Dogs are undoubtedly great companions, and man’s best friend. However, dog bites are extremely dangerous and can cause a victim serious injury and can be a serious threat to the community. The following will help one understand Nevada laws that are enacted to protect victims and help establish who is responsible for the incident.
Dog Bite Incidents:
Dealing with dogs can be scary for some, especially those who have never dealt with the animal. There are many signs that a dog may exhibit which can lead to aggressive behavior, however each do is unique so take the below with a grain of salt:
- Barking or growling, especially if the dog’s ears perk up simultaneously.
- Keep an eye on how the dog is reacting. Does the dog look puffed up and unhappy? Are the dog’s lips pursed or quivering? Are the dog’s teeth showing? If this is the case, best to heed caution.
- Wagging tail: Just because a dog is wagging it’s tail does not mean that it is in a happy environment. While often true, this is not a fact.
- Food or toy reaction: If I dog is eating or playing with a toy, tread carefully as any signs that the food or toy are in danger may cause the dog to attack to protect their property.
- The dog is acting to protect something, someone or its territory. Whether the dog feels an owner is in danger or the pursuit of a dog in heat could be comprised, the dog may attack.
There are many other innuendos associated with aggression in dogs, so the best policy is show caution when encountering a new dog, unless the owner verbally tells you the dog is friendly. If you see a dog exhibit these characteristics, do not make physical contact with the animal, and slowly remove yourself from the situation. Do not make quick movements or run away— it may aggravate the dog further.
If you are bitten on a part of your body that is not your neck, head, face, hand, fingers, or feet, and the bleeding is minimal, stop the wound from bleeding by applying direct pressure with a clean, dry cloth. Wash the wound and apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound. If the dog draws blood, be sure to confirm with the owner that the dog is current with a vaccination for rabies. Vaccinating your dog is required law in every State in America, including Nevada. In the event the dog is wild or appears to be a stray, getting a rabies vaccination is the proper cause of action. If the bite is on your neck, head, face, hand, fingers, or feet, or is bleeding excessively, call your healthcare provider or visit an emergency room.
Nevada Dog Bite Laws
Nevada does not have concrete laws regarding who is responsible during a dog attack. This lack of clarification often leaves dog bite liability to be determined by common law. In many cases, the dog’s prior record of aggression or similar behaviors, if any, are used. If the dog has bitten someone previously or there is a documented history of past pugnacity, the owner is typically held liable for any further incidents. If a dog has previously bitten a person, the owner is expected to assume the dog has the potential to behave aggressively or violently toward others. They have been put on notice in the eyes of Nevada law. If the dog owner neglects to take preventative measures after an attack, and the behavior repeats, it is now the dog owner’s liability.
Often times in Nevada, the law takes into account comparative negligence when determining who to assign blame for a dog attack. Similar to car accidents in Nevada, the process of comparative negligence assigns blame based on a percentage basis. So if In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you must file a claim within two years, per Nevada’s two-year statute of limitations. This begins with the day one was attacked, and if you miss this deadline, you cannot pursue damages, or a lawsuit related to the incident.
Las Vegas Dog Bite Laws
Dog bite laws in Las Vegas are a little different than the rest of Nevada and are determined by certain factors that were present when the attack occurred. If a dog has attacks a person in city limits, the owner must report the incident to Las Vegas Animal Control; subsequently, the dog will be placed in isolation for 10 days to ensure it does not have rabies or other types of diseases. Afterwhich, the dog will be deemed “dangerous” and the owner will be put on notice. If a second attack occurs, and the dog has previously been deemed “dangerous,” the dog will then be classified as “vicious” as the owner could be subject to civil and criminal litigation and the dog may be euthanized by the State. In addition, Las Vegas does not allow “vicious” dog within city limits.
Legal Action After Being Bit
In Nevada, in order to prove a dog bite case, you must prove three elements: the dog was being dangerous, the owner failed to prevent the incident, and if bitten, the owner took part in behavior that caused or exacerbated the incident. It is best to contact a law firm that specializes in dog bites or animal attacks to discuss liability and whether you are eligible to receive compensation.