Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows there are about 4.7 million cases of dog bites in the US annually. Victims of dog bites go through a terrifying experience leaving them with serious physical injuries and emotional trauma. Dog owners and handlers should prevent their dogs from causing harm or acting dangerously on another person.
Home insurance can cover the injuries and damages after a dog bite. However, some lawsuits will require our experienced attorneys to help you have a successful dog bite claim. Read on for more insights.
How Dog Bite Insurance Works
If your dog bites someone, whether on or off your premises, and you are found liable, your home insurer will pay the medical expenses for the victim and any other legal costs. Note that your homeowner’s insurance has several types of coverage, so it covers much more than just your home’s structure. The personal liability component in your policy covers injuries and damages in case a dog bites someone, while the liability coverage covers the legal and medical costs.
However, there are some situations whereby home insurance won’t cover dog bites. Some insurers might regard dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Pitbulls, and Rottweilers at higher risk, and they may decline to include them in the coverage. A dog’s history can also be a higher risk if it had previously bitten someone, and an insurer may exclude it from the insurance policy.
If an insurance company excludes your dog from coverage due to some of these reasons, you can consider pet liability insurance that covers all breeds. Your homeowners’ insurer can offer you a standalone pet liability policy. Alternatively, you can opt for a specialized liability insurer and get a pet policy.
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How Common Are Dog Bite Injuries in Las Vegas?
The majority of dog bite cases reported in Clark County happen in Las Vegas. For instance, there were about 6,798 dog bites incidences in Clark County between 2003 and 2009, with a majority of them reported in Las Vegas. Although only a few dog bite cases result in deaths, these cases are still rampant in Henderson and Las Vegas.
Why Are Dog Bites so Serious?
Some people brush off a dog bite saying that it’s a minor injury, but you should ensure that you seek medical attention after a dog bite as soon s possible. Some of the reasons why dog bites are considered severe cases include:
- Infections: Dog bites can lead to several infections, such as Pasteurella. If not adequately treated, it can lead to a serious illness.
- Tendons and muscle damage: If a dog bites you with considerable force, you could have injuries to the tendons and muscles. In such cases, you will need to undergo a surgical operation.
- Blood loss: In case of a deep dog bite, you could lose a lot of blood if you don’t seek the proper medical attention. Depending on how severe the injury is, you may need stitches or surgery to close the wound.
- Rabies: Rabies is a dangerous disease that you risk getting from dog bites. As per the CDC, rabies is one of the greatest concerns for people with dog bites.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury?
As a dog owner or handler, you are responsible for preventing your dog from biting another person. If you are negligent in your duty and the dog bites another person, the injured victim can hold you liable for the incident. As a result, you will have to compensate them for the injuries and other costs incurred from the dog bite.
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How Liability Claims for Dog Bite Injuries Work
Some people are more likely to get dog bites than others in Las Vegas. Home repair workers, estate sales workers, and real estate professionals get into unknown homes where there might be dogs. Consequently, dogs attack them thinking they are intruders. Since there isn’t a specific state law on dog bite cases, these victims seek compensation under general negligence rules.
A dog owner can be considered negligent for their disregard of reasonable care to others. For instance, leaving the dog to roam without a leash in public spaces is negligent since it could lead to dog bite injuries.
What Does Nevada Law Say About Dog Bites?
The law in Nevada states that dog owners are liable for their dog’s actions. However, it’s also subject to the ‘one bite’ law, meaning that the dog owner is responsible if they had prior knowledge that the dog can bite judging from its character or other recent attributes. Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §202.500 describes a dangerous dog as one that behaves menacingly towards other individuals in two or more incidences with a period of 18 months.
Therefore, a dog owner can be held liable if:
- The dog wasn’t on a leash.
- The owner didn’t secure the dog properly within their property.
- The dog owner was aware that the dog is aggressive.
If you find the law a bit complex, you can also rely on our knowledgeable team of lawyers. We are familiar with all the state laws concerning dog bites owing to our years of experience.
Do You Really Need to Hire an Attorney?
The rules regarding dog bites can be somewhat complicated than you think. Therefore, if you have a lawsuit over an alleged dog bite that led to an injury by your pet, you need to consider hiring a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer in this area will explain the available defenses depending on your circumstances and work on protecting your rights.
Get Legal Help with Our Skilled Attorneys Today
As a dog handler or owner, you are liable for injuries inflicted on another person by your pet. In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance can cover the expenses incurred in legal and medical costs after your dog bites someone. However, cases involving dog bites are also complicated, and hiring an attorney comes in handy to help fight for your rights.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we aren’t afraid to litigate no matter how complex your case is. We are available 24/7 for you to seek legal help from our attorneys. Contact us today for a free case review.