Nevada is what is known as a “one-bite free” state. This means an owner does not bear any liability for the first time a dog bites a person except under specific circumstances. To prove the owner’s liability, the party who suffered an injury must prove the dog had a history of aggressive behavior or the owner of the dog was negligent. Contacting Pacific West Injury Law can help you understand your rights and your best options for pursuing a dog bite claim.
Dog owners who are aware their dog may be vicious are liable for any injury the dog causes to another person. This is specifically explained in the Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated Title 15, §202.500. This leaves many victims wondering what they might do if their child, loved one, or themselves is bitten and suffers an injury.
Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite
The first thing that must be done is the person who was bitten or attacked by a dog must seek immediate medical attention. Remember, a dog bite can lead to serious injuries or infections. If you know the dog owner, you should then contact Animal Control for Clark County. They can help determine whether the dog is a known danger. Once you have taken these steps, you should seek immediate assistance from a Las Vegas dog bite attorney at Pacific West Injury Law.
While it may be tempting to contact the dog’s owner, especially if you know them, avoid doing so. Remember, in many cases, the dog owner’s insurance on their home will cover damage through their liability policy. However, even this means victims are often left to wonder how long it will take to recover compensation for the injury suffered from a dog bite or attack.
Filing a Claim Following a Dog Bite Injury
After you have consulted with an attorney, there are some specific steps that will in part dictate how quickly your case will settle. Keep in mind, in nearly all cases of dog bites, these cases do settle out of court, and generally, they take less than six months to complete.
Your dog bite lawyer can help you decide what should be said to the dog’s owner. In some cases, your attorney may speak to them on your behalf. Typically, this call should be made once you have a full understanding of the injuries caused by the dog.
You may also have other needed information, such as a care plan for the wounds suffered. Remember, before filing a claim, you want to have an estimate of how long you may be out of work, and other important data.
The purpose of the call to the dog’s owner is to advise them you plan to file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance, or if they do not own a home, to determine how to resolve the expenses and financial losses which were a result of the dog bite.
Insurance Company Claims for Dog Bite Injuries
Assuming the dog’s owner has insurance, the next step will be to file a claim through their homeowner’s insurance company. Your dog bite attorney can help you prepare the claim to ensure your financial losses will be covered. Some of those losses include:
- Medical bills (current and future) – the treatment for the initial dog bite injury as well as any follow-up care which will be required because of the bite. Remember, if the injuries were serious, there may be a need for reconstructive surgery which should also be covered by the insurance.
- Wages that were lost – if you were out of work recovering, or you anticipate losing time from work because of the injury you suffered in a dog attack, you can include your lost wages in your dog bite claim.
- Pain and suffering – emotional trauma, pain from the puncture wounds caused by a dog bite, and other pain you may have suffered should also be included in a dog bite claim.
Remember, you want to make sure you have an experienced dog bite lawyer handling the negotiation with the insurance company. Insurance for dog bite injuries is part of the liability policy of the homeowner, and the insurance companies are very good at finding ways to deny or delay claims and you would naturally prefer the case settled sooner than later.
Insurance Company Claim Denial or Delay in Dog Bite Claims
Should you face challenges getting the insurance company to settle your claim, we will be prepared to take the matter into court if need be. A Pacific West Injury Law dog bite attorney can help make sure your claim is not left on someone’s desk and ignored. You have rights and we will work tirelessly to make sure you are treated fairly.
Renter vs Owner in a Dog Bite Claim
When a dog owner is not a homeowner, the challenges of your claim are greater. However, that does not mean the dog owner is not responsible for the financial losses you suffered because of their dog. In these cases, we can file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner. The purpose of these suits is to ensure you are not bearing the financial burden of the injuries you suffered in a dog attack.
Keep in mind, even though we may ultimately wind up filing a lawsuit, chances are we can settle your claim out of court. Not only does this save time, but it saves money as well. There is nothing that says you must file a lawsuit, but it may be necessary if the insurance company will not agree to a settlement, or in cases where the dog owner may not have the necessary coverage.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Claim Attorney for Help Today
If you were attacked or bitten by a dog, you need to make sure you are talking with an attorney who has a firm understanding of the dog bite statutes in Nevada. Pacific West Injury Law has experience handling these types of cases as well as others. Contact our office today with our simple contact form and we will do a free case review and help you understand what legal options you have to recover compensation for your dog bite injuries.