While dog bites generally only make the news when they are particularly severe, dog bites are a very common source of injury in Nevada. In fact, the most populous area of the state – Clark County – sees around seven dog bite injuries every day.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Nevada or your dog has bitten someone, you must report the dog bite. This is also an important first step in pursuing compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. An experienced Nevada dog bite lawyer from Pacific West Injury Law can explain the process of seeking compensation through a personal injury claim.
What Are the Dog Bite Reporting Requirements in Nevada?
Nevada has no specific state statutes regarding dog bites. By default, this means the state practices a “one-bite rule.” The one-bite rule is a method of determining liability in a dog bite case in which the owner is only liable if it is proven that they negligently failed to protect others from injury by a dog they knew or had reason to know could be aggressive.
Clark County’s ordinance states that anyone with knowledge of an animal biting a human being – including the dog’s owner, the victim of the attack, or even witnesses to the attack – must report this information to a public health or animal control official, and many other areas in the state have similar or identical laws.
The Reasons for Reporting a Dog Bite
There are several reasons to report a dog bite, including:
- The report is the mechanism by which health and animal control officials can monitor the dog to ensure it does not have rabies or other serious illnesses that could potentially be transferred to the victim through the introduction of bacteria from the dog’s mouth to the bite
- The report provides animal control officials with the means to enforce safety requirements through the municipality’s ordinances in order to protect the public from a dangerous or vicious dog
- The report can be used as evidence to prove negligence in a dog bite lawsuit
How Dog Bite Reports Are Made in Nevada
In order to make a dog bite report, you should write down the details that you know about the dog who bit you, including the name of the owner and contact information of the dog’s owner; the physical location where the dog resides with its owner; a description of the dog; the location where the bite occurred and a description of what the victim was doing at the time the bite occurred.
Your report can be made at your local animal control office in person, in writing, or over the phone. Be aware that many local animal control offices in Nevada are actually part of the local police department.
What Happens When the Report Is Made?
Reporting a dog bite allows animal control and public health officials to monitor the animal for rabies and other serious illnesses that could impact the treatment provided for your injury. Additionally, it allows officials to determine if the animal should be classified as a dangerous or vicious dog. These designations create a path to criminal liability for negligent owners and require owners to take additional measures to keep people safe.
The requirements for a dangerous dog designation include a dog that is off its owner’s premises and behaving in a menacing way that would lead people to believe that they had a need to defend themselves against serious bodily harm. A vicious dog designation is for animals who have killed or seriously injured someone and that continue to behave like a dangerous dog or are used by the owner in the commission of criminal activity.
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What Is the Importance of a Dog Bite Report in a Personal Injury Claim?
As stated, a dog bite report is an important part of a personal injury claim as previous reports on the same dog can help a victim prove negligence. In Nevada dog bite cases, negligence is proven by showing the following elements:
- The at-fault party – almost always the dog’s owner in dog bite claims – owed you a duty of care. The duty of care that a dog owner has for others is to protect the public from harm by keeping a dog with known aggressive behavior properly controlled through a leash or containment in accordance with local dog laws.
- There was a breach in the duty of care, which occurred when the owner failed to properly control a dog that they knew or had reason to know could cause injury through aggression.
- The breach resulted in a dog bite that caused injury to the claimant, along with expenses and impacts to the victim’s quality of life.
How Attorneys Use Dog Bite Reports to Prove Personal Injury Claims
Dog bite reports are important pieces of evidence for your personal injury attorney. The claim you filed provides the specific details of your incident – such as the date and exact location where the bite occurred, as well as any showing the reason for any additional treatments of the wound that were required, such as prophylactic rabies treatment including the provision of the human rabies immune globulin and a human rabies vaccine.
Previous reports made by other victims of the same dangerous or vicious dogs can also be accessed by your attorney, along with any legal dangerous dog or vicious dog designations that were made in response to those bites. These reports provide proof that the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog could be aggressive and that they had to take extra measures to protect the safety of others from the dog.
How Can Pacific West Injury Law Help With Your Dog Bite Claim?
Dog bite injuries can result in thousands of dollars worth of medical bills and lost time from work, while also leaving the victim with physical pain and emotional distress. An experienced dog bite attorney from Pacific West Injury Law can help you understand the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries and can provide services to assist you in this endeavor. Contact us for a free case evaluation.