No matter where you live, chances are that someone near you owns a dog. Large or small, dogs often accompany their owners to the park, on busy streets, and occasionally in stores. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 36.5 percent of homes have at least one dog. When an owner fails to control his or her dog, and the dog bites you or your child, not only is it painful, but also it can lead to serious complications. If a dog has bitten you or someone that you love, contact a Las Vegas dog bite lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.
Dogs are sometimes referred to as man’s best friend; however, this isn’t always the case. Pet-friendly venues, such as coffee shops and hotels, allow owners to travel with their pets, yet by allowing this, they place pets among the general population and in unfamiliar surroundings. Dogs tend to bite someone when:
For dogs that are not used to social interaction, loud sounds, and crowds, accompanying their owners in public is often overwhelming. Owners who have not properly trained their dogs to walk on a leash or who don’t have control over their dog in public put everyone else at risk.
In certain situations, dogs may simply attack you without any obvious explanation for their behavior. A small, cute dog can bite you just as quickly as a large, tougher-looking dog. The breeds that are most commonly associated with dog bites are:
While these breeds bite the most, their tendency to do so depends upon the environment in which they live and how their owners treat them. A chihuahua that is cared for and trained, for example, may interact appropriately around strangers. Whereas abused and neglected animals will react more violently. It is important to act with caution around any dog. Never assume a cute dog wearing bows is not a threat; no one can fully predict animal behavior, which is why remaining aware at all times is your best defense.
The force of a dog bite depends upon the pound-force per square inch, which is commonly known as the PSI. Best described as a unit of measurement that calculates the pressure released upon any given point, PSI is a scientific method for determining the force with which a dog bites. Breeds that are known for having a high PSI include:
The English Mastiff is a large breed of dog that is known as a gentle giant. These large dogs also have a high PSI of 556—a bite forceful enough to break a bone. If provoked, startled, or in protection mode, the English Mastiff can cause serious harm to an individual’s muscles, tendons, and bones.
Each year, about one in 775 people in the United States seek emergency care for dog bites. Of these, boys between the ages of seven and nine are the most common victims. Children under the age of 10 are especially vulnerable to bites in the head and neck, due in part to their head level near the dog’s mouth.
Of the more than 4.5 million known dog bites each year, one out of every five bites becomes infected with bacteria. A dog bite can result in one of the following diseases:
Pasteurella. More than half of all infected dog bites involve this type of bacteria. Pasteurella shows up as a red, painful infection at the wound site, and it is especially dangerous for people with weakened immune systems.
MRSA. This type of staph infection is resistant to some antibiotics and causes skin, lung, and urinary tract infections in some people. MRSA can spread to the lungs or bloodstream and can result in life-threatening infections. Dogs may carry MRSA without showing any outward symptoms.
Tetanus. A toxin that develops from a certain type of bacteria, tetanus causes rigid paralysis and is a serious health risk for those with deep puncture wounds.
Rabies. One of the most serious diseases that an individual can sustain from a dog bite is rabies. While uncommon, you always face a risk of contracting rabies after being bitten by a dog. This virus affects the brain and is almost always fatal for humans.
In addition to infections, dog bites can leave victims with physical and emotional scars. Nearly 27,000 people had reconstructive surgery in 2018 as a result of physical damage from a dog bite. Additionally, other research indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in young children who sustain dog bites. Following an incident, they may demonstrate anxiety and fear when around dogs in the future.
A serious dog bite can land you or your child in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time. A lengthy hospital stay may result in missed time from work and adds to your overall medical expenses. No one should pay out-of-pocket due to the negligence of a dog owner. Depending upon the details of your case, you may receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You should contact an experienced Nevada dog bite lawyer immediately following a dog bite incident to discuss your legal options.
The sad reality is that not everyone survives or recovers from a dog bite. Consider the following alarming statistics:
Between 2015 and 2018, children 10 years old and older constituted 60 percent of the victims killed by dogs. Children nine years old and younger comprised the other 40 percent.]
Over a 13 year period between 2005 and 2018, pit bulls killed more than 300 Americans, the equivalent of one victim every 16 days.
Only 21 percent of deaths that occurred between 2005 and 2017 resulted in criminal charges. Of these cases, pit bulls caused 75 percent of the deaths.
Losing a loved one to a dog bite, either from infection or the severity of the attack, is devastating. For the loved ones left behind, life is never the same. You shouldn’t have to worry about funeral costs or your financial future following such a traumatic incident. Let the trusted legal team at Benson & Bingham deal with the details of your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
There are some safety measures that you can take to try and avoid a dog bite. By taking a proactive approach to avoiding a dangerous encounter, you’ll have a better chance of walking away unharmed. Consider the following helpful tips for avoiding dog bites:
When cornered by a dog, avoid eye contact and remain perfectly still. The dog may eventually lose interest in you, and when it does, you should slowly back away.
If a dog knocks you down to the ground, lay on your side in the fetal position, and cover your face with your hands. Remain still until the dog leaves or someone helps you.
Never scream or run from a dog, as this only frightens and stresses them, which increases your chance of receiving a bite.
Report strays or injured dogs to your local animal control officer. Do not try to approach them.
If attempting to befriend a dog, let it become familiar with your smell before you touch it. Then, only scratch it under its chin and not on its head.
Never assume a wagging tail is an invitation to come closer. Even the best dogs can snap at any moment, for any reason. Always err on the side of caution and remember to remain calm and quiet; loud responses from you will only excite the dog and increase your chances of sustaining a bite.
Dog owners in Nevada must know prior to an incident that their dog has a tendency to bite to face responsibility for their dog’s actions. If the dog bit someone in the past and there is proof that the owner knew of this incident, then the owner should have known the dog had the potential to bite again and taken the appropriate precautions. Owners are also responsible when they fail to properly contain their dogs.
Local ordinances and the specific details surrounding how and when a dog bite occurred play an important role in any related litigation. It is quite possible that an aggressive insurance representative will contact you in an attempt to close your claim quickly. While the amount the insurance company first offers you may appear attractive, it likely will not encompass any of your future medical expenses.
Recovering from a dog bite may require some or all of the following:
Medical expenses only increase over time, and careful planning is essential for having quality care that covers all of your needs. A serious dog bite may forever alter your quality of life, and because of that, you should hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable.
Dogs make great companions, and it’s no wonder why many owners consider their dogs a part of the family. As more public establishments encourage pet owners to bring their dogs with them, the threat to others is very real. Due to an animal’s unpredictability, a carefree afternoon at an outdoor cafe with a friend can quickly result in an emergency situation.
Protect your physical, financial, and emotional future by reaching out to Benson & Bingham as soon as possible following a dog bite incident. The statute of limitations for filing your case begins when you sustain your injury. Reviewing your case and gathering important information takes time. Our legal team will waste no time in getting started on your behalf. If we cannot reach a settlement in your case, we are unafraid to go to court.
Many of us have a soft spot for animals, especially dogs. However, when a dog seriously attacks and bites you, the medical and emotional implications are very real. Negligence on behalf of the pet owner is not acceptable. Let the experienced legal team at Benson & Bingham represent your best interests; reach out to us today. Dog bites are serious and sometimes deadly. Don’t brush off the severity of your injury; seek medical attention first, then contact our office without delay.
Nevada dog bite law is complex. Understanding the law as it applies to negligence and liability is where the experienced legal team at Benson & Bingham can help. When we accept a case, we take an in-depth look at the specific details surrounding the incident, and we then decide upon the best course of action given the individual circumstances of the case.
There is one dog bite every 75 seconds in the United States. It is often not a matter of if but rather when you or someone you love may experience a serious dog bite injury. The attack may come out of nowhere, be totally unexpected, and cause you serious harm.
At Benson & Bingham, we take great pride in our commitment to customer service. We treat all of our clients with respect and strive to provide the best legal representation possible.
Benson & Bingham serves residents of both northern and southern Nevada. We also proudly serve out-of-state clients. With more than 40 million visitors each year, Las Vegas alone attracts millions of tourists to the state. While we hope nothing serious occurs on your vacation, should you suffer a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact us . Our team will send you an injury packet by Federal Express, ensuring a quick delivery. We are one of Nevada’s premier law firms when it comes to representing out-of-state clients.
No matter where you live, a dog bite is a serious matter that demands justice. Call Benson & Bingham today at (702) 382-9797, or contact us online, to schedule your free case evaluation. Should we decide to proceed with your case, there is no fee unless and until we recover compensation for you.