Las Vegas Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite “accidents” are often not accidental at all – they occur due to the dog owner or possessor’s negligence. In Nevada, it is a pet owner’s duty to reasonably prevent dog bites and other such attacks, often whether the owner knew of a propensity for violence or not. Speak with one of our attorneys after a harmful dog bite in Las Vegas. The laws surrounding these events are fuzzy in Nevada because it’s one of few states that have no specific dog bite statute. You will likely need professional legal help to receive compensation for your damages. Our injury attorneys in Las Vegas will assist you with any questions you may have during a free consultation.
Who Is at Fault for Your Dog Bite?
Understanding “liability,” or legal responsibility, for a dog bite incident may take an investigation into the circumstances of the attack. Some dog bite claims are straightforward, with the owner of the dog being liable for damages, but other cases are not as easy to crack. The Claggett & Sykes Law Firm has the resources to investigate your claim and get to the bottom of the liability question. The following parties could end up having to pay damages depending on the situation and local Las Vegas laws:
The dog’s owner
- The person who owns the pet will be legally responsible for any bites or attacks in most cases. Local laws in Las Vegas maintain that the dog’s owner is the one in charge of controlling the dog and preventing bites. An exception to the rule is if the pet owner is under the age of 18, in which case the owner’s parents or legal guardians may face liability. The courts will hold the owner liable if he/she knew or should have known the dog was dangerous and negligently failed to prevent an attack.
Someone who “kept or harbored” the dog
- Nevada’s dog bite laws do not limit liability only to the official pet owner. Instead, any person who kept, harbored, maintained, cared for, had custody, or had control of the animal at the time of the attack could face liability. For example, a “keeper” could be a relative of the person who actually owns the dog. The responsible party might be the keeper instead of the owner if the attack happens under the keeper’s watch.
The dog owner’s landlord
- Landlords and property owners take on responsibility for dog attacks in some Nevada dog bite claims. It is the landlord’s job to keep a premise reasonably safe for visitors (and for child trespassers). This includes taking measures to prevent dog attacks. The landlord could be liable for injuries if he/she knew that a tenant was harboring a dangerous dog yet did nothing to prevent an attack.
Nevada is a comparative negligence state, meaning the courts may assign a percentage of fault to the victim if he or she contributed to the incident. The courts might deem the victim comparatively at fault for the bite if the victim provoked the attack, for example. The victim can still recover damages if he/she is less at fault than the defendant. The courts may reduce the victim’s amount of compensation by his or her percentage of fault. Understanding liability and comparative fault is key to winning your claim. Our lawyers can help.
How to Prove Your Nevada Dog Bite Claim
Understanding liability is just one element of your Nevada dog bite claim. You must also prove that the defendant was negligent, or that the defendant broke a local animal code, to receive compensation for your damages. The burden of proof on a dog bite victim can feel daunting in the face of hospital bills, personal injuries, lost wages, and other damages. The Claggett & Sykes Law Firm is here to help dog bite victims prove their claims and recover the compensation they need to move forward.
Our team can help prove your claim through an in-depth investigation of the animal attack. We can revisit where the bite happened, look into the dog’s history of viciousness, interview others who live in the area, and navigate state and local laws to your best advantage. We know exactly what the Las Vegas courts look for in determining liability for dog bite incidents. We’ll put our years of experience to work on your behalf, doing everything in our power to secure you’re financial reward. Contact us today to start your claim.
How Do the Nevada Courts Handle Dog Bites?
Most states abide by a universal dog bite law – one based on negligence, negligence per se, or scienter. Nevada is unique in that it will adapt its procedures on a case-by-case basis when it comes to dog-related injuries. Local ordinances and the specific laws surrounding a particular case will decide how the courts address the claim. Here’s a brief overview of the three main ways the Nevada courts could go about settling a dog bite case:
- If the plaintiff can prove another “reasonable and prudent” person would have exercised greater care in similar circumstances, the defendant may be guilty of negligence. For example, if the dog’s owner let the dog off the leash in a public park and it attacked someone. The plaintiff will need to show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care, breached this duty, and this action led to the attack.
- Negligence per se. These negligence laws come into play when the defendant breaks the law. If defendants violate a state or local animal control law, such as leash-curbing the pet, they may be guilty of negligence per se in a subsequent attack. Violating dog-related laws can be the basis of a liability lawsuit. Our lawyers can help you research potential applicable laws in your county, such as fencing or leash laws.
- Scienter, often referred to as “the one bite rule,” bases negligence on the fact that the owner knew or reasonably should have known the dog could be violent. This might be the case if the dog had bitten someone else in the past, attacked another animal, or engaged in other violent behaviors. If the owner should have known of the risk yet did nothing to prevent another attack, he or she may be liable for damages based on scienter.
In Clark County alone, there were 6,798 dog bite incidents in a six-year period. These attacks can lead to severe trauma, puncture wounds, lacerations, and fatal injuries. Victims who survive dog attacks may have to live with permanent scarring or disfigurement, as well as emotional baggage from such a traumatic event. Don’t live with these damages without trying to pursue compensation. The Nevada courts give dog bite victims ways to recover for economic and non-economic damages. Seek help from out Las Vegas attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm if you or a loved was injured during a dog attack.