Dog Bite Injury: What to Do if Bitten by a Dog
Dogs are the most common pet in the United States, living in over 65 million U.S. households. While dogs are popular support animals and family pets, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites yearly. In extreme cases, dog attacks can cause death.
Dog attacks are often unexpected, leaving victims in shock. Knowing what to do after a dog bite ensures you receive the medical attention you need and get the legal help you deserve.
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What to do if bitten by a dog on private property in Nevada
Dog owners must comply with applicable laws and regulations. Anyone bitten by a dog on someone’s property may have grounds for a lawsuit. Victims can file a premises liability claim to recover damages. Premises liability requires property owners to maintain a safe property. Homeowners or occupants must make reasonable efforts to warn people about hazards or remove the safety threat. When the home’s occupant fails to do this and a person’s injured, they may be liable for damages.
Premises liability applies to personal injuries from a dog attack. However, it should be noted that the home occupants’ liability increases if a dog injures a guest. Their liability decreases if a person enters their property without consent. Consulting a dog bite attorney is the best way to determine if you have grounds for a claim.
Nevada’s dog bite injury laws
Dog owners must comply with multiple laws and regulations from their state, county, and, if applicable, Homeowners Association (HOA) guidelines. Dog regulations that apply in Nevada include the following:
- Leash laws: Dogs must be leashed in county parks and most public places, except dog parks or rural areas permitting dogs off-leash. There are also places where dogs are prohibited, whether leashed or unleashed. Dog owners should familiarize themselves with the regulations in their county or areas they plan to visit with their dog, or they may be subject to a fine of $250.
- One bite rule: One bite laws establish a dog’s history as a potentially dangerous dog. Nevada doesn’t have a one-bite law, which means a dog may not be considered vicious after one bite.
- Scoop laws: Dog owners are responsible for removing their dog’s waste from public parks, including dog parks. Failing to remove your dog’s feces can result in a $250 fine.
While scoop and leash laws are straightforward, several factors determine the success of dog bite cases, including the following:
- Beware of dog signs: Signs warning people about a potentially dangerous dog on the property do not limit a dog owner’s liability, particularly if the dog has never shown signs of aggression. It can also be argued that the sign proves the owner knows their dog is vicious, increasing their liability.
- Liability: A dog owner’s conduct during an attack can determine their liability. The dog owner is responsible for supervising their dog and ensuring it is under their control. Failing to do so makes the dog’s owner liable.
- Negligence: Every person is expected to demonstrate acceptable behavior in society. When someone fails to conduct themselves in a way that most people would, and that failure causes damage to a person or property, that person can be held liable for the damage.
- Negligence per se: Negligence per se holds people accountable when their failure to comply with laws or regulations causes harm to another. Suppose a person had their dog off leash in an area where dogs must be on a leash. The dog attacked a person, causing injuries. Negligence per se makes the dog owner liable because they failed to comply with leash regulations and keep their dog under their control.
What to do after being bitten
Take the following actions after a dog bite injury:
- Get to safety: If a dog attacks you in a public place, get to a safe location as soon as possible. Seeking safety may mean asking for help from a resident or going inside a public building.
- Seek medical treatment: Don’t assume that a dog bite injury isn’t serious if it’s shallow or not bleeding profusely. Infection can turn any dog bite into a severe health issue.
- Document the attack: Note what happened before, during, and after the attack. Note the dog’s breed. Although some breeds are more likely to bite people, Nevada doesn’t use dog breeds to determine whether a dog is dangerous. However, noting the breed and dog’s color and other identifying features ensures any necessary actions are taken against the correct dog. Take photos or videos of the scene with your smartphone. You should also get contact information for any witnesses.
- Report the bite: Nevada requires anyone who witnesses a dog bite a person or is bitten by a dog to report the incident to animal control. Your report should include any relevant details about the incident, the dog’s name, address, owner’s name, and the victim’s name, if applicable. Animal control uses bite reports to monitor dogs, address health concerns, and identify dangerous dogs.
Can I sue for a dog bite on someone else’s property?
You may have grounds to sue if you were bit by a dog on someone else’s property. The dog or property owner’s property liability insurance pays dog bite claims.
A dog bite attorney can help determine whether you have a case. Hiring an attorney also ensures you receive legal support throughout the process. Your attorney can investigate the incident and gather evidence to prove your claims. They’ll look for evidence to establish whether the dog is known for vicious behavior and whether the owner was negligent or negligent per se.
What damages can I recover for a dog bite?
Personal liability suits allow victims to recover expenses caused by their injuries, including the following:
- Childcare bills
- Loss of income
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Transportation fees
Victims may also recover emotional damages, including compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Contact Adam S. Kutner, Las Vegas’s premier dog bite lawyer
Our law firm understands the trauma dog attack victims suffer. We’ll fight for you to receive justice after an attack and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Dog Park. (2023).
Leash and scoop laws. (2023).
Megna, M. (2023). Pet Ownership Statistics 2023.
Nolen, R.S. (2017). The dangerous dog debate.
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