Approximately 4.5 million victims are bitten by a dog in the United States every year. That equals a dog bite about every 75 seconds. Many of these dog attacks are so severe that they require immediate medical attention, and about 1,000 victims need emergency treatment every day due to dog bite injuries. Although some injuries are relatively minor, other cause permanent disability, disfigurement, and even death. Sadly, there were 31 victims who lost their lives to dog attack-related injuries in 2016 alone. When victims in Nevada suffer serious injuries or death due to a dog bite, they and their families may be entitled to receive compensation for damages.
Negligence in Nevada Dog Bite Cases
The laws surrounding dog attacks in Nevada can be a bit complicated for victims, their family members, and even personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas. Unlike many other states that have very strict dog bite liability laws, Nevada does not have a specific dog bite statute. Instead, canine attacks in the state are treated much like other types of personal injury or wrongful death cases involving negligence. To hold a dog owner liable for damages caused by a dog bite, it must be demonstrated that the owner did not use reasonable care to prevent the attack and that the attack resulted in harm to the victim.
Negligence Per Se
In some locations throughout Nevada, local ordinances are in place that govern pet ownership. An ordinance, for example, might require owners to keep their dogs restrained with a leash or fence. If a dog owner fails to comply with the ordinance and a dog attack causes harm to a victim, the owner can be held liable for damages suffered.
Dangerous and Vicious Dogs in Nevada
If a dog has a history of being vicious or attacking, it can play a significant role in a dog bite case in Nevada. Since it is unlawful to own, keep or transfer ownership of a dangerous dog in the state, dog owners can be held liable for injuries caused by vicious dogs. Under Nevada statute, a dangerous or vicious dog is defined as one that, without provocation:
- Has displayed menacing behavior on two or more occasions in the last 18 months that would lead a reasonable person to defend himself to prevent substantial bodily harm.
- Has inflicted substantial bodily harm on, or caused the death of a person.