What You Need to Know About Nevada Dog Bite Laws

Dogs are a beloved part of our families, known for their loyalty and companionship. However, even the best-trained dogs can sometimes act out of character and bite, potentially resulting in significant physical and emotional injuries. To best protect yourself and understand your rights, it's vital to familiarize yourself with Nevada dog bite laws

Being bitten by a dog is a traumatic experience. No matter the severity of your injuries, having the support of an experienced and compassionate legal team can make all the difference. Contact Eric Blank Injury Attorneys to schedule your FREE consultation with a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer. It’s always better with Blank!

Holding the Dog Owner Responsible

Nevada is one of the states that doesn't have a specific dog bite statute. Instead, it relies on court decisions, local animal control law, and municipal law to determine liability. The spotlight often falls on the dog owner's possible negligence. 

Was the dog's behavior known to be aggressive? Was the owner careless in preventing the dog from causing harm? Answers to these questions can significantly impact a dog bite claim in Nevada. 

Dog owners must ensure that their pet doesn't pose a threat to others. If they fail in this duty, they can be held legally responsible.

Understanding the “One Bite Rule”

Historically, the “one bite rule” asserts that dog owners are only liable for injuries if their dog has previously shown aggressive tendencies or bitten someone. In essence, the dog gets a "free pass" for its first aggressive incident. 

Yet, in Nevada, this rule isn't strictly followed. Instead, the state bases liability on court decisions, local animal control laws, and municipal ordinances. Although there isn't a specific statewide statute on dog bites, a dog's past behavior still plays a pivotal role in influencing a case.

When is a Dog Owner Liable?

A dog owner in Nevada could be liable if:

  • Their dog had previously bitten someone, and they were aware of it
  • The dog has shown menacing behavior while off-leash in the last 18 months
  • The owner violates a local statute, like not using a leash

The Impact of Dog Owner's Negligence

Many dog bite cases in Nevada hinge on the owner's negligence. If an owner was aware or should have been aware of their dog's aggressive tendencies and didn't take preventive measures, they could be held responsible for any resulting injuries. 

For instance, allowing a previously aggressive dog to roam freely without a leash or not posting warning signs for a known aggressive dog can indicate negligence.

Nevada law categorizes aggressive dogs as "dangerous" or "vicious." Owners of dogs deemed "vicious" face stricter penalties and may even have to make the difficult decision to euthanize.

Immediate Steps After a Dog Bite

A dog bite can catch anyone off guard. Here's what you need to do to handle the aftermath effectively:

1. Seek Medical Attention

Never underestimate a dog bite. Even minor-looking wounds can harbor bacteria. A quick medical check-up can address potential infections or complications and assess risks like rabies.

2. Document the Bite

Take clear photos of the injury before treatment. They can serve as vital evidence in legal or insurance matters. If possible, track the injury's progression for a few days.

3. Get Dog and Owner Details

Note the dog's appearance, breed, and any identification details. Obtain the owner's contact and any information on the dog's vaccination, especially rabies.

4. Secure Witness Contacts

Witnesses can provide unbiased accounts. Gather their contact details in case there's a dispute later.

5. Report to Authorities

If the dog may be a continued threat, inform local law enforcement or animal control. Be detailed in your account, highlighting any aggressive behaviors.

6. Monitor Your Expenses

Keep a clear record of all dog bite-related expenses - medical costs, medicines, missed workdays, etc. It'll be beneficial for potential compensation.

7. Consult a Las Vegas Dog Bite Attorney

Contact a Las Vegas dog bite attorney. They'll guide you on your rights, potential compensation, and legal path if you choose to pursue them.

Stay proactive and informed to ensure your well-being and rights are front and center following a dog bite.

How Insurance Companies Play a Role

Insurance entities, pivotal as they are, primarily safeguard their interests. A common misconception is that their initial settlement offers are the best you can get. 

Before accepting any terms, always confer with an attorney. Maintain a detailed record of the incident, and if possible, take photos of injuries and the exact location.

Medical Consequences and Long-Term Effects of Dog Bites

Dog bites are not to be taken lightly. Their consequences stretch far beyond the initial pain and shock. Depending on the severity and the dog's health, a single bite can spiral into a host of medical complications.

Infections and Disease Risks

First, infections are a major concern. A dog’s mouth, like ours, is home to numerous bacteria. Some of these bacteria can be transferred into the wound when the dog bites. 

This can lead to infections like cellulitis, which causes redness, swelling, and pain. If not treated promptly, these infections can spread and even become life-threatening.

Diseases such as rabies and tetanus are also potential threats. Rabies, a viral disease affecting the central nervous system, can be deadly if not treated promptly. Tetanus, on the other hand, is a bacterial infection that affects the nervous system, leading to painful muscle contractions.

Physical Repercussions

Beyond infections and diseases, the physical repercussions of a dog bite can be extensive. Many victims deal with scar tissue, which can limit mobility and be cosmetically concerning. 

Some bites, especially those that are deep or located near joints, might necessitate surgeries to repair torn tendons or muscles. In severe cases, reconstructive surgery may be required. Physiotherapy is often a post-surgery necessity, helping patients regain strength and flexibility.

Emotional and Psychological Impact

But it's not just about the physical. The emotional and psychological aftermath of a dog bite can be equally, if not more, debilitating. Victims, especially children, can develop a phobia of dogs, leading to anxiety and stress. 

The trauma might manifest in nightmares, flashbacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such effects underscore the importance of seeking immediate medical care and considering counseling or therapy to address the emotional toll.

Prevention is Key

Protection lies in prevention. Dog owners in Nevada must take measures like training, socializing, and understanding their dog’s body language to ensure safety. Non-owners, on the other hand, should be cautious around unfamiliar dogs and educate their children similarly.

Dog bites can be painful, traumatic, and costly. However, understanding Nevada dog bite laws can help you protect your rights and seek justice if you are injured by a dog. 

If you've been injured due to a dog in Nevada, consult an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and seek compensation for your injuries. 

By taking reasonable steps to prevent dog bites and holding dog owners accountable for their pet’s actions, we can work together to protect ourselves and our communities.

BETTER with BLANK: We Can Help You Understand Your Rights After a Dog Attack

Dog bites can be traumatic, both physically and mentally, but knowledge is your most powerful ally. While understanding the nuances of Nevada dog bite laws is crucial, knowing that you have a legal team ready to champion your cause is invaluable. 

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a dog bite incident, the team at Eric Blank Personal Injury Attorneys is ready to assist, ensuring justice and rightful compensation for your injuries. Reach out to us today at (702) 222-2115 or fill out our online form to speak with a Las Vegas dog bite attorney.

Our dedicated staff is fluent in English and Spanish and always ready to listen with empathy and compassion. Remember, partnering with us comes at no upfront cost to you. We only earn our fee when we achieve a victory in your case. Discover why it’s always BETTER with BLANK! 

Copyright © 2023. Eric Blank Injury Attorneys. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Eric Blank Injury Attorneys
7860 W Sahara Ave Ste. 110
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 222-2115

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