Surprisingly, the state of Nevada does not enforce a statewide policy regarding dog bites. Rather, dog bite claims are adjudicated primarily through past precedent and city mandates, meaning that courts look through past cases for guidance on current ones. For personal injury claims, the claimant (plaintiff) has the responsibility of proving that the defendant acted negligently; so, for a dog bite case, the claimant should be able to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent, which led to you getting bit.
However, proving liability and negligence in any case involving animals is a difficult task–after all, they really do have minds of their own. That is why it is especially important to seek qualified legal counsel, such as the attorneys from Van Law Firm so that you can maximize your potential settlement while also staying within compliance of city code.
Negligence in Dog Bite Claims
There are a lot of cities in Nevada where claimants can only hold dog owners responsible for bites and other injuries if the claimant can prove that the owner failed to use reasonable care, which resulted in your injuries. This could mean proof that the dog was left unleashed, or that the dog was left unsupervised around strangers, especially children. If the plaintiff is able to successfully argue that their injuries were directly caused by this lack of care, he or she will be eligible to receive standard compensation, up to and including non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
Claims Involving Negligence Per Se
In other cities within the state, including Las Vegas, local law mandates that dog owners are required to either keep their pets in enclosed areas or restrain them with a leash whenever they are away from the home. If a dog gets free and bites another person in public, the owner will automatically be considered liable because they technically violated the law by letting the dog get out in the first place, and so that itself is seen as a form of negligence. Legally, this is known as negligence per se because a violation of city law is considered adequate evidence for negligence, regardless of anything the defendant did otherwise.
Animals That are Classified as Vicious or Dangerous
As mentioned above, there is no statewide law for dog bites, however, Las Vegas specifically has adopted a “one bite” rule when it comes to aggressive dogs; essentially, this means that owners get a “free pass” in terms of liability if their dog bites a third party for the first time. Additional incidents, however, will cause the city to label the animal as a vicious or dangerous dog, which does have repercussions.
In Las Vegas, the term “dangerous dog” means any dog that has behaved aggressively or bitten somebody with little to no harm at least twice in an 18-month period. They can also be considered dangerous if they were used during the commission of a crime or if they killed another animal.
A “vicious dog,” on the other hand, is a much more serious classification, and the city defines vicious dogs as those who:
- Are known to have caused significant harm to a human on at least one occasion; or
- Continues to exhibit poor behavior after being labeled as “dangerous”
The reason why these animal classifications are not desirable is because their owners have certain laws that they must follow–they may be forced to muzzle the dog in public, post signage on their property and car, buy an expensive microchip, pay higher insurance rates, or even keep the animal forever enclosed within their property (a la Mr. Myrtle and “The Beast” from The Sandlot). If owners do not comply with city law, they can be dealt misdemeanor charges or even jail time.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites
All Nevada dog bite victims should be aware that in order to be eligible at all for a bite claim, it must be filed within two years from the date of the initial injury. Otherwise, your case will almost certainly be dismissed, and you will have no other avenue of legal recourse through which to recover compensation for your injuries. That is just one of the reasons why you need to retain an experienced personal injury and dog bite attorney so that you always have the best opportunity to recoup the damages you’ve incurred.
Contact Trusted Dog Bite Attorneys
If you or someone you know is currently nursing injuries after being bitten by a dog while in Nevada, call the experienced team of dog bite and animal injury attorneys from Van Law Firm today for a free consultation to see what your case may be worth. We have the resources and expertise to settle any case, with or without the need for a trial. With a certified 5-star rating across all review sites, it’s clear that you won’t want to take your case to anyone else. Call our location nearest you now for more information.