Las Vegas Dog Bite Attorneys
Did you know that a dog bite can represent a public health risk? Despite the sense of security that owning a dog can provide, dog owners may be liable for the damage that their pets cause to anyone who comes onto their property, whether it’s delivery or repair personnel, law enforcement officers, or guests and their children. You shouldn’t let a single bite bring you to financial ruin or health complications. Get the help you need today by consulting a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas.
Understanding Dog Bites in Las Vegas, Nevada
NRS Chapter 202.500 defines a dog as “vicious” if it inflicts severe bodily harm without being provoked. This is different from calling a dog “dangerous,” which an owner is legally allowed to have for the purpose of protecting their home. A dangerous dog is allowed, for example, to attack someone in defense if provoked or someone who is committing a crime.
The American Humane Association has compiled statistical data regarding dog bites:
- 4.7 million dog bites occur in the US every year
- Around 800,000 bites require medical care
- 58% of all deaths from dog bites occurred on the dog owner’s property
- 50% of all dog bites involved children under the age of 12
- 70% of all fatal dog bites involved children under the age of 10
- Children are 3 times more likely than adults to get serious dog bite injuries
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites
Can the dog’s owner be held liable for a bite?
To hold a dog owner liable for a dog bite, the injured victim must prove that the owner was negligent. Harry v. Smith, 893 P.2d 372 (Nev. 1995). In order to hold a dog’s owner liable for a bite or other injury, an injured victim must prove negligence. He or she must demonstrate that the dog owner failed to use reasonable care to prevent the injury, that the injury was caused by that lack of care and that the injured victim’s damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages and other losses, resulted from the injury. Nevada law does not require the dog owner to have knowledge of the dangerous propensity of the dog as a prerequisite to recovery.
Clark County, North Las Vegas and Henderson all have laws and ordinances on the books requiring dogs to be on leash whenever they are not on the owner’s premises, with certain exceptions such as certain rural areas in Clark County or when at a specially designated dog park where animals are specifically allowed to be off-leash. If a person violates such a law, and another person is injured as consequence, the responsible party can be held negligent per se, meaning that other evidence may not be needed to show the person was negligent and is liable for the injuries caused. Leash laws are an example of laws passed to keep people safe from dog bites, so when a person is bitten by a dog off-leash, the owner may be held per se negligent.
What kinds of evidence do you look for when evaluating a dog bite case?
To evaluate a potential case, a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer needs to evaluate the nature of the attack, including defensive and offensive attacks and aggression history. The dog bite lawyer will look at whether the attack involve multiple wounds on different parts of the body, shaking, or an unwillingness by the dog to end the attack. These are all examples of behavioral issues that may play a role in one’s claim.
It is also important to determine if the dog was acting offensively or defensively; whether he was provoked or acted on its own. A knowledgeable dog bite attorney will thoroughly discuss the facts while evaluating your case.
How long do I have to file a claim for damages?
In the state of Nevada, you have two years from the date of a personal injury to file a lawsuit for damages against the negligent party. If you wait past that deadline, your case may not be heard. It is important to not wait until the last minute to contact an attorney, however. A lot of work goes into preparing your case before a claim is ever filed, and your Las Vegas dog bite lawyer will want to gather and preserve evidence as soon as possible, while also guiding you through the steps to obtain proper medical care and compensation.
How Our Las Vegas Dog Bite Injury Attorney can get you Compensation
At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith, we make it our goal to treat every client with the utmost compassion and understanding. That care and attention we put into each case goes into giving you the highest level of representation in court. We take the matter of dog bites seriously and hope to give each a client our full attention and support for the duration of their case.