activities, it can be deemed dangerous also.
If the Dog Is Deemed Vicious
A dog is deemed vicious if, after being declared dangerous, it continues to act aggressively or if it has attacked, resulting in serious injuries or death. The dog must be found to have acted without being antagonized.
The owner of a dog deemed vicious who does not turn the animal over to animal control within 7 days is guilty of a misdemeanor unless the owner has challenged the decision. Nevada law prohibits owning or giving away a dog deemed vicious.
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Rules and Restrictions for Owning Dangerous Dogs in Nevada
The law prohibits owning a dog declared vicious in Nevada, but not a dog declared dangerous. The owner is responsible for maintaining a special permit annually which requires an inspection of the owner’s property. The dog has to remain in a secure cage or enclosure and when out of the cage must have a muzzle and leash on.
Microchipping is also required as well as signs clearly posted on the owner’s property alerting guests and visitors. If a dog that has been deemed dangerous attacks someone unprovoked, it will likely be ordered to be euthanized.
How Comparative Negligence Works
The dog owner is not the only one who can be said to have been negligent. The dog bite victim can also be found to be negligent if they acted in a way that provoked the animal. Teasing or taunting an animal or provoking it to act aggressively can result in the victim being denied compensation.
Under the law of Comparative negligence, the dog owner and the bite victim are each assigned a percentage of fault based on their negligent actions. If the court finds that the bite victim was more than 50% negligent, then the claim for compensation will be denied.
Seeking Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury
After a dog bite injury, there will be medical bills, but that is not the only cost. Here are some of the types of damage you may be able to get compensation for if the dog owner is found to be liable:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment
After being bitten by a dog, the healing process can be slow and difficult. Medical bills and the inability to work can make the whole situation overwhelming. It is important to have a strong support system during this time to help you physically, emotionally, and legally as well.
Contact a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Today
Having a lawyer with experience handling negligence cases can be critical to the outcome of your claim. At Pacific West Injury Law we offer consultation of your case free of charge. We ensure you get good quality legal advice without adding more expenses to your injuries.
Contact Pacific West Injury Law today and get advice specific to your circumstances. We can help you determine whether the dog’s owner is responsible for compensating for your injuries and damages.