Nevada’s Dog Bite Laws: What You Need to Know
There are no federal laws concerning dog bites and the handling of dangerous canines, so it’s up to each state and jurisdiction to enact their own laws on the matter. Nevada’s dog bite laws are unique, and even within Nevada, some cities (such as Las Vegas) are more strict than others.
Dangerous and Vicious Dogs
In Nevada, dogs are classified as either “dangerous” or “vicious” when they hurt people. For most of Nevada, dogs are given a one bite leeway; if they’ve never bitten anyone before but suddenly do, their owner likely won’t be liable, and the dog won’t be classified as a hazard. This isn’t the case in Las Vegas, where dogs are considered dangerous after their first bite. Personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas can answer any specific questions you have about Nevada’s dog bite laws, but for the rest of the state, dangerous dogs are described as:
- Dogs who, twice within an 18 month period, have threatened others to the degree that they felt the need to defend themselves against bodily harm.
- Dogs who have been used in a crime by their owner, which may or may not be declared dangerous by law enforcement.
Once a dog is declared dangerous, owners can usually still keep them, but they’ll be forced to keep a tighter leash on their dog and take extra steps to protect others. These can include (but aren’t limited to) muzzling them while off their property, spaying or neutering, posting warning signs on their property, and obtaining liability insurance of at least $50,000.
Exceptions do exist, and dogs won’t be considered dangerous or vicious for certain reasons.
- Dogs cannot be classified as dangerous based on breed alone, so pit bull owners have nothing to worry about in Nevada.
- Dogs are never considered vicious or dangerous when acting in self-defense, such as when provoked, hurt, or attacking those who are actively committing a crime.
Dogs are only declared vicious for one of two reasons: If an owner has been notified by law enforcement that their dog is considered dangerous and fails to stop them from causing further harm, or if a dog kills or inflicts serious harm to a human being, they’ll be classified as vicious. Vicious dogs usually need to be euthanized, and it’s illegal to keep a dog for seven days or transfer ownership of them once they’re declared vicious.
What To Do When a Dog Bites You in Nevada
You should immediately seek medical attention when attacked by a dog, as there are a variety of risks associated with dog bites. Once you’ve seen a doctor, you (and the owner of the dog) will likely need to report the bite to your local Animal Control Officer, depending on where you are in Nevada (Las Vegas requires this report by law).
After your report, you can start considering legal options for pursuing compensation. An experienced Nevada personal injury attorney, such as those at Aaron Law Group, can help you clarify whether an owner was at fault and ensure you receive the recoveries you deserve for your injuries. If you’ve been hurt by a dog, or own a dog that harmed others, don’t wait—contact us today at (702) 550-1111 to schedule a free consultation.