Who’s Financially Liable for a Dog Bite Injury?
You’ve been bitten by a dog, perhaps by no fault of your own. You’re safe and took all the necessary steps for a Nevada dog bite but who’s going to compensate you for those medical costs? Knowing who’s liable for a dog bite injury is essential to the recovery process and can address most of your financial concerns. Although there are no federal laws concerning dog bite liability, a combination of local ordinances and precedent from other cases clearly defines who is and isn’t liable for a dog bite injury.
Dog Owner Negligence and Liability
In order to prove that a dog owner was guilty of negligence, several prerequisites need to be met:
- The dog owner failed to take reasonable precautions to stop their dog from biting (which can vary based on the disposition of the dog)
- The dog owner’s lack of precaution explicitly caused your injury (if you provoked the dog or it was beyond their control, they’re not liable)
- Your bite injury caused damages (such as lost wages, medical costs, etc. You can’t get compensation for a dog bite that barely hurt you)
If you’re bitten by a dangerous dog (classified as having bit twice in an 18 month period in Nevada), matters are simpler. Dangerous dog owners are often required to have liability insurance of up to $50,000 on hand, so the source of your compensation is clear. If their dog is already classified as dangerous, the owner is also more likely to be considered liable. If a dangerous dog hurts someone, it usually means the owner didn’t take appropriate measures to prevent dog bites despite knowing that their pet was a risk to others
However, there are situations where even if these prerequisites are met, the owner of the dog still might not be liable:
- If the dog was used lawfully for government purposes, such as in police or military work, and there was some reason to suspect that you might be involved in a crime, then the government is not liable for a dog bite injury they cause.
- If you’re unlawfully trespassing or are otherwise bitten in the midst of a crime, the owner won’t be liable, unless the severity of circumstances and injuries sustained have an extreme discrepancy.
If you’d like to know more about how local or state-wide laws might apply to a dog bite case, a personal injury lawyer in Nevada can answer your questions in an obligation-free environment.
The Process of Proving Dog Bite Liability
Proving that an owner was liable for a dog bite is often a complex task, as gathering conclusive evidence presents certain difficulties. Make sure to see a doctor and file a report with a local animal control officer—this not only prevents infection and other complications, but also provides solid evidence of the extent of your injury and some of the circumstances of the dog bite. If the owner doesn’t offer to compensate you in full for your medical costs and other damages, you might need to talk to a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to consider your options. With a compassionate lawyer on your side, you’ll be able to receive compensation for your expenses, pain, and other traumas you might have suffered as a dog bite victim. Call us today at (702) 550-1111 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how your case is affected by local laws.