In the U.S., 4,5 million people suffer from dog bites every year. More than 850,000 of them require serious medical care. Around 50% of those bitten are children.
If you or your child sustained an injury due to a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. By working with a personal injury lawyer, you increase your chances of recovering damages.
Dog bite cases are rarely straightforward. To get more information about your options, contact our team at Pacific West Injury Law for a free case evaluation.
Nevada Dog Bite Laws
Dog bite laws in Nevada are hard to navigate. There isn’t a statewide law that helps regulate dog bite incidents.
According to this rule, unless dog owners demonstrate direct negligence, they can’t be liable for the first time their dog bites. This is based on an assumption that a dog owner isn’t obligated to know that their dog is an aggressive biter.
After the First Bite
Once the first bite occurs, getting compensation becomes easier. The amount of compensation depends on the dog classification.
- Dangerous dogs – The owner of a dangerous dog needs to comply with the local municipal code. For example, in Las Vegas, besides other things, it means purchasing $50,000 liability insurance.
- Vicious dogs – In Nevada, keeping a vicious dog is against the law. If a vicious dog bites you, the personal injury case is often straightforward.
While our state doesn’t have a statute that regulates dog bite incidents, it doesn’t mean that a dog bite should go unpunished. In most cases, you would need professional legal representation to prove negligence and receive financial compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Dog Bite Case
In personal injury cases like dog bite incidents, you need to prove another party’s negligence to recover damages. Usually, it involves proving four things:
- Legal duty of care
- Breach of duty of care
- Breach caused injuries
- Injuries resulted in certain damages
The dog owner has the legal duty of care to prevent the dog from causing harm. This usually includes:
- Using a leash or muzzle.
- Keeping the dog inside the property by installing gates and fences.
- Supervising the dog while it interacts with other people, especially children.
- Intervening if the dog demonstrates aggressive behavior.
- Staying compliant with local animal control ordinances.
If you can prove that the dog owner breached the duty of care, and it resulted in your injuries, you have a shot at winning a dog bite case. However, according to the one-bite rule, you may need to prove that the dog has bitten in the past.
Finding evidence about previous bites can be complicated. That’s where the dog bite attorney comes in. The legal professional knows how to collect evidence, uncover records, and obtain witness testimonies to prove previous dog owner violations.
Winning a Dog Bite Case
If a dog bite led to injuries because the dog owner acted negligently, you have a good shot at winning the dog bite case. Here are a few steps that can improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
1. Collect Evidence
When a dog bites you, make sure you collect as much evidence about its behavior as possible. You can take photos or shoot videos of the entire scene. If you can get any of the dog’s aggressive actions on tape, it could help make your case.
If there are any eyewitnesses, make sure to get their contact details. Their testimony could be crucial to winning a dog bite case. If you don’t get their phone numbers immediately, it may be nearly impossible to find these people later.
2. Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Even if the bite seems minor, you must seek treatment immediately. Symptoms of serious problems (e.g. rabies) may not be forthcoming right after the bite. Failing to get treatment could lead to unfortunate consequences.
The faster you document your injuries, the easier it will be to prove causation (that the breach of legal duty caused your injuries) in court.
As soon as you are treated, make sure to keep a record of all of your expenses. It will be necessary for determining the amount of your damages.
3. Hire a Dog Bite Attorney
If a dog bite caused your injuries, you could be entitled to substantial economic (e.g. medical bills, lost wages) and non-economic (e.g. pain and suffering) compensation. Recovering damages isn’t always easy. To maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve, consider hiring a dog bite lawyer, who can:
- Collect evidence
- Obtain witness testimonies
- Evaluate your damages
- Prove negligence
- Negotiate with the defendant’s attorneys or insurance company
- Support you throughout the case
To offset your arguments, the dog owner’s lawyer will try to prove that you provoked the dog or acted aggressively toward the owner. Without a dog bite attorney at your side, you may end up losing the case.
Don’t wait too long to call an attorney after the dog bite occurs. The faster the lawyer can start working on your case, the more evidence they can collect. Meanwhile, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Nevada is two years from the date of the incident.
Speak to a Dog Bite Attorney from Pacific West Law Today
If a dog bit you or your child, you may be able to recover damages. Proving negligence in a dog bite case in Nevada can be tricky. To improve your chances of winning the case, consider hiring a dog bite injury lawyer.
At Pacific West Law, we have a team of experienced dog bite attorneys, who are always ready to help you fight for your money. For more information, please contact us at any convenient time.