Unlike many other states in the union, Nevada does not have any statutes governing dog bites. Rather, personal injury cases that involve dog bites are governed by other cases that have established legal precedent in the state. If you yourself are a dog owner, or if you live in a neighborhood that’s home to more than a few canines, then it would behoove you to understand how dog bite injury cases are handled within the state.
Negligence is the Governing Rule
Because there are no specific statutes concerning dog bites in Nevada, these incidents fall under the umbrella of common negligence laws. In order to seek damages from a dog’s owner, a dog bite victim must prove that the dog owner’s negligence contributed to the attack and that the injuries sustained were a direct result of that attack. Because of this, keeping evidence is important in the aftermath of such an attack. Also, since proving someone to be negligent can often be tricky business, you’ll want to make sure that you retain the services of an experienced Nevada personal injury attorney.
But, There’s Also Negligence Per Se
Even though the state of Nevada does not have laws governing dog bites, local municipalities can and often do have their own ordinances which govern pet ownership. When determining if an owner was negligent in allowing his or her dog to bite a victim, these local ordinances can be taken into consideration. For example, if the municipality has a leash law (a requirement that dogs be on a leash when they’re in public), then a victim who is bitten by a dog that is off its leash can allege that an owner was ‘negligent per se’ for not following the local ordinance.
Because of this, if you’re a pet owner in the state of Nevada, then it’s crucially important that you are aware of all the local ordinances that govern your pet ownership. Failing to do so could leave you in a legally compromised position if something unfortunate were to happen with your canine friend. Further, if you find yourself the victim of a dog bite, then you will want to have your personal injury attorney look into these local ordinances – if there are any – in order to determine if any of them were violated when you were attacked.
Defending Yourself in a Dog Bite Case
As you can see, the dog bite laws in Nevada can be a bit murky, and this leaves a dog owner with openings if they ever have to defend themselves. Most often, a defense in such a case involves proving that the dog bite victim was somehow complicit in the attack, whether through their own negligence or otherwise. This is referred to as proving “comparative fault”. There is one thing to note about this. In the state of Nevada, if the victim is judged to share less than half of the fault for the attack, then the dog owner and victim will share the burden of the damages accordingly. However, if the dog owner can prove that the victim was mostly at fault, then the dog owner is able to get off the leash entirely, so to speak.